The first kaiten-zushi restaurant appeared in the 1940s, when Yoshiaki Shiraishi, who run a standing sushi shop in Osaka, borrowed the idea from beer bottles on conveyor belts at a brewery and devised a system to efficiently handle a large number of orders.
Shiraishi opened the first conveyor belt sushi Mawaru Genroku Sushi at Fuse Kintetsu Station in Higashi-Osaka in 1948.
Although sushi shops used to be regarded as high-end establishments in the past, kaiten-zushi helped popularise sushi, making it more affordable. Nowadays, there is a wide array of revolving sushi shops, with gourmet ingredients and a generous dessert menu, worth the long queue. Some of them are provided with touch panels that allow the customer to select the ingredients by their place of origin. Kaiten-zushi restaurants have come a long way. If you are in Tokyo, here are a few recommendations.
At this chic restaurant you can taste the freshest sakura shrimps and whitebaits from Suruga Bay, and fish and shells from all over the country, paired with sake and wine from Kōshū, Yamanashi Prefecture without spending a fortune.
Kitte Nemuro Hanamaru (Marunouchi)
This restaurant is supplied daily with seasonal fish and seafood from Nemuro, a fishing village in Hokkaidō: squid, octopus, red-fleshed fish and shellfish. It is an inexpensive shop, with a laid-back Sapporo ambience.