Do You Know How to Eat Revolving Sushi Properly?

I have a friend who went to eat revolving sushi for the first time in his life.

When he was eating four plates in a row, he was stopped by another friend who told him, “You’ve already eaten 2,000 yen!”

He was stunned, looked at his empty plate and thought, “Okay, then,” and started to roll up his sleeves and put his plate on the conveyor belt.

…… Fortunately, a friend sitting next to him was quick to grab the four empty plates.

Afterwards, they sat together and reflected that they should have taught him the rules of revolving sushi first.

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So, do you know how to eat revolving sushi properly? What are the rules of revolving sushi, a famous and popular restaurant in Japan?

Let’s find out how to eat revolving sushi like a Japanese person!

What is revolving sushi?

In a revolving sushi restaurant, you will find a large round or square counter with a conveyor belt on it, and the small plates with sushi will slowly move on the belt and pass in front of each customer, hence the name “revolving sushi”, or “conveyor belt sushi”.

In some restaurants, the center of the counter is empty and the chefs make sushi right in front of the customers. In other restaurants, the conveyor belt starts from the kitchen, and sushi passes in front of the customers, and then returns to the kitchen. The revolving sushi is much cheaper than a regular sushi restaurant and is therefore very popular. There are many brands in the chain, and some of them have their own unique menus, so don’t miss them if you’re in Japan.

From the moment you enter a revolving sushi restaurant

Let’s introduce the whole process from the moment you enter the revolving sushi restaurant to the moment you finish your food.

What can I do after entering the revolving sushi restaurant?

When you enter the revolving sushi restaurant, you will be greeted by the staff. If there is a large number of customers, you will be asked to write down the number of people and their names, or get the queue number from the machine and then enter in order.

If you are seated, you will usually sit at the counter with a conveyor belt, but nowadays, for the convenience of groups, there are also tables outside the counter.

After you are seated, there will be tea cups and tea powder on the table, so you can make your own Japanese tea. There are also some restaurants where the waiter will bring the tea. Some revolving sushi restaurants do not put wasabi on their sushi, so if you like wasabi, you can use the wasabi packets prepared on the table to make your own.

If you don’t have a sauce plate, you can use the finished sushi plate.

How to order?

Generally speaking, there are three ways to order.

  1. Take the sushi you want directly from the conveyor belt
  2. Ask the chef at the counter or the waiter outside to place your order
  3. If the restaurant has a touch screen or tablet, you can also order through the machine

Usually, people take sushi directly from the conveyor belt because it’s the best way to experience the revolving sushi, but if you have a special favorite ingredient, you can also order it directly to satisfy your appetite.

Sushi on the belt

The sushi on the conveyor belt is actually not the same price. The total price is calculated based on the type and number of plates, so if a sushi restaurant does not offer a fixed price for all sushi, the color or pattern of the plates may vary significantly, and different patterns represent a price. It is recommended to check the price of each plate in advance before picking them up.

Also, because of the rules for calculating the amount of money, when customers finish a plate of sushi, they will put the empty plate in their hand for final settlement. Don’t put it back on your belt or leave it lying around.

How to eat sushi

Sushi is a typical Japanese food, and there is a way to eat it.

Usually, sushi consists of rice (shari in Japanese) topped with various ingredients (neta in Japanese). The correct way to eat sushi is to pick up the entire sushi, dip the neta in soy sauce instead of rice, and serve it directly to your mouth. Of course, there are also ingredients that have been seasoned beforehand, so there is no need to dip them in soy sauce.

There is also a type of sushi called a warship roll (where the rice is rolled up in seaweed and the ingredients are placed on top of the rice), and when eating this type of sushi, you can either pour the sauce directly on the toppings, or use a pickle like ginger to soak up the sauce and smear it on the ingredients.

When eating sushi, to better appreciate the flavor of the ingredients, it is recommended that you start with the lighter flavors and work your way up to the heavier ones. However, there is no such restriction in a revolving sushi restaurant, so you can eat whatever ingredients and flavors you like in the order you like them.

This is probably one of the main features of revolving Sushi, as you can eat delicious sushi without the tense and solemn atmosphere of a normal sushi restaurant.

Finish your sushi and get your order

When you’re ready to buy, just press the button at the table and ask the waiter to count the empty plates on the table. At this point, just pay the bill.

Some details to note

At a revolving sushi restaurant, although it is more relaxed and some people even treat it as an alternative to an izakaya, it is still a Japanese restaurant and has its own restrictions and etiquette. So what are the details to keep in mind?

It is recommended to take only 10 plates or less at a time

Although you can eat as much or as little as you want at a revolving sushi restaurant as long as you can pay for it at the end, once you have more than ten plates on the table, it will inevitably give you the impression of not being elegant enough. Of course, if you don’t care, you can eat until you’re happy.

Don’t take someone else’s sushi by mistake

As mentioned above, sometimes you can just order sushi with the ingredients you like. Therefore, not all of the sushi on the belt may be free to take, and it is very rude to accidentally take someone else’s order.

Don’t put back the plate you touched on the conveyor belt

This is an absolutely forbidden behavior in revolving sushi restaurants. If you violate it, you may even be suspected of having a bad character. In addition, the hygiene of the sushi that has been touched is also very worrying. If you touch a sushi plate, it’s best to eat it yourself instead of pretending nothing has happened.

In addition, you should not put your empty sushi plate back on the conveyor belt after eating. One is the problem of hygiene, and the other is the suspicion of avoiding paying the bill. It is not a good reputation to eat and drink for nothing.

It’s not polite to eat only the neta but not the rice

For sushi, both the neta(top ingredients) and the bottom rice are very important.

No matter what the reason is, such as being on a diet, not liking rice, or not wondering if the rice tastes good, you should not just eat the ingredients and leave the rice. This is a very rude thing to do to the sushi restaurant and to the people who worked so hard to make the sushi.


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