Sushi in Hiroshima

Sushi in Hiroshima

by Paul Walsh

Kaiten or kuru-kuru conveyor belt sushi restaurants are great fun and very reasonably priced. They aren’t, however, always known for the quality of the fish that passes by on the carousel. Nonta Sushi, in the basement floor of the Pacela shopping center under the Rihga Royal Hotel, however, has a reputation for using fresh, locally caught fish that is well prepared.

The Pacela branch of branch of Nonta Sushi is part of a small chain based in neighboring Yamaguchi Prefecture. Their fish comes fresh and direct from the wholesale market in the port town of Yanai. I can’t pretend to be a sushi expert, but people who know far more about the subject than I attest to the consistently good quality of the fish at Nonta.

Nonta Pacela seats 52, with places along the counter and booths which seat 4-6 people, arranged around a central kitchen. Take anything you fancy from the selection of sushi rolls, sashimi and other items (even french fries and ice cream) that pass by on the conveyor belt. The plates are color coded according to price which, at time of writing, range from ¥137 (for cucumber, radish, wasabi and natto maki-zushi roll sushi) to ¥515 (for items such as uni sea urchin, sazae turban shells, and chu-toro tuna belly).

You can also call out what you want to the chefs behind the counter, or give your order to helpful wait staff referring to the English or Japanese menu. At lunch, as well as individual portions, there are several set combination plates which are not listed on the English menu.

Nonta also offers quite a wide range of izakaya restaurant dishes that range from some quite hearty miso soups, salads, fried dishes and desserts.

Built into the counter in front of each seat place are nice ceramic tea cups into which you can spoon powdered green tea and add hot water from a spigot built into the counter. Good fun, and free of charge, but the water is very hot so best be careful if letting kids, young and old, have a go.

Beer, Japanese sake and shochu, as well as soft drinks are also on the menu. When you have had your fill, call over one of the wait staff who will total up your bill according to the number of plates you have stacked up and you pay at the register next to the entrance.

The whole place is non-smoking and there are some vegetarian options. Nonta Sushi, Pacela is very convenient for a meal after a visit to Hiroshima Castle or the Hiroshima Museum of Art, or on your way between either of these places and the A-bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Museum. You may also like to take the elevator up to the 6th floor of the Pacela Shopping Center which has a pleasant outdoor terrace with views of the castle.

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