While the state of emergency is slowly lifting across parts of Japan, many people still remain confined to their homes. After more than a month under lockdown, residents are starting to pine for a taste of the little things that make life in Japan so pleasurable. One such twitter user, hungry for the delights of conveyor belt sushi, took matters into his own hands earlier this month with delightful results.

Twitter user Keikyu Itami (@Itami9018F) tweeted a picture on May 3rd showing off his very own sushi train which he had crafted using a toy train for his family. The homespun attempt at conveyor belt sushi flew through Japanese twitter like a Shinkansen, attracting 49,000 retweets and over 159,000 likes.

The video shows how Keikyu Itami placed paper plates holding sushi on top of an electric Pla-rail, or プラレール (pronounced purarēru) in Japanese, model train set. Watching this charmingly childlike sushi-train revolve around Itami’s table is a one-way ticket to nostalgia and joy.

Breaking down their grand design, Keikyu Itami posted follow up close-ups of their handy work.

The sushi train is being driven by none other than Disney’s very own Mickey Mouse, clearly in need of a side job while Tokyo Disneyland is closed.

With permission from Keikyu Itami (@Itami9018F)

Keikyu Itami showed how they secured the plates to the carriages using tape, and connected some of the cars with an elastic band to create space for the plates.

With permission from Keikyu Itami (@Itami9018F)

Many twitter users were moved by the spectacle:

  • This is a new idea! It‘s a great way to eat and have fun at the same time.
  • This doesn’t only excite children, but adults too. Should I try this at home?
  • I was depressed because there’s been so many sad topics of late, but when I watched the video, I felt relaxed. Thank you!

Not only did the post garner a great deal of attention, it also inspired twitter users to share their own sushi train sets, like R.Shinakwa’s (@ryuzy1002) attempt below:

This heartwarming example of playful creativity no doubt brought as much joy to Keikyu Itami’s family as it did to twitter. For any readers missing conveyor belt sushi under lockdown, your electric train set might be all that’s separating you from a revolving plate of chu-chu-Chūtoro (the name for medium fatty tuna served in Japanese sushi restaurants).

By - Toby M.