Sushi-lovers will know that Kaiten Sushi, or “conveyor-belt sushi” is the best way to eat Japan’s world famous cuisine. Freshly-prepared sushi is served on color-coded plates before being placed onto a conveyor belt. You can sit at the counter by the conveyor belt and keep selecting plates to your heart’s content. The only catch? You will get very, very full. Here are the best places to eat kaiten sushi in Osaka:
1. Edomae Kaitenzushi Yaichi
Edomae Kaitenzushi Yaichi is a well-known kaiten sushi restaurant that is said to serve up sushi with the freshest toppings in Osaka. The sushi is made with Wakayama rice, which is an exceptionally delicious form of the rice grain. Red vinegar and soya sauce is added to the rice for the extra flavor boost. There are over 100 different kinds of sushi on offer, and you can also choose to sit at a normal table if you don’t want to be seated high at the counter. There’s an English menu as well if you need a little help ordering. Color-coded plates correspond to set prices so you can make a calculation of how much you’re spending as you go. Familiarize yourself with some of the sushi plates.
Genrokuzushi was the first ever kaiten sushi, or kaitenzushi, in the world, and it draws in locals and tourists alike. Grab a seat at the counter, or if you’re lucky, in front of the itamae (sushi chefs) so you can watch the masters at work. There are menus to help you select which plates you would like to eat. The sushi is reasonably priced and there are several branches in Osaka. They also offer free green tea, for you to wash down the sushi in true Japanese style.
3. Kantaro Sushi
Kantaro Sushi is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant serving up the flavors of Hokkaido, which is an island in north Japan. Seafood is shipped directly from the island to the restaurant and you can try unique dishes such as Maika (Japanese cuttlefish) — a Hokkaido specialty that is a type of squid with an unusual texture. Plates are colored, and each color corresponds to a different price. Visitors love the large topping-to-rice ratio and friendly staff.
4. Kura Sushi Namba Motomachi
Kura Sushi Namba Motomachi is another kaiten sushi favorite. The restaurant is a popular chain with locals and you can sit by the conveyor belt choosing your sushi plate as and when you please. The restaurant runs a fun plate-raffle, whereby you can exchange your empty plates for the chance to win a raffle, adding some entertainment to your meal.
5. Isonoryotaro Nambaten
If you’re looking for some of the best budget sushi in Osaka, look no further than Isonoryotaro Nambaten. This sushi restaurant is located close to Takashimaya and is filled with locals looking for a good lunchtime bargain. It’s a big restaurant, so there isn’t normally a queue. At around 100 yen per plate — less than a dollar — you’d be hard pushed to find better value fresh sushi. The restaurant’s interior is bright and colorful and it has a multilingual menu, alongside staff who can speak English, Chinese, and Korean.
6. Kaitenzushi Totogin Daito-ten
Kaitenzushi Totogin Daito-ten is a kaiten sushi restaurant that serves delicious seasonal fish. Be sure to try their tuna dishes — locals say its the best tuna in Osaka. Its prices are reasonable and seats at the conveyor belt are always full of hungry guests.
7. Muten Kurazushi
Muten Kurazushi is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant that offers fresh sushi without any additives. While many sushi places do avoid additives, many also use additives to boost the flavor of the rice. The chefs place plastic domes over the sushi plates, for those who are hygiene-conscious.
8. Hakotaro Osaka-ten
Known for its ‘big fish, small rice bottom’, Hakotaro Osaka-ten is a great value for money kaiten sushi joint. The pieces of fish that are placed on top dwarf the rice below and you’ll find yourself getting full very quickly.
If you need a place to nap after all that sushi, here are some of the best budget places to stay in Osaka. And if you’re on a culinary journey through Japan, be sure to visit the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo.