Conveyor belt sushi is famous for bringing around Japan's best-known food with no effort, but it's also one of the best ways to eat out cheaply while you're here.
Also known as revolving sushi or kaiten-zushi, the video above sets the scene pretty well. The conveyor runs in a big square. Patrons sit on the outside of the rectangle and chefs work inside the conveyor. They're not in the scene here, but waiters are running around behind the customers clearing tabs and serving drinks. On the conveyor belt are plates of sushi, obviously, but also little ads rolling by promoting seasonal items.
Here are 7 tips that let me leave stuffed for no more than 1500 yen:
Sure, Americans love California rolls and teriyaki, but what do the Japanese make of those foods?
The LA Times put together a handy Venn diagram that shows what Americans (specifically, Los Angeles residents, or 'Angelenos') think to be Japanese food, and it's been compared to what native Japanese include in their own cuisine.
Sushi restaurant mainstays – like California rolls and mochi ice cream – were popular votes among Americans, as was teriyaki chicken, which is often served alongside the sushi at the same place.
Look at what the Japanese include in their own cuisine, though, and you'll find a few surprises. "Hamburg" is basically a hamburger patty served on its own and topped with a sauce. "Curry" is the same in substance to the Indian variety, but the flavor is closer to a beef stew than Chicken Tikka Masala.
Tokyo is a great city for eating with the most Michelin stars in the world. Right now, you can take advantage of the opportunity during Japan Restaurant Week, a promotion for dozens of the best restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe.
The cuisines covered are extensive and include Japanese teppanyaki, sushi, kaiseki, Kobe beef, fugu, Italian, French, Chinese, and even a few more past that.
Even though it's called Restaurant Week, it's actually weeks - three, to be exact.
Another important number is eight. 7 restaurants featured in the Tokyo Michelin Guide are included in the bunch, and one from Osaka.
Participating restaurants offer lunch and dinners at set prices. Lunch is by far the cheapest, when you can eat at some of Japan's finest places for just 2,100 yen.Dinners are more expensive but still a relative bargain compared to what you'd usually pay at these places.
Prices are: Lunch: 2,100 yen Dinner: 5,250 yen or 7,350 (depending on the place)
Japan Restaurant Week runs from now through February 19, 2012.