Monday, April 14, 2008

sushi conveyor belt: people watching

the idea of a conveyor belt carrying sushi around is kind of strange, but it is a 240 billion yen market each year in Japan. conveyor belt sushi restaurants are typically bottom market restaurants, equivalent to your average fast food restaurant in America.

Yoshiaki Shiraishi developed it after having problems with under staffing at his sushi restaurant. sushi conveyor belts typically run clockwise at 8cm/sec to make it easy to lift sushi plates off the belt with your left hand so you can hold the chopsticks in your right hand. you wait, until you see a plate that you want, and then lift it off the conveyor belt. you are typically charged based on number of plates, and the color or shape of those plates.

in an effort to cut back on uneaten sushi, they now have interactive sushi conveyor belts where you sit in front of a touch screen computer displaying a fish aquarium. you click on the fish you would like, they make it, and place it on the conveyor belt. clever.

the short film below was made by Andy Scearce. he places a camera on the conveyor belt at a restaurant in Tokyo at approximately midnight. i think its really intriguing.

"People travel to faraway places to watch in fascination the kind of people they ignore at home."-dagobert d. runes

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