fp: outing to shinagawa & gotanda

Dah lama tak bawak anak2 jalan2 ke Tokyo (ketiga2 sekali), sbb ada je yg tak sihat dan terpaksa tinggal kat rumah. Hari ni nak pi makan sushi @ Kura sushi di Shinagawa dan karaoke di Gotanda. Mula2 ingat nak ke kouen but malam cepat sekarang, so terpaksa cancel. Keluar dari rumah dlm pkl 11:45. Then terus ke Shinagawa eki. Plan awal nak pi makan sushi sama dengan keluarga Abg Zakri but terpaksa cancel sbb Abg Zakri ada kerja yg perlu disettlekan. Last2 kami je pi makan sushi. Sblm ke sushi, kami jln2 sekitar eki sbb Kak Aini bagitau org ramai tgh tunggu giliran nak dptkan meja. So singgah di Nihon Seimei (Nissay) kerana ada pertunjukkan belon. Anak2 dpt belon sorang satu: pedang untuk boys dan bunga untuk Alya. Boleh ambik segenggam sweats and chocholates. Then baru ke Kura sushi. Terpaksa tunggu dlm 1 jam untuk dpt meja. Lepas ni tak payah nak tunggu lama2 sbb dah tahu boleh book seat tru hand phone. Byk jugak anak2 makan, maklumla semua tgh lapar selepas 1 jam menunggu dan dah lama tak makan sushi di kedai, selalunya beli yg ‘take away’ or demae (delivery). Lagipun byk yg boleh depa makan esp. ice creams, pufeits, cakes etc. Alya boleh makan sampai > 6 kan (ketul) salmon. Zakwan dan Zarul dpt favorite neta (sushi types) mcm ikura (telur salmon), salmon etc. Anak2 dpt 2 mainan sbb tiap kali masukkan 5 piring akan ada roullete or lucky draw. Last2 sedar2 kami dah makan 35 piring but sbb 1 piring 100 yen …kira ok la. Tu belum campur ice-creams, parfeits, miso soup etc. Lepas tu kami ke kouen (taman) di tengah2 bangunan, yg mmg popular dikalangan org yg kerja di sekitar Shinagawa eki. Lepas sesi bergambar, kami ke Gotanda for karaoke. Kami ambik 1 jam je sbb dah pkl 4:00 ptg masa tu. Anak2 dgn lagu Zousan, Ookinakurinokinoshitade, dan mcm2 lagu kanak2, mama mcm biasa lagu2 zaman2 dulu dan sekarang mcm Shirushi (Mr. Children), However (Glay) etc. Then singgah beli roti @ Tokyu Store. Sampai rumah dlm pkl 5:30.

Conveyor belt sushi (回転寿司, kaiten-zushi?) (also called sushi-go-round (くるくる寿司, kuru kuru sushi?), mainly by foreigners living in Japan), is the popular English translation for the Japanese fast-food sushi. In Australia, it is also known as sushi train.

Kaiten-zushi is a sushi restaurant where the plates with the sushi are placed on a rotating conveyor belt that winds through the restaurant and moves past every table and counter seat. Customers may place special orders, but most simply pick their selections from a steady stream of fresh sushi moving along the conveyor belt. The final bill is calculated based on the number and type of plates of the consumed sushi. Besides conveyor belts, some restaurants use a fancier form of presentation such as miniature wooden “sushi boats” traveling small canals, or miniature locomotive cars.

Conveyor belt sushi (回転寿司, kaiten-zushi?) (also called sushi-go-round (くるくる寿司, kuru kuru sushi?), mainly by foreigners living in Japan), is the popular English translation for the Japanese fast-food sushi. In Australia, it is also known as sushi train.

Kaiten-zushi is a sushi restaurant where the plates with the sushi are placed on a rotating conveyor belt that winds through the restaurant and moves past every table and counter seat. Customers may place special orders, but most simply pick their selections from a steady stream of fresh sushi moving along the conveyor belt. The final bill is calculated based on the number and type of plates of the consumed sushi. Besides conveyor belts, some restaurants use a fancier form of presentation such as miniature wooden “sushi boats” traveling small canals, or miniature locomotive cars.

Visiting a conveyor belt sushi restaurant
The most remarkable feature of conveyor belt sushi is the stream of plates winding through the restaurant. The selection is usually not limited to sushi, but may also include drink in Tetra Paks, fruits, desserts, soups, and other foods. Beer can be ordered from the attendants, often served with an empty plate to keep track of the total bill. The conveyor belt sushi restaurants are usually considered toward the bottom end of both price and quality compared to traditional sushi restaurants, but have a popular appeal nonetheless.

Busy sushi restaurants serve the best quality, as the sushi gets eaten faster and does not get dry while rotating for a long time. Some restaurants may even have RFID tags or other systems in place to remove sushi that has rotated for too long. Some inexpensive conveyor belt sushi restaurants may imitate an expensive dish using less expensive ingredients. For example, they may replace chopped fatty tuna belly meat with other fish meat. However, some larger chains can still keep down costs for quality food by ordering in large amounts.

Special orders
If customers cannot find their desired sushi, they can also make special orders. Sometimes speaker phones are available for this purpose above the conveyor belt. If a small quantity of sushi is ordered, it is also placed on the conveyor belt, but marked in a way so other customers know that this dish is ordered by someone. Usually, the plate with the sushi sits on top of a labeled cylindrical stand to indicate that this is a special order. For large orders the sushi may also be brought to the customer by the attendants.

Necessary condiments and tools are usually found near the seats, for example pickled ginger, chopsticks, soy sauce, and small dishes for the soy sauce. Wasabi may also be either at the seat, or pots of wasabi are placed on the conveyor belt. Self-served tea and ice water is usually complimentary, with cups stacked on a shelf above the conveyor belt and teabags or green tea powder in a storage container on the table. There is also a hot water faucet at the tables to make tea. On the shelves are also usually wet paper towels and plastic boxes to store sushi for take-out customers.

Billing
The bill is calculated by counting the number and type of plates of the consumed sushi. Plates with different color, pattern, or shape have different prices, usually ranging from 100 yen to 500 yen. The cost of the different plates is shown on signboards or posters in the restaurant. In general, cheap items come on plain plates, and the level of plate decoration is related to the price. The most expensive items tend to come on golden colored plates. Expensive items may also be placed on two plates at the same time, with the price being the sum of the price tag associated with the individual plates. Some conveyor belt sushi restaurant chains, such as Kappa Sushi or Otaru Zushi, have a fixed price of 100 yen for every plate. This is similar to the phenomenon of 100-yen shops. Finally, there may also be all you can eat sushi restaurants, where the customer can eat as much as he/she can for a fixed price. A button above the conveyor belt can be used to call the attendants to count the plates. Some restaurants also have a counting machine where the customer drops the plates so that they can be counted automatically.

Targeted customers
Conveyor belt sushi restaurants are often frequented by value-minded consumers and those who may not have time for a leisurely meal. They are also popular among foreigners and families with children, as no special Japanese language skills are needed to read a menu or to order. Furthermore, there is no danger of leftover food for small eaters or remaining appetite for big eaters due to the endless supply of small portions available.

The traditional sushi shop has its own special language, such as using murasaki (meaning “purple”) for soy sauce instead of the usual word, shōyu. Sushi chefs were said to treat customers better if they knew the correct jargon. One of the reasons why conveyor-belt sushi has become successful is said to be that there is no need to learn the special words and culture of the traditional sushi shop.

A note of etiquette: it is considered bad manners to put a plate of sushi back on the belt even if you immediately change your mind about having picked it up.

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