Our first time
There we were, exploring the part of Tokyo we were in at 10 pm, looking for food. Everything seemed lost when we tried several places for vegetarian food but got turned away. We walked away feeling defeated, but then we saw it. A building with rainbow lights, only 132 yen per plate, it was KURA!! This rotating sushi bar seemed normal but was not because little did we know, it would be one of our highlights, as we would go many more times.
Figuring it out
My mom and I walked into the bustling restaurant and tried to figure out how to start. It turns out that Kura is fully automated and you can do it all by yourself. We walked up to the reservation screen and I started pressing buttons and guessing what the Japanese letters spelled out. We actually did it correctly, but we had to wait for 40 minutes until we got a table but we got to see how the restaurant works. The screen called out our number and we walked up to it and took our receipts. The other screens guided us to our table, and we got seated at the counter which has individual booths. You can pick whether you want individual booths or a box seating when you reserve it but we clicked the individual one, not on purpose and not on accident.
Cucumber roll, Inari sushi, and Vegetable Tempura Udon. There is a conveyor belt but you can also order on the Ipad. As an incentive, they have a game called “bikkura pon” which translates into “bulk prize dispenser” and so after every five plates slid into the slot you have a chance to win a ball with a pin, tape, etc inside. You know if you win by the animation that plays on the screen. Their headquarter location near Oshiage station has an arcade-style game. Luckily we were only a fifteen-minute walk from this one. Kura is actually the world’s largest sushi conveyor belt restaurant.
Our other time
Now let me tell you guys about the other times we ran into Kura. The most memorable being in Kyoto. It all started at the tea ceremony we did. This will not be about the tea ceremony, that is a story for another time, but what they said when we asked them for good vegan options around Kyoto. She said “UZU ramen” and we were, at least I was, hyped about going because it was vegan and looked amazing. Little did we know that there would be a 2-hour wait and you had to have a booking. When I went inside to ask them what the wait time is one of the wait staff looked at the phone, which has google translate open, and said that they are booked though some month that I cannot remember but what I can remember is that it was far away. We and another couple that was also waiting in line realized that we would not be eating there tonight. As we were walking away a guy came up to us and told us another good place to eat so we went there but got rudely turned down after asking if they had veggie options. Then we saw it in all of its glory, KURA, and we now had pretty much no other options after trying and failing multiple times late into the night. We got a reservation and saw that it would be a long wait so we went up to the game cafe we saw and played a few games until our table was ready. Even though we were really tired we enjoyed Kura and had fun. I forgot to mention that the things you order from the Ipad come on a train and you have to press a button to send it back.
If you asked me what some of my Japan trip highlights would be, Kura would definitely be one. Kura was fun, reliable, and tasty.