Sushi has become known around the world not only as a word, but also as a representative of Japanese cuisine. The origin of sushi goes back a long way. It is said to have already existed in the Nara period (710-794). During the Meiji years (1868-1912) it started spreading around the world. It was not until the health benefits of sushi became known and Hollywood stars started eating sushi that even westerners, who would normally refuse to eat raw fish, started to like sushi.
In Japan, there are currently mainly two types of sushi restaurants. One has a few counter seats and tables and is relatively small. This type of restaurant is very traditional. The other type originated in Osaka in 1958 and is known as "kaitenzushi." Kaitenzushi restaurants have reasonable prices, whereas traditional restaurants tend to range from expensive to very expensive. When sitting at the counter, you order directly from the sushi chef and eat the sushi with your hands. Sushi was originally meant to be eaten without chopsticks. Place your index finger on top of the fish and put the rice between your middle finger, ring finger, and thumb. Then, dip the sushi in the soy sauce by flipping it over, flip it back to the original position, and put it in your mouth. The pickled ginger that is served with the sushi is referred to as "gari." It removes the fishy smell and refreshes your tongue so that you can enjoy the next piece of sushi. You can order as much of your favorite fish as you like. Large kaitenzushi restaurants have a conveyor belt on which plates of sushi will travel and pass in front of the customer. As soon as you see a sushi you want to eat, you just snap it up. Leave the empty plates on your table and pile them up after you are done eating. When have finished eating, a restaurant employee will count the plates on your table. In most places, the color or pattern of the plate changes according to the type of dish that is served on it, as does the price. But usually you can eat sushi at a reasonable price. Children also like sushi restaurants, because watching the sushi go around and around is fun. Since the sushi is ready to eat as soon as you sit down, it is also a great place to go when you are in a hurry. It is fresh seafood that makes fish dishes attractive, and while there are many restaurants that offer a variety of fish, some restaurants specialize in certain types of fish. For seafood such as crab, pufferfish, or eel, there are usually specialty restaurants. Restaurants that purchase seafood from local regions are appearing within the cities, but to go to each of these regions and eat fresh pufferfish, crab, or other seafood is a true joy for any connoisseur. Japanese crabs are referred to depending on the region they are caught. If they are from Hokkaido, they are called hair crab or red king crab. If they are caught in the Sea of Japan, they are referred to as Echizen crab, or snow crab, which is also known as queen crab. If you want to eat local pufferfish, Shimonoseki in the Yamaguchi Prefecture is the place to go. Lake Hamana is famous for its eel, but eels are raised all over the country. Sushi, as well as crab, pufferfish, and eel all count as seafood, but when speaking of "seafood" or "shi-fu-do" in Japan, it usually refers to Western-style meals. Dishes with a lot of seafood are called shi-fu-do, including seafood pasta, seafood pizza, or seafood curry.