One of my favorite culinary discoveries from family trips to Bellevue, Washington* was Blue C Sushi, a hip conveyor belt sushi restaurant. While sushi has been popular in Western countries since the tuna boom of the 1980s, for my family, it was such a wild new concept to see chefs creating nigiri and maki right before our eyes, and to choose whatever we liked from a variety of tiny, colorful plates.

Little did I know that Blue C Sushi was just one imported version of an idea that has existed in Japan since 1958. Sitting in that fun little restaurant, I did not imagine that I would later enjoy conveyor belt sushi in the country of its genesis – never mind in Hokkaido, a prefecture known to many as a paradise for fresh food. Talk about a miracle!


There are so many benefits to the kaitenzushi experience. If you’re starving, you can begin to eat right after you’re seated. If you go with friends, there’s always a conversation topic rolling by: a regional special, or a funny-looking type of sushi that you’ve never seen before. It’s a perfect opportunity to try new kinds of seafood, as you only have to invest in a small portion to see if you like it. Plus, most times I come out feeling full for only ¥1000!


Conveyor belt sushi is bound to be good anywhere in Japan, but I especially recommend the following restaurants in the Sapporo area:

Toriton (locations in Sapporo, Asahikagura and Kitami) A popular chain buzzing with customers during my Saturday afternoon visit. The wait was worth it for great quality! The miso soups are delicious, but beware of becoming too full from soup and not being able to enjoy more sushi.


Matsuriya (locations in Sapporo, Kushiro, Tokachi, and Nemuro) Matsuriya features the most family-friendly atmosphere, with summery decorations hanging from the ceiling; candies and soft-serve ice cream for sale at the counter; and festival music. I tried the whale nigiri for around ¥260.



Waraku (locations in Sapporo, Otaru and Ishikari) The calmest atmosphere of the four, with traditional Japanese decor and soft music. I recommend trying the seasonal specials.


Hamazushi (a large nationwide chain; I went to the one in Ishikari) The ¥90 plate deal on weekdays makes Hamazushi the cheapest of these four. Ordering from the touch screen is a lot of fun, because a little tune plays when your food is about to arrive on the conveyor belt! The restaurant is noisy, but ideal for a quick fix of sushi.


Mmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it… let’s all go for conveyor belt sushi sometime!

* Bellevue is a neighborhood near Seattle with modern office buildings and lots of shopping malls.



私が料理についての発見の中で、お気に入りなものは、アメリカワシントン州のベルビューへ家族旅行で行った時のおしゃれな回転寿司「Blue C Sushi」です。寿司職人が「握り」や「手巻き」を目の前で作るのを見ながら、そして小さくカラフルなお皿に乗ったお寿司から好きなものを選ぶという、その新しくワイルドなコンセプトから、1980年代にまぐろブームが欧米諸国で起こり、私達家族の中でも人気でした。あぁ、私は「Blue C Sushi」が1958年からある日本にあるものを輸入したものだという事を当時はわからなかった。しかも回転寿司が生まれた国で回転寿司を食べるようになるとは夢にも思わなかった。