Sapporo, which is at the heart of Hokkaido, is home to many conveyor belt sushi restaurants (“kaitenzushi”). Here are five of the most recommended conveyor belt sushi restaurants in the city.
The shop of Kaiten-sushi Nemuro Hanamaru, a conveyor belt sushi restaurant chain that is mainly found in Hokkaido’s Nemuro district, in JR Tower Stellar Place is easy to visit because it is located in the Station Building that is directly linked to Sapporo Station. It offers a wide array of incredibly fresh toppings made from seafood harvested from Nemuro and nearby seas that are directly delivered to the restaurant. The “Nama Hotate (Raw Scallops) (420 JPY (excl. tax))” and the “Nemuro no Sanma (Pacific saury) (180 JPY (excl. tax))” are very popular and what’s recommended here. This restaurant has toppings unique to Hokkaido all the time, such as the “Benizake Sujiko Shouyuzuke (Salted Red Salmon Roe Pickled in Soy Sauce) (230 JPY (excl. tax))”, so you must check them out! Now if you plan to visit, try to have time to spare for lining up because this is a popular restaurant.
*Photo shows the shop at the New Chitose Airport
1. Kaiten-sushi Nemuro Hanamaru – JR Tower Stellar Place Shop
The branch in Fushiko of TORITON, a chain of conveyor belt sushi restaurants that are mostly located in Sapporo, is popular for the large sizes and variety of toppings on their sushi, and its seats get occupied as soon as the shop opens. Freshly caught local seafood from Hokkaido are cut and trimmed when they get to the restaurant, so they are guaranteed fresh. This restaurant has toppings that will give you a taste of the seasons in Hokkaido. Now, of the wide array of toppings available here, the “Atsugiri Sanma (Thick-Sliced Pacific Saury) (190 JPY (excl. tax))” and the “Ikura (Salted Salmon Roe) (230 JPY (excl. tax))” soaked in a carefully selected sauce are such superb toppings! You have got to try them.
2. TORITON – Fushiko Shop
Matsuriya is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant that is well loved by the locals. Its menu features more than 250 items, including desserts. Here, you will enjoy a variety of sushi, from the standard toppings that use carefully selected ingredients, up to the toppings that are in season in Hokkaido. The toppings are huge, too. The popular salmon comes in a number of preparations, including the “Salmon (160 JPY)” that will let you taste the simple ingredients, the “Aburi Salmon (189 JPY)” that is lightly grilled, the “Ikejime (method of cooking wherein the fish is killed in the fish tank immediately before cooking) Salmon (189 JPY)”, and the “Aurora Salmon (248 JPY)” with the right amount of fat. This restaurant also has dishes other than hand-rolled sushi, and one dish that is particularly recommended here is the “Mini-Zuke Bara Nama Chirashi (Rice Bowl with Diced Sashimi) (330 JPY)” with a heaping amount of toppings such as tuna and salmon that change every day. For dessert, enjoy the soft-serve ice cream and pudding!
*Photo is for illustration purposes
3. Matsuriya – Sapporo Shinkotoni Shop
Kutchauzo is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant that has a vibrant atmosphere that is free of pretensions. Every morning, it gets the fresh ingredients it uses on its dishes directly from the Sapporo Central Market. Majority of its sushi toppings are reasonably priced at 120 JPY – 220 JPY (excl. tax), thereby making this restaurant popular among locals. Aside from the recommended “Hon-Maguro Akami (Lean Pacific Tuna)” and “Unagi (Eel), all the other toppings here have a reputation for tasting so much better than expected for their price. And depending on the season, rare toppings that are unique to Hokkaido also pop out, including “Tennen Ikejime Soi (Rockfish)” and “Nama Nishin (Raw Pacific Herring)”. So, if you visit Sapporo, you should definitely drop by this restaurant.
Katsuissen – Minami 3 jo Shop is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant that offers fresh toppings, centering on seafood from Hokkaido. It is easy to visit thanks to its excellent location, standing right next to Susukino Station that is at the core of Sapporo. It is definitely a popular restaurant, but you can get in without having to wait in line for a long time, so it is recommended to those who wish to eat reasonably priced and high-quality sushi. Here, sushi prices start at 100 JPY (excl. tax), and its menu features sushi that use the seasonal toppings from Hokkaido, as well as numerous unique toppings such as the popular “Salmon Oyako (literally “parent and child”) (290 JPY) (excl. tax))” that will let you taste salmon and salmon roe at the same time, and the “Katsu Hokki/Katsu Hokki Kogashi Shouyu (Live Clams/Parched Clams in Soy Sauce) (380 JPY (excl. tax))”. Aside from these, there are also many ala carte dishes, including “Sashimi Moriawase (Assorted Sashimi)” and “Zangi (Hokkaido-Style Fried Chicken). Another appeal of this restaurant is that you can drink various kinds of shochu (Japanese white distilled liquor) for 500 JPY (excl. tax) flat each shot and local sake from 500 JPY (excl. tax). There are private rooms, too, so use them if you want to take your time and relax while eating!
They say that Hokkaido, where there is an abundance of seafood, has many high-quality conveyor belt sushi restaurants. Now, there are a lot of other sushi restaurants besides those listed here, so try to find the one you like best!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.