When you think ‘sushi train’, the normal image that comes to mind is the typical circular restaurant layout with a large conveyor belt spinning sushi round and round. Well in the last year, a new type of ‘sushi train’ has popped up in Japan, pioneered by Genki Sushi, one of Japan’s last sushi restaurant chains.
Upon walking into the Shibuya branch of Genki Sushi, I noticed that there wasn’t a conveyor belt in sight, nor were patrons sitting in a large circle. Instead, the seating looked like a Pacman maze with each seat containing a touch screen and facing two sushi ‘train tracks’. How it works is that you order your sushi from the touch screen and a 3-plate sushi train carriage will shoot out to you from the kitchen and stop in front of you. Freshly made sushi for everyone! Once you take your plates off the train carriage, a small button will blink and upon pressing it, the empty carriage will zoom back into the kitchen. Handy.
Here’s a video to demonstrate:
Other interesting differences with this branch is that there are hot water taps at your seats along with green tea powder, so you can DIY your own hot green tea. Sushi rolls also aren’t common here – most sushi is the ‘nigiri’ kind (where a topping is placed on a handpressed mound of rice). The sushi variations here are also quite plain and don’t contain mayonnaise, fancy garnishes or combinations, allowing you to appreciate the natural flavours with some wasabi and soy sauce. It’s quite interesting to see how sushi is really eaten by the Japanese! One of my favourite differences though is that not all the plates on the menu contain duplicates of the same sushi. Some plates have different variations and some up to four types of different nigiri sushi, allowing you to sample a range of fish. The price is also from ¥126 - ¥252 (AUD$1.30 – $2.70) – super affordable
I’m not sure how many branches have this new technology yet, but if you get the chance, be sure to check out the Shibuya branch of Genki Sushi. I spent my whole trip eating so only popped in to eat a few dishes as a snack, but it’s definitely worth a stop.
Genki Sushi (Shibuya branch)
Japan, Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho, 24-8 レジャープラザビル１F
Ph: +81 3-3461-1281