Thursday, July 28, 2011

Out To Dinner... Whew (Mama's Tired Tonight!)

Kappa Maki!

Gomen nasai!!

Apologies for the sudden blog break-- but Dominic was right, last week was the last week of school (meaning that this week is the first week of summer vacation).

Last week was thus spent getting things done (well, *attempting* to get things done) that are hard to do with three or more kids in the house.  I was mildly successful...;-)  This week has been largely trying to adjust to what I realized today is a new schedule for me-- in Japan in the summer with elementary-age kids (we're usually at my parents:-((  Next time I'll tell you about all the homework...;-)

Kappa Zushi!  Kids' favorite:-)
Today, though, we went to dinner-- yay!  No cooking in the heat! (Actually, the heat isn't too bad so far this summer-- not much over 33, and nights are pretty cool)

The kids picked Kappa Zushi-- their favorite Kaitenzushi restaurant.  Every time we go, it is 1) crowded, and 2) my husband swears he's going to buy stock in the company because it's always jam-packed in there.  That little character in the photo (right) is a Kappa, the water sprite of Japanese folklore whose favorite thing to eat is cucumbers.  That's why those cucumber rolls up there in the top photo are called "Kappa Maki":-)

Ikura-- Cici's favorite these days
You wouldn't think young kids would care much for sushi-- and for the most part, you'd be right.  Makes it hard for parents to go out to a sushi restaurant, in fact.  And therein lies the genius behind the creators of the Kappazushi chain of kaiten sushi restaurants.  First-- it's the kaiten style, where all the sushi is prepared in the back and sent round the restaurant on a revolving belt.  You take plates off yourself as things come by you.  Kids love that-- trust me;-)

Second--they've figured out that, beyond the easy-to-eat eggs (tamagoyaki or tamagonigiri) and Kappamaki (top photo)... most young kids won't yet eat much of the nigirizushi involving sashimi (raw fish).  So they've made up "kid-friendly" nigirizushi...

Teddy's favorite:-) Corn.  Teddy likes this one.  It's a sort of corn-salad on top of the rice and wrapped with nori.

...and Tempura Zushi.  This one is Ebitempura (shrimp) on top of the sushi rice.  Kids like this, too;-)

Hamburger Sushi??

...and Hamburger Sushi.  Yes, really--little hamburgers (with or without the blob of mayo on top) sitting on top of sushi rice, nigiri-style.

The first time we ate there and the Hamburger-Zushi came rolling down the belt, I thought there must surely be people who thought it bordered on the sacrilegious;-)  I haven't personally eaten this one, though all three of my kids like it...


This time the new plate that came around was "Sukiyaki-zushi" with sukiyaki-flavored beef and a little bit of raw egg on top.

I couldn't figure out how they got the egg shaped like that... or how they got it to stay on top...

Of course, you need to see this in action.  Hai, dozo!  I took some video while we were eating (the Sukiyaki-zushi comes by right at the start... the camera follows in disbelief...)  Toward the end of the video you'll see several other reasons kids love this restaurant come by on the belt:

Teddy wants Hamburgerzushi... withOUT mayo!
 If what you want doesn't come round on the belt, you can order what you want using the touchscreen menu... and this is the other brilliant thing the Kappa chain does.  A couple of years ago,  they installed a separate belt (a track, really) above the main belt to keep special orders separate from the generally circulating plates (customers accidentally pulling off somebody's special order was sometimes a problem).  Naturally, it's totally kawaii.  Watch this:

 Is that adorable, or what?  The first time we went after they'd installed the Special Order Train, we hardly got any food because the kids insisted on special ordering everything just to watch their food come to them on the Shinkansen (see how it's made to look like the Bullet Train?)... a sushi restaurant?  Yup.

The train... the juice... the fruit... the dessert.  Yup--they send pudding and cake around the conveyor belt, too (and recently, tiramisu pudding and New York cheesecake, among other things).  The other bit the kids like:-)


(p.s.--  apologies again for the sudden break in posting... I just realized I left everybody hanging after a typhoon post.  Aack!  Typhoon was pfffft---veered off into the Pacific, as usual.  It did get quite cold for several days afterward, though-- cold enough to warrant the warm blankies again)

(p.p.s.-- posting will probably be light for August, due to summer break.  I'm required to be a good Japanese-Make-Your-Kids-Study-As-Much-As-Possible-During-Vacation-Mama for the next couple of weeks.  That's another post:-))


  1. Mmmmmm!!!
    I thoght Bullet Train just before I read your lines beneath the video! Take a look at the poor squid Matthew Cobb has posted on WEIT... :(

  2. It's not bad sushi, considering everything is pretty much Y100 (a dollar) a plate--which is, of course, the other parents take kids there. It's affordable! We have to special order something *every* time-- just to get a couple of plates on the Bullet Train:-))

    Ack! Just watched that vid that Matthew posted-- how have I never heard about that?? Will be asking YokohamaPapa in the morning! That was... weird. And slightly gruesome. And I'm used to seeing ika on sticks...

  3. You're making me feel hungry! :3

    Do you think one day you could do a blog post on how to cook a certain dish? That would be awesome! :)

  4. Would that be a quail egg yolk on the sukiyaki-zushi, or does the price per piece not permit quail egg?

  5. wow delious!
    i love sushi restaurant!


    By the way, these days' American default situations are too concerned.

    I really don't like that they, politicians would struggle for their own benefits...

    What a horrible thing the thoughts of that they could spoil the world's economy, are..

  6. I wanted to apologize for the brief outage of my comments gadget. Blogger must have changed things on their end without knowing it would affect some of the gadgets, and it took awhile to learn how to repair it.

    And, wow, hamburger sushi! What will they think of next? I just tried a new (to me) sushi restaurant last night and it was surprisingly authentic (and therefore excellent). Not kaiten style though.

  7. Obviously you are overwhelmed with family & ho;idays etc at present, but did you see this story?

  8. Amy, this may interest you - inside the Fukushima exclusion zone
    & here

  9. Hi Mama, I run a viral benefit/awareness blog for Japan featuring Namazu as mascot:

    Guest bloggers are welcome, no matter if they contribute odd trivia or serious stuff.
    Best regards,

  10. Been tooooo long between posts - hope you are all well...

  11. Why give the kids a summer vacation if they have to study?

    Come back soon...I miss your posts.