Why Sushi Is The Perfect Meal For Solo Travelers?

Dinner is my least favorite meal while travelling solo. As an avid foodie, I like trying different foods and restaurants in the places I visit. I do not mind having breakfast and lunch alone. The only meal that concerns me is dinner. I believe this because dinner appears to me to be the most sociable meal. It is a time when friends and family meet around a table to share the events of the day, update each other on their lives, and debate current events. I always feel more comfortable eating breakfast and lunch alone. You may be out doing errands or on your lunch break from work.

Although I dislike having dinner by myself, I also dislike carrying food back to my hotel room. Experimenting a country’s food is essential to understanding its culture.Why would I choose to avoid that? So it was a pleasant surprise when I dined at my first conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, and discovered that I really loved the experience. During my stay in Japan, I learned that sushi, whether from a conveyor belt or not, is the perfect meal for solo travelers.

4 Reasons Sushi Is The Perfect Meal For Solo Travelers

1. Historically, sushi is a quick meal

When sushi was created, it was Japan’s fast food option. Traditional sushi restaurants are small and only have standing space at the bar. There isn’t any table seating. Sushi was intended to be eaten quickly. Customers are supposed to grab a standing seat at the bar, order pieces of sushi that they can eat with their hands if they chose to do so, and then pay at the hostess station on the way out. Once one person leaves their spot, another can squeeze into the space. You can have a sushi meal in roughly 20 minutes, if not faster. To this day, sushi is still enjoyed at this type of traditional restaurant.

conveyor belt sushi

If you’d rather sit, my favorite option is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. I loved doing this because you can take your time and eat slowly as the sushi slides past you. You can also eat quickly, grabbing plates off the belt as you wish, instead of having to wait to order and for your food to come. You can also see all the sushi options, as opposed to just seeing a menu. Lastly, you may be more inclined to try something new if you see it directly in front of you, as opposed to seeing it on the menu.

Therefore, sushi is the perfect meal for solo travelers because you can eat at your own pace, and you may try something new without needing encouragement from a friend!

Read also: 9 Ways to Act Like a Local in Tokyo

2. Sushi is healthy!

Fish is very healthy and sushi in Japan is the standard by which all sushi is measured. It is perhaps the freshest fish you will find in sushi! While it’s nice to be able to finish a meal quickly when you are a solo traveler, that doesn’t mean that you should have to compromise on the standard of food you are consuming.

Therefore, sushi is the perfect meal for solo travelers because it is healthy!

3. You can learn about Japan by eating sushi.

Like I said earlier, I don’t take food to go for dinner when I travel because food is such an integral part to many countries. It is embedded in a country’s history, social customs and culture. I think eating is one of the best ways to learn a lot about a country you are visiting. Sushi is one of the most popular types of meals in Japan. There is a proper way to eat sushi {head to Sushizanmai for your first sushi meal in Japan. Their guide will help you learn how to eat sushi the proper way!}. It is also a huge industry in Japan. Just visit the Tsukiji Fish Market with Japan Wonder Travel {review coming soon!} to see for yourself! Did you know that in one night, 17 million USD worth of fish are sold at the fish market? I was amazed when I heard that figure! It just goes to show that fish is what feeds so many Japanese citizens, visitors in Japan and provides jobs for countless locals in various ways {chefs, distributors, fishermen, etc.}.

Therefore, sushi is the perfect meal for solo travelers because eating sushi opens a window to learning about Japan.

Read also: Why Every Woman Need to Travel Solo

4. You can try lots of different things!

I love eating out with other people because you can all order something different and try each other’s dishes. However, when you dine alone, you can only have what you order. Sigh! Thankfully, this doesn’t apply to sushi in Japan! Each plate of sushi generally comes with one or two pieces of sushi on it. Whether you are at a conveyor belt restaurant or ordering from a menu, you can order a handful of different items. If I ordered five different plates of sushi, that’s roughly 10 pieces of sushi, with 5 different types of fish!

Therefore, sushi is the perfect meal for solo travelers because you can try many different things without having too much food!

Why is sushi so popular in Japan?

