By MiNa Kim
Before coming to Japan, the kaiten sushi experience was a dream. A beautiful dream of cheap sushi flowing down a belt from sushi heaven, where in the end, the bill wouldn`t be ⅓ of your paycheck. Now, the kaiten sushi experience is a reality, where you are greeted at the door by a picture of a cucumber loving river monster, and you don’t know half the fish you are eating in English.
However, I think that we can all say that we miss the American sushi classics such as the California roll, or anything doused in spicy sauce. Well, this summer, you should check out the California roll at the new Kaiten restaurant, Hamazushi, which has opened in Aomori. I went to the newly built chain in our favorite faux-American town, Misawa! Hamazushi can be found on the 10号線across from the Asahi Superdrug store by Universe. The price is your standard 100 yen a plate, but on weekdays you can eat for about 90yen a plate.
When you walk into the restaurant, it looks like any other standard sushi chain. When you sit at your table, everything you need(wetnaps, cups, soy sauce dish, etc) is at the table, along with 4 types of soy sauces from different regions of Japan. When you look at the belt, you will see plates of sushi, but also many black boat-looking dishes with “order” written on it. If it has food on top of it, do not take it. Hamazushi does not have the cute shinkasen system that delivers your orders like Kappazushi. Instead your order will come down the belt on top of these “order boats” and you must grab it when the menu screen flashes that your order is arriving (if someone else hasn’t accidentally taken it already). To be honest, it was quite annoying.
The menu at Hamazushi in Misawa had many meat sushis, topped with cheese and spicy sauce that tasted similar to sriracha. Our beloved California rolls actually had real avocado inside. Cheese fries, Karaage, and many other fried foods were available. They have all the classic cake and crepe desserts but also anidoufu, which was BOMB. I highly recommend it if you are fan! Also, it might be for a limited time, but they also offered unagi (for 100 yen!) if you don’t mind eating the not-so-pretty ends, or a fancier cut which was one piece for 100yen. Perhaps it was the influence of having a military base near by, perhaps all the chains are like this, but it definitely catered to people who are not big raw sushi fans, so if raw sushi isn’t your thing but all your friends are, this could be a place worth checking out for an all around accommodating place to eat!
According to the website map, Hamazushi can be found in Misawa, Aomori city, and Tsugaru city. http://www.hamazushi.com/hamazushi/
So in short,
Pros: More American menu, cheap, many soy sauce variety
Cons: Slow delivery system/ no fun shinkasen