Genki Sushi

Embrace the Conveyor Sushi Experience at Genki Sushi on Big Island
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Bringing a unique Japanese method of serving sushi to Hawaii's Big Island, the Genki Sushi location in Kailua Kona delivers familiar rolls and sashimi via conveyor belts or small bullet trains. Reasonable prices and a diverse menu make this an excellent destination if you're not typically a huge fan of sushi.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

There’s no shortage of sushi on Hawaii’s Big Island, to the point that all the options can feel overwhelming at times. If you want a unique experience that allows you to eat quickly and be on your way, Kailua Kona’s Genki Sushi location may be worth a try. It certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s a solid option for getting the sushi you crave at a reasonable price.

If you’re a sushi aficionado, you’ve probably heard of the iconic Genki Sushi approach. The vast chain originated in Japan, where Fumio Saito came up with the genius idea of using a revolving conveyor belt to serve sushi efficiently. Since then, the Genki Sushi chain has expanded greatly, reaching not only all areas of Japan, but also, the Hawaiian islands. The Kailua Kona location makes it possible to enjoy the best of this unique sushi experience without traveling to another country.

Variety is the name of the game at Genki Sushi, where you can find all your favorite rolls. Options are available for both sushi novices and adventurous types who are eager to try something new. Ordering takes place via a tablet computer and is limited to just four items at a time — but that’s actually an ideal pace for most visitors. You’ll still receive your sushi quickly, but you’ll also be forced to savor each roll as it arrives.

Not all kids are amenable to sushi, but visiting this restaurant can be an incredibly family-friendly experience. Kids are fascinated by the conveyor belt concept — but they’re even more impressed by the small bullet train that makes the rounds with select dishes.  Young visitors who don’t eat sushi may enjoy other Japanese favorites, such as gyoza, ebi fry, or chicken katsu. 

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Spicy Tuna Ebi Fry Roll
As one of the more popular items offered at Genki’s Kailua Kona location, this roll is a solid choice for all types of visitors. The tuna flavor isn’t particularly strong, but therein lies the appeal for some. 

Hot Dog Roll
A winner for children or anyone who is typically averse to sushi, this inside-out-roll is served in accessible bite-size pieces that are easy to consume when you’re in a rush. 

Ahi Poke Bowl
Try a uniquely