Finding a good Kaiten-Zushi restaurant, or conveyor belt sushi restaurant, in Tokyo is not such a hard thing to do. Almost every place in Japan serves better sushi than you can find in your typical sushi restaurant in Germany! Even the convenience stores (or just short: konbini) offers better sushi for taking out! Also, kaiten-zushi restaurants are usually cheaper than normal restaurants while still maintaining high quality sushi.
But since I am a food snob and I was traveling through Japan with other food snobs, we didn’t want to go to just any restaurant. So we did our research, checked foursquare, TripAdvisor, and tabelog, and finally came up with this place: Himawari Sushi in Shinjuku!
It is located in West Shinjuku, just a 5 min. walk from the west exit of the train station. The area is also known as Shinjuku Denki-Gai (Electric Street) due to its many electronics stores in just one place. Incidentally, if you are looking for a good bargain on electronic goods and Akihabara (the real Electric Town on the other side of the Yamanote line in Tokyo) is too far away for you, check out the electronics stores here.
We arrived at Himawari Sushi just after it opened, so there were not many customers yet. Once we got in, we were seated immediately and given an English menu. I was very thankful for this, as we had just returned from a strenuous hike at Mt. Takao (or Takao-san) and I did not feel up to reading and translating a menu.
I love kaiten-zushis, you just get to pick everything you like from the conveyor belt and it is usually a lot cheaper than a normal restaurant anyway (not as cheap as the konbini, of course!). Here’s a tip though: If you are at a kaiten-zushi, order directly from the chef inside the conveyor belt. The sushi will be made fresh for you and you never know how long the sushi on the conveyor belt has been going around in circles already.
But I do like to get my inspiration for my next dish from the conveyor belt, though. Another thing I love about kaiten-zushi, and of course, the Himawari Sushi would offer this as well, is that they always offer green tea for free. You get a little bag with some powdered green tea and in front of you there will be a little faucet with hot water, so you can always refill your hot green tea. Lovely idea! And for free! Another reason to simply love kaiten-zushi restaurants!
The Himawari Sushi offers great (if not the best in Shinjuku) sushi, for a very reasonable price. It’s fresh and they have some nice varieties like the kani salada (crab salad). It is also quite popular, though, so if you want to visit this place at dinner time, you should be prepared to wait for a little while before you get seated. It seems especially popular with people just leaving their offices and getting a bite and a few drinks with their colleagues before heading home or to another place for more drinks.
Do you have any recommendations for other restaurants, please let me know! I’m already listing up places for my next visit to Tokyo! Have a great week!
Don’t forget to check my other posts in my Tokyo Foodie Tour series. If you are planning a trip to the ancient capital Kyoto as well, head over to my Kyoto Foodie Tour series.
Planning your trip
There are a lot of good hotels or hostels around in Tokyo. I prefer to stay at an Airbnb apartment. In my experience, it has often proven to be much more affordable and comfortable as well. If you haven’t signed up for Airbnb yet, you can use this link and get 18 € (or 20 $) off of your first booking! If hotels are more your thing, I’ve been told that the Toyoko Inn Hotels are good, so feel free to check their rates!
If you are planning a longer trip through Japan, consider getting the Japan Rail Pass! Read here to find out more about the pass!
To help me plan all my trips and itineraries in Japan, I mostly used the Lonely Planet Japan (Travel Guide)*. I’ve used it a lot when I was living in Japan and found it a great help this time as well!