Quick and Affordable, Conveyor Belt Sushi
There is no reason to fear getting tasty affordable sushi in Tokyo or other cities in Japan! You can find conveyor belt sushi restaurants in almost all of the popular areas in any city across Japan.
Recently we had a chance to try a popular chain near Shibuya station. Genki Sushi and their sister restaurant Uobei Sushi offer an affordable option just a few minutes walk from Shibuya Station. The average sushi at these locations costs between ¥108 and ¥194 per roll. Other chains would likely have similar pricing.
Below are some tips for dining at Uobei Sushi, but the experience should be similar in other chains.
Getting Seated: As you enter the restaurant, the staff will give you a small clipboard that has a number on it. Go to the seat labeled with that number. In some other restaurants, the staff will show you to your table.
Drinks: There are water stations nearby. Grab a cup and fill it with water. Once you get back to your seat, there will be some cups above you along with small dishes. The cups are used for green tea or water and dishes are for wasabi and soy sauce. You can also order a variety of soft drinks, beer, and mixed drinks using the touch screen.
At your table, you have access to all the green tea you can drink! Normally a container on the table has powered green tea in it. Grab a cup, put a scoop or two of it in, and fill up your cup with hot water at the table (Caution, very hot!).
Using the Touch Screen: Change the touch screen language to English (or your preferred language). There is usually a small icon with flags in one of the corners. Click that and find your language. After you can look through the sushi rolls for your preferred choice. There is a variety of high quality fish sushi rolls and vegetable based rolls you can choose from. Some restaurants also have french fries, soups, and other items on the side menu.
After choosing your rolls, press order! You can order up to 3 items at once depending on the restaurant. You can order additional items immediately after submitting your order.
Receiving Your Order: Once your order arrives, take your plates and press the lighted button to return the tray. Take a pair of chopsticks and grab as much wasabi and ginger as you’d like! Ginger is usually in a container on the table and wasabi is usually available on the conveyor belt.
At some restaurants, you can also just take the sushi roll of your choice from the conveyor belt. No ordering required!
Paying: At these two locations in Shibuya, there are take-out boxes on the shelf above you. This is not available at most other chains, so take advantage of it here!
When you are ready to pay, on the touch screen click “account” to bring up your bill then click check out. Bring your clipboard to the counter to pay. Easy! At other restaurants, the staff are called to count your plates. Usually the price of the sushi is indicated by the color of the plate. Take your tally up to the register and you are ready to pay!
As for the quality of the food, I think it is as good as it gets for this price. You can find similar food at convenience stores, but the price will be higher.
Pictured above is natto, a fermented soy bean. It’s popular in Japan, but many people dislike the smell and the stickiness of natto. I would only choose this if you’re adventurous.
If you’re traveling in Japan, I would definitely check out Genki Sushi. They have locations all over Japan!
Video by TOFUsenshi on Youtube.