I’ve long seen amazing images of sushi whirring around the restaurant where the user could pick at will from amongst the best looking dishes. I don’t know of any sushi train’s or conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Utah though. I’ve always wanted to try this type of eating as it feels so decadent. Here are a few facts on sushi trains. If anyone knows of one I’d love to find the closest one.
Conveyor belt sushi (回転寿司 kaiten-zushi?) (also called sushi-go-round (くるくる寿司 kuru kuru sushi?)) is the popular English translation for Japanese fast-food sushi. In Australia, it is also known as sushi train (as the sushi goes around a track on a train, rather than a conveyor belt). In South Korea, conveyor belt sushi has become popular and is known as 회전초밥 (revolving sushi).
Conveyor belt sushi was invented by Yoshiaki Shiraishi (1914–2001), who had problems staffing his small sushi restaurant and had difficulties managing the restaurant by himself. He got the idea of a conveyor belt sushi after watching beer bottles on a conveyor belt in an Asahi brewery. After five years of development, including the design of the conveyor belt and the speed of operations, Shiraishi opened the first conveyor belt sushi Mawaru Genroku Sushi in Osaka in 1958, eventually expanding to up to 250 restaurants all over Japan. However, by 2001, his company had just 11 restaurants. Shiraishi also invented a robotic sushi, served by robots, but this idea has not had commercial success.
Initially in a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, all customers were seated to face the conveyor belt, but this was not popular with groups. Subsequently, tables were added at right angles to the conveyor belt, allowing up to six people to sit at one table. This also reduced the length of conveyor belt needed to serve a certain number of people.