Conveyor-belt sushi combined with a family restaurant
Most visitors to Japan are eager to try some sushi, but sushi shops can sometimes be intimidating for those who don't speak the language. Conveyor-belt sushi shops are easier to manage, but are hardly places to sit and relax with your family or a group of fellow travelers. The answer to all your problems? Kappa Zushi.
Kappa Zushi is a chain of restaurants that combines the experience of conveyor-belt-style sushi with the comforts and design of a family restaurant. Best of all, it has menus in multiple languages and is easy to navigate for non-Japanese speakers.
Guests sit at large, comfortable booths that are positioned around a large conveyor belt that brings an endless stream of sushi options past your table for your consideration. See something you like? Just grab it before it passes you by. However, the best point of Kappa Zushi is the touch-panel screen on every table. Scroll through the entire menu (which is picture-based and can be set to a variety of languages, including English), customize your order (How many pieces? Do you want wasabi with that?), and send it electronically to the kitchen. A few minutes later, your special order will arrive at your table not by a server, but by a Shinkansen. Yes, that's right - a delivery service made to look like a Japanese bullet-train zooms through the restaurant on a track and comes to a stop at your table, carrying the dishes you ordered. Take your food, press a button, and send the shinkansen speeding back to the kitchen. The charm of this system is enough to make Kappa Zushi a worthwhile destination.
What of the food? It's pretty good, in fact. Sushi snobs won't be impressed, but it's definitely better than what most visitors will find in their home countries. The prices are rather cheap as well. The menu has a fairly wide range of sushi options, as well as some daily specials. The food is also particularly family-friendly as well. There are plenty of non-fishy options for the kids, including "hamburger sushi," various fruits, pieces of fried chicken, and even drink boxes. Best of all, there are some pretty great-looking dessert options as well.
Kappa Zushi is a large chain, with restaurants all across Japan that are fairly standardized (though some of the older locations have yet to incorporate the touch panel system - check their website first to be sure). Most restaurants have individual counter seats as well as large booths. The restaurant pictured in this article is located in Kawasaki City, and is a 4-minute walk from Hirama Station (JR Nambu Line).