Types of Japanese Sushi Restaurants

sushi restaurant

In Japan, sushi restaurants can be broadly categorized into three types: “Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurants,” “Mid-range Sushi Restaurants,” and “Luxury Sushi Restaurants.” Each type offers a distinct dining experience, catering to different preferences and budgets.

Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurants


In conveyor belt sushi restaurants, the defining feature is the sushi rotating on a conveyor belt.

Seating: The number of seats varies but typically includes around 40 to 60 seats. The restaurant may have a counter with the conveyor belt and may also provide table seating.

Ordering methods: Customers can freely pick sushi from the rotating belt or use the tablets provided at their seats to place specific orders. Typically, customers use the tablets to place orders for their favorite sushi, but it’s also common to enjoy sushi from the belt while waiting for the ordered items to arrive. Complimentary green tea is self-service, where customers prepare their own tea by adding tea powder to teacups and using the hot water faucet provided at each table.

sushi tablet

Variety of Sushi Toppings: In addition to traditional sushi toppings, conveyor belt sushi restaurants continuously introduce new combinations to appeal to younger customers. However, high-end toppings are relatively limited.

Pricing: The cost is calculated based on the type and number of sushi plates consumed. As a rough estimate, the average cost per person is around 2,500 yen.

In conveyor belt sushi restaurants, customers can enjoy a casual yet delightful dining experience, exploring an array of sushi options at their own pace. The incorporation of new combinations alongside traditional sushi provides a broad range of choices to suit diverse tastes and preferences.

Mid-range Sushi Restaurants

midrange sushi restaurant

Mid-range Sushi Restaurants are the most common form of sushi establishments, encompassing both individually owned small-scale shops and chain restaurants. It is common to walk in without a reservation and find available seating, especially during less crowded hours.

Seating: These restaurants typically have around 10 to 20 seats, offering counter seating and sometimes table seating as well.

Ordering methods: Customers directly place their sushi orders with the chef or the waitstaff. Generally, there are several types of omakase sets (e.g., “Nigiri Ten-piece Set”) available at different price points, apart from ordering à la carte.

Variety of Sushi Toppings: These restaurants mainly serve traditional sushi, with some varieties changing based on the day’s freshest ingredients. They also offer some high-end toppings.

Pricing: Some menus may not display individual prices per piece. However, the estimated total cost per person is around 5,000 to 8,000 yen.

At Mid-range Sushi Restaurants, patrons can relish an authentic sushi experience, combining traditional flavors with seasonal delicacies. Guests have the option to enjoy a balanced assortment of toppings with omakase sets or indulge in their favorite sushi à la carte. These restaurants are popular among sushi enthusiasts as they provide a laid-back and unpretentious ambiance, allowing everyone to savor sushi in a welcoming and enjoyable setting.

Luxury Sushi Restaurants

Luxury Sushi Restaurants

Luxury Sushi Restaurants represent the epitome of upscale sushi dining, often found in individually owned small-scale establishments. Advanced reservations are typically required for these exclusive experiences.

Seating: These restaurants usually offer around 10 to 20 seats, with the majority being counter seating only.

Ordering methods: Guests commonly make advance reservations for course meals, but they also have the option to add their favorite sushi selections by directly ordering from the chef across the counter.

Variety of Sushi Toppings: Luxury Sushi Restaurants predominantly feature traditional sushi toppings, with some varieties changing based on the day’s freshest ingredients. They also offer a wide selection of high-end toppings.

Pricing: While course meals have pre-determined prices, the individual prices per piece for additional sushi selections are often not explicitly displayed. As a rough estimate, the total cost per person can range from around 20,000 to 30,000 yen.

At Luxury Sushi Restaurants, guests can indulge in a refined and luxurious sushi experience, savoring the finest craftsmanship and seasonal delights. With limited seating and meticulous attention to detail, these esteemed establishments provide a truly extraordinary dining affair for those seeking the ultimate sushi indulgence.