I am amazed it took me so long into this trip to find a sushi train restaurant, I suppose I may have never found one if it were not for the walk out to the Wood Block Printing Museum and my inherent dislike of returning by the same route. The new route although not quite so scenic, hugging one of the main roads did lead us past an interesting supermarket and this restaurant.
The restaurant isn’t a classy one, it is quite large though with 50 or so 4-6 people booths all clad in vinyl, plastic and other synthetics, easy to clean I guess. There is an audio system belting out a theme tune reminiscent of a Nintendo backing track, it’s not too loud and quite easy to ignore. Though the occasional crescendo of enthusiasm within the track did perk my imagination, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some kid playing Super Mario in the back room.
It was late in the afternoon, so there wasn’t a great amount of sushi on the conveyor belt, quite a lot of tags, I assume advertising the items available on the wall mounted tablet where, once we found the languages button, an order could be placed for a particular item and it is then made fresh. I can’t say the sushi I ate was the best I’ve ever had, but to be fair I’m no great sushi connoisseur, I enjoy it when I eat it, but I don’t eat it very often. I can say I enjoyed the sushi train experience, it was new to me, I’ve never actually been to one, it was quite fun watching the plates go round and to have the Shinkansen shaped train delivering the fresh items slide up alongside the table.
By the end my partner and I had worked through quite a stack of plates, many of them had been nigiri, topped with one thing or another, some delightfully punchy sardine, slightly toothsome octopus, salty and sweet egg, slightly warm glazed prawns or some fatty salmon belly.
A few different items in between all this nigiri, the steamed egg and fish custard was delicate and delicious, the edamame nutty, the warm meat filled inari was both delicious and a nightmare to eat, being slightly too big for a single mouthful.
We also ate some regular inari encased in it’s syrupy bean paste pouch, some still warm fried chicken maki, a little roe. We even tried the natto maki, filled with the local fermented soy beans, I can’t say I enjoyed eating that, the soy beans tasting fousty and a little like how I imagine mildew to taste, though I am glad I tried them.
By the end I was quite proud of the small pile of plates and the range of things I’d got to try, five weeks into a trip and I’m still getting a new food experience, I’m happy about that.