Conveyor belt sushi restauratns are very popular among foreing visitors in Japan. There's always a long line of people waiting in front of a famous restaurant.
According to media reports, market size of conveyor sushi restaurants of 2016 is about 605 bilion yen and it is expected to reach 674 billion yen in 2021.
In 1958, Genroku Industry Co., Ltd. of Higashi Osaka City of Japan opened a conveyor belt sushi restaurant for the first time in the world. The late Yoshiaki Shiraishi, the founder of Genroku Industry, had been developed a "swivel meal table" over a long period of ten years, and that became the foundation of conveyor sushi. He got the hint from the belt conveyor which is used in the manufacture of beer factory.
Shiraishi owned a patent related to "swivel meal table". Since the patent expired in 1978, lots of competitors has entered in conveyor sushi market.
Nowadays, some conveyor belt sushi restaurants serve not only sushi but also items like udon and soba noodles, chocolate cakes!