Put down those elaborate rolls you call sushi. There are no Chocolate City Rolls or Firefighter Rolls in Japan. And don't you dare think about asking for a side of spicy mayonnaise or eel sauce.
Let me teach you about real sushi you'll be seeing in Japan.
For starters, what you see at Japanese restaurants in America are called rolls. Those rolls are elaborate, with fillings ranging from cream cheese to cooked fish and can be topped off with sliced mango or sliced pineapple. These are not considered sushi by definition. Sorry to crush your fantasy about eating this kind of stuff in Japan, but better to hear it sooner than later. The closest thing to a roll in Japan is raw fish in the middle rolled up in rice and wrapped on the outside with seaweed.
Sushi by definition is a slice of raw fish over rice.
Ta-da! Not impressed? It wouldn't surprise me. It doesn't sound like much, does it? But in Japan that's all that's really needed to appreciate the food. The slice of fish that's on the rice will be the freshest fish you've ever tasted in your life. The reason for the fish being so fresh is because in Japan they only keep fish out in stores for about two days. To add to the dedication of the freshness, there's a fish market in Tokyo, Japan called Tsukiji Fish Market. The market opens at 3am and the auctions for the fish begin at about 5:30 am and end at 7am. These sushi chefs wake up at these incredible hours every day to obtain fresh fish for their customers. If you have to have some kind of sauce on your sushi in Japan there will be soy sauce at the table to use.
Is raw fish not your thing? Me neither. Not to worry though. They have "sushi" for us too. There's one called tamago sushi where there's cooked egg over rice wrapped in a seaweed strip. Another one that's my absolute favorite is tempera shrimp sushi where there's a piece of tempera shrimp over rice wrapped in a seaweed strip.
The cheapest and most convenient place to eat sushi at in Japan is at conveyor belt sushi. It's exactly how is sounds. Sushi goes around on a conveyor belt and you choose whatever looks good to you. At the end of your meal a waitress will come to your table to count your plates to tally up how much you owe for your meal.
I hope you got to learn something from this. Please don't be scared to try any of these things. It's always worth trying just to say you've tried it. That applies to all foods in Japan.
Until next time! See ya!
Oh yeah! I got an Instagram! If you'd like, follow me for some more Japan pictures and for my daily life stuff.