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Kura Sushi @ Tokyo – Conveyor Belt Sushi. Gachapon Machines. 100 Yen Sushi.

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Explodingbelly recently went on a short getaway to TOKYO, Japan.. again!!! Okay, this time round, the queues were equally insane – for toilets, fitting rooms, Disneyland, and food, the only different thing was, the crazy hot weather and insane perpetual rains. I’ll rant more in the travelogue but for now, let’s get to the point.

I had various places in mind, and one of which was Kura Sushi!

Why?
1)Because eat finish already can get toy, and play with the gachapon machines! I’m a sucker for toys or anything that entices a 10 year old. 

This is a Gachapon machine. No, this is not in the restaurant, this is in a train station. I love Japan.

Fun fact! According to Wikipedia, the word Gachapon comes from 2 sounds – gacha: the sound of turning the knob, and pon: the sound of the ball ball dropping into the chute. Cool beans. And as we know this is HUGE in the Japanese culture, that amalgamation of food and gachapon just sounds so enticing!

2) Sushi on the conveyor belt all costs just ¥100 (S$1.25) – crazily affordable! In Japan, that is.

The Place

While they’ve got 29 (TWENTY NINE DONT PLAY PLAY) outlets around Japan, we went to the one at Ikebukuro, because that’s coincidentally where our hotel was!

Okay I was initially gonna give them a miss because of time and tummy constraints but fate brought us there. On our last night in Tokyo, we ran out of things to eat, and bought a lot of souvenirs at Tokyo station, so I had to first lug it back to the hotel and a quick google check saw that we were just a 10 min walk away from Kura sushi! Lucky me!

Explodingbelly’s friendly directions 

From ikebukuro station, take the East Exit towards Seibu, and once you spot a huge arse adidas store on the streets, you should see this as well:

Spot the ¥100 sign? Ok it doesn’t read ¥100 but 100 something. That’s the place!

Walk into the sort of dodgy building and you’ll spot them straight away:


Head on down and you will most likely see a row of chairs with groups of people waiting around. DO NOT JOIN THEM YET.

Walk into the restaurant and speak to the person in the counter, you’ll be given a queue number. As the numbers are called out in Japanese, a explodingbelly pro tip would be, making a special request to call out your number in English. They could do that, no need scared Paiseh, cause there is no other way for you to track your number.

Now, you can then take a seat within the restaurant or outside the restaurant and wait for your number to be called!

The place has plenty of seating, mostly booth seats. If you have less than 4 pax, you’ll probably be directed to the individual seating area where you could remove the partition to accommodate more pax!

The Food

After a good hour of waiting, our number was finally called!


Actually our conveyor belt always got no sushi de, so it was quite a meh experience for us. But that might be cause it was pretty late at night, or cause we were close to the end of the belt!

Everything on the belt costs ¥100, and additional items can be ordered from the iPad above the table.


 Got a lot of things ah, more sushis, tempura, udon, don, drinks and desserts, just to name a few.

Everything that’s ordered off the iPad menu would arrive on the express belt just above the usual conveyor belt! Like this!

Actually I think you can’t really tell the diff between the belts, but haiya let me eat in peace, don’t keep taking photos. This was our shabu sushi and torched cheesy salmon.

The food took less than 5 mins to arrive, talk about efficiency!

5 of these plates would get you one chance at playing with the gachapon machine.

The quality of the food? Hmm. My favorite was definitely the chawanmushi, followed by the aburi salmon. The rest, were forgettable. Here are some pics of what we had!

Some udon with tempura thingy.This was average, the udon noodles tended to be the more flour-y side, but ok lah, it’s decent.I could not make up what was in this sushi, but I believe it’s a mushroom sushi. Haha! I grabbed it off the conveyor belt because it looked like mushrooms, and I really think it’s mushrooms. 100yen only, just take!

I was surprised to find this on the conveyor belt as well because this is SHIRAKO. If you guys don’t know what shirako is, it is fish sperm. Oooh would I get pregnant after eating this? HAHA!

Anyway, shirako has a much more fishy taste than other kinds of sashimi, so it’s definitely not a crowd pleaser. The dark thing at the side is ketchup, I don’t know about you but I preferred just shirako on its own! A good place for you to try if you’re an adventurous eater! My first experience in Singapore cost me $10 for 50g. So, please try if you have chance to!

ABURI SUSHI! I LOVE. It’s good, just order more. According to my memory, this costs slightly more than 100yen from the ipad menu!

They also have a range of unorthodox sushi toppings like pork belly, shabu, roast beef and even Kobe beef! ALL OF THEM ARE WORTH TRYING. I liked them better than the usual sushi.

All in all the standards of their sushi are not exceptional, most of them were slightly, just slightly below average, honestly, for Japanese restaurants standards. What disappointed me the most was:

img_4313Their salmon belly sushi. Firstly, what kind of appearance is this? And in Japan leh, omg. How can you serve me such salmon sashimi. Oh god, I cannot. Putting this into mouth would definitely trigger your gag reflex – stale sashimi, weird texture and was simply crap. AVOID THIS AT ALL COST!

Anyway the main point is, getting 5 plates to stand a chance to play this gachapon machine!You’ll see these machines attached to each table!

Slot your plates into the hole you’ll find in front of your table and when the count reaches 5, your iPad will start playing a video!

We got a successful chance just on our FIRST try!Super excited to see the ball rolling towards me! I forgot if I mentioned about the chances, but chances of getting a successful try is damn low. Haha, much contrary to my initial belief!YAY! So much for the excitement, what was inside of our winning gachapon ball was just a dragon ball magnet. Like those flimsy magnet – but it’s really the excitement of the whole experience that mattered for us. If you’re going there for the food, ummm.. Maybe not, unless you’re on a budget!

Would I recommend this place?

A HUGE resounding YES, even though the quality of food was really just so-so. The entire experience of it was great and definitely one of its kind, besides they have a HUGE range of items on their menu, you could pick whatever you prefer and have fun!

Find out more about my experiences in Japan here, and check out the video curated for my experience at Kura sushi on @explodingbelly!

Kura Sushi can be found at:

Umm, there’s 362 outlets of them all around Singapore so let me type out the address of the outlet I went:

〒171-0022 Tokyo, 豊島区Minamiikebukuro, 1 Chome−19−5, Gビル南池袋01

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