Kura Sushi opens flagship in Tokyo’s Asakusa with tech to handle 104 languages

Conveyor belt sushi chain Kura Sushi Inc. opened a flagship restaurant Wednesday in Asakusa, a popular tourist spot in Tokyo.

Decorating the interior of the restaurant with ukiyo-e woodblock prints and other items in traditional Japanese culture, Kura Sushi hopes to attract tourists from abroad.

The store has the largest number of seats among all of the company’s outlets in Japan.

Kura Sushi also unveiled a plan to open its first Chinese store in Shanghai by the end of this year and reopen a business in Fukushima Prefecture.

By accelerating new store openings, the company aims to double the number of its stores in the world to 1,000 in 2030.

Kashiwa Sato, a creative director known for his work on the logo for Fast Retailing Co.’s Uniqlo casual apparel chain, supervised the interior of the flagship store in Asakusa.

Its walls are decorated with ukiyo-e artworks and Japanese lanterns. Plain wood is used for tables and pillars, while seats are covered with tatami floor mats. The restaurant also provides a space for customers to enjoy a target-shooting game and quoits.

With 272 seats, the outlet employs voice translation equipment that can handle 104 languages. Kura Sushi expects 20 to 30 percent of store visitors to be foreign.

The company currently has some 440 outlets in Japan and more than 20 each in the United States and Taiwan. It aims to boost total global sales to ¥300 billion in 2030 from ¥136.1 billion in the year that ended in October 2019.

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