The days of kaiten-zushi (conveyor-belt sushi) may be coming to an end as they get replaced by express delivery direct to tables but that original style lives on at this restaurant where dishes arrive via the water.
Only a fortnight after visiting the vending machine restaurant in Gunma I was yet again combining some J-League football with a quirky, fun restaurant and I just had to squeeze this place into my schedule when I took a day trip to Numazu in Shizuoka prefecture.
Donguri (5-8-22 Otemachi) opens at 11am and I was there just before it opened which on reflection was unnecessary but that was the only time I could really go. Being first in did enable me to get some shots of the place before it became busier though.
As soon as you enter there is a bilingual ticket machine on the left (the English is above the machine – I didn’t notice this till my second order!) and you then take any seat and attach your ticket to one of the plastic clip-holder things on your table. Place that order in one of the wooden baskets floating around and it’ll work its way towards the kitchen chefs.
Each seat has a designated city or town name with mine being Hakone (hot spring resort town) in Kanagawa prefecture. When your order is floating down the water towards you it lights up to notify you of its arrival and within above five minutes my kishimen noodles (broad and flat noodles often seen in the Nagoya area) were working their way to me as you can see in my YouTube video below. Click here to watch it if that video doesn’t play.
I didn’t really need it but decided to order a strawberry parfait (below) just to experience such a unique delivery system once more.
It’s not just the food which is of interest at Donguri as the decor is also pretty cool and there are glass cabinets and wall displays containing all manner of pop-art junk which very much reminded me of the Ayashii Shonen Shojo (Mysterious Boys and Girls) and Maboroshi Museum‘s in Izu.
There is an old fashioned jukebox in the store with an eclectic mix of records to choose from if that floats your boat. A lot of them are J-pop songs I’ve never heard of but there were some international ones from Abba, Michael Jackson, Kiss as well as the Ghostbusters theme tune, the classic Toto tune ‘Africa’ and there’s even the soundtrack to ‘You Only Live Twice‘ (1967) which remains the only James Bond film to have been set in Japan.
It may be a floating restaurant of sorts but this place goes down very well! It’s a great fun place to visit but not one to linger for too long and indeed I was out of there after half an hour as I decided to race over to the other side of the station to catch a bus to the Shizuoka Ashitaka Athletic Stadium for some J3 football.
Click here to read ‘Day Trip To Numazu’
Click here to read ‘Dining Out: Jihanki Shokudo (Vending Machine Restaurant)