Along with anime, manga, and “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen”'s Piko Taro, one of the most famous things to come out of Japan is the Kaitenzushi conveyor belt sushi restaurant. While customers worldwide can now enjoy the novelty of sitting around a revolving conveyor belt packed with different sushi dishes, one restaurant in Japan is making news for taking the concept to a whole other level, by removing the belt entirely and replacing it with a stream of flowing water.
Charmingly called “Donguri” or “Acorn”, the restaurant is located in Numazu City in Shizuoka Prefecture, roughly 150 kilometers south of Tokyo.
As well as turning the conveyor belt concept on its head, the restaurant steers away from serving sushi, instead choosing to concentrate on a few noodle dishes and a huge variety of sweeter offerings, like parfaits, sundaes and traditional Japanese desserts.
The joy of receiving food and beverages on water is something that Japanese people have enjoyed for centuries: there’s the summer custom of catching “Nagashi Somen” or “Flowing Noodles” with chopsticks from water-filled bamboo poles, and imperial courtiers once enjoyed writing poetry while sipping bowls of sake that flowed down streams as part of the “Kyokusui-no-utage” or “Meandering Stream Banquet Party”.
This restaurant does an excellent job of taking diners back to a more traditional Japan with its unusual delivery system, which includes wooden tubs and seating at white table-top markers which light up with names of different Japanese cities.
After making a food selection at the self-service machine, diners simply clip their order ticket to the little clipboard, pop it in the tub and send it downstream. Once the tub is back on the water and making its way towards you with your meal, the white seat marker lights up. Once the tub is emptied, the light turns off and you get to enjoy your meal.
The gentle flow of the tubs along the beautiful wooden lane are incredibly relaxing to watch, and customers have been sharing photos and videos of the unusual restaurant service online.
The simple concept is incredibly effective and we can’t wait to stop by the restaurant next time we’re in Shizuoka to check them out. Numazu, where the restaurant is located, actually has another claim to fame as one of the main locations in the popular Love Live! Sunshine!! anime series, so you can always walk off the calories from your parfait by checking out some of the real-world locations from the animated series after your meal!
Restaurant Information Donguri / どんぐり Address: Shizuoka-ken, Numazu-shi, Otemachi, 5-8-22 静岡県沼津市大手町5-8-22 Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
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