Conveyor Belt Sushi

My introduction to Japanese food came in two forms – virtually via the Nintendo DS game Cooking Mama, and IRL via the British chain Yo! Sushi in the mid 2000s.

And while not a truly authentic experience, sushi belts do invoke a nostalgia from when I was just a baby weeb.

Excuse the Lego hair and non-eyebrows, 2006 was wild.
Also that’s one way to use chopsticks, I guess.

Kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) is very popular in Japan with tourists and locals alike – especially families, which makes sense as there are many options for fussy little eaters.

The major chains are Genki Sushi, Hamazushi, Kurazushi, Sushiro and Kappazushi – the latter of which we have in Hamamatsu.

Kappa only very recently offered English support, however many places don’t.

If you’re like me and your Japanese is sub-par you can just stab away at the tablet until a little train delivers your sushi to your table. Although before the English text was added – twice I pressed the wrong button which calls staff to your table, and twice I had to apologise in garbled Japanese for being a nuisance.

A little video of my sushi arriving!

Smaller mom-and-pop belts likely won’t have a tablet, and you can either pick off the belt or order from the chef or waitstaff.

(While of course – in normal circumstances – you can pick dishes off the belt, I actually prefer to order every time via the touch screen because then you know it’s made fresh. I’ve also noticed since opening again after Japan’s non-lockdown, there’s been ONLY made-to-order sushi available.)

It’s also very reasonably priced, with plates starting from just ¥100.
There are also special events, such as all-you-can-eat for ¥1500 promotions to seasonal items – such as the beef, urchin and salmon roe plate in the video.

If you have a sweet tooth, their desserts are surprisingly pretty great too so don’t forget to check them out!

Green tea cake.
Matcha brownie and soy-sauce and caramel ice cream.
This was just before Christmas so felt like a two-dessert day!

Is it the tastiest sushi in the world? No.
Is it the fanciest establishment in the world? No.

But sushi for ¥100?
Take THAT, Yo!

~ Carla

Friends · Hamamatsu · Life · School · Teaching · vlog

Life of an ALT: A Day In My Life Vlog

Bearing in mind I haven’t edited anything since I graduated ten years ago, I put together this little “day in my life” video that I filmed last month just for fun.

I love the no-talking, gentle style vlogs that are popular on Youtube at the moment.
But it’s my first time trying a video like this, so please be kind haha!! (っಠ‿ಠ)っ

Late last year I also did a blog post documenting my daily routine being more specific about my time at school if that also interests you.

~ Carla

Bite-Sized Japanter

Bite-Sized Japanter #6 : Why Did You Come To Japan?

No this isn’t about me.

YOUは何しに日本へ? or ‘Why Did You Come Top Japan?’ is a very popular TV show here that has been broadcast since 2012, moving to a prime time Monday slot in April 2013 and on the air ever since.

The premise is very simple: people are interviewed when arriving into various airports (mostly Narita International in Tokyo) and around tourist spots around Japan and are asked the very simple question: “Why did you come to Japan?”

I hadn’t heard about this show until my second time visiting Japan in 2015.
I had NOT had a very good flight and had spent most of the descent throwing up, much to the disgust of the man sitting next to me.

Walking through arrivals weakly rolling my suitcases behind me I was suddenly nearly knocked out by the deafening shout of “AHHHHH PINKUUU GYARULLL!” (I had bright pink hair at the time) and a camera and microphone shoved in my face. “WHYYYYYYY DID YOUUUUUU COME TO JAPAN?”

Slightly stunned, groggy and gross after a thirteen hour flight and my face an interesting shade of green, truth be told it wasn’t my finest hour.
I can’t quite remember when I said, but I remember mumbling something about the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu concert I had tickets to, and vaguely “woooo so so cute Harajuku fashion!” Cringe.

I have no idea if they broadcast it or not, but my guess would be no.
I was barely making any sense in English so how they would have a go at translating whatever came out of my mouth is anyone’s guess.

Still, Japanese people are always impressed when I tell them I was interviewed.
And it’s nice to say I’ve been on the same show as Benedict Cumberbatch. It makes us practically besties now.

~ Carla

Bite-Sized Japanter · NSFW

Bite-Sized Japanter #5: Chestnut & Squirrel

WARNING: I’m apologising in advance – this one’s a bit NSFW but nevertheless interesting.
(Family – give this one a miss!)

The Japanese word for a certain part of the female anatomy is クリトリス (“Kuritorisu”) written in katakana.
A cute play on words in that the first two syllables クリ (“kuri”) is ‘chestnut.’ So it’s often referred to as this.

However my “sources” tell me it is also called a 豆 (“mame” = bean) the same as in most English-speaking parts.
(This kanji is on all soy-based products including milk, so if you are lactose-intolerant it’s an important one to know.)

Finally クリトリス also translates to “chestnut and squirrel” and until quite recently there was a gaijin-friendly “girly bar” in Shibuya called this.

Normal programming will resume soon. I promise.

~ Carla