In the past century or so, sushi has become one of the most popular worldwide foods, and sushi restaurants are simple to locate all over the globe, notably in the United States. The Japanese culture is rooted in the pursuit of excellence, whether in their job or career, in school, or even in basic day-to-day activities such as bonsai tree cultivation.

The Japanese appreciate in themselves and others a high level of dedication and the ability to achieve excellence in all endeavours.
If you have had sushi, you understand why. The flavour is the most evident reason for sushi’s current popularity. I think of it as an explosion of flavour in a tiny quantity, something you don’t often encounter in other foods. Sushi is a fast and convenient solution for folks who are in a rush. In contrast to a multi-course meal consisting of appetisers, entrées, and desserts, sushi may be prepared in 15 to 30 minutes, making it a fast lunch or dinner choice.

Sushi is one of these easy-to-carry foods. Sushi may be conveniently stored and transported in paper bags or disposable plastic containers. In addition, sushi is a reasonably hygienic finger food: sticky rice binds the condiments together, often with the assistance of seaweed. Additionally, these bite-sized pieces of sushi tend to fit well in our mouths.

Read also: 6 Reasons Why Food Is The Best Way To Experience Culture

Is it safe to eat raw fish in sushi?

Sushi has been consumed for millennia, and millions continue to consume it everyday without becoming ill. Sushi eaters may enjoy several health advantages if they consume it in moderation and at reputable establishments. In addition to parasites, raw fish offers a number of other risks to consumers. Bacteria may grow in non-fresh fish and release histamine-producing enzymes, which can cause Scombroid poisoning. Certain tropical fish may contain ciguatera, a natural toxin that causes gastrointestinal and neurological problems.

Sushi consumers normally do not need to be concerned since sushi establishments take precautions while handling and cooking their seafood. A necessary stage requires freezing fish at -4 degrees Fahrenheit for seven days or at -31 degrees Fahrenheitfor 15 hours, which eliminates parasites. Sushi chefs with the proper training know how to purchase, inspect, store, and handle fish to limit the danger of sickness and parasites.

In Japan, sushi chefs must be licenced; in the United States, this is not needed. Also, while purchasing fish, visually check it to ensure that it seems and smells healthy and fresh. (Fish with a strong fishy or sour odour are more likely to be contaminated with dangerous germs.)

How long does it take for sushi to go bad?

The expiry date of sushi depends on the components of the roll. All leftovers, including sushi and your grandmother’s chicken soup, must be refrigerated as soon as possible. Within 20 minutes, germs that cause disease may quadruple at room temperature, so the sooner you cool your food, the better. If the sushi contains raw fish, it is OK to take some leftovers home and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. The flavour and texture of sushi may vary after 24 hours (e.g., softer sashimi, limp seaweed paper, tougher rice), but there should be no damage in consuming it.

If you are cooking maki rolls at home (without raw fish, for example) and you have leftovers, do not roll them in advance. Make the rolls the next day after refrigerating the contents and removing the rice from the refrigerator. If you have a Japanese rice cooker, you may even keep the rice in it and bring it to room temperature before serving.

If your sushi has an unpleasant smell, it is no longer fresh and you should not eat it. If your sushi is really cold when you get it, let it a minute or two to warm up before smelling it. If your sushi has a strong or visible smell, you should not consume it. Refrigerate the remaining sushi by placing it in an airtight container. This will prevent smells from the refrigerator and prevent the dish from drying out. These requirements also apply to sushi cooked at home.

The downside to eating sushi as a solo traveler…

is that sushi is expensive! I could spend $20 USD on a sushi meal and still not be full. Obviously, sushi is expensive whether you are traveling alone or not; however, when you are eating with more than one person, you can split the meal!

Do you enjoy eating alone when you travel solo? Have you discovered a favorite meal to eat or venue-type to eat alone in? I’d love to hear about your solo foodie experiences in the comments below!


I’m in my late twenties who loves the freedom of traveling, the feeling of being anonymous in cities, vegan food, nature and the ocean. I feel the happiest when I’m on the move and in the moment.

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Kara Bout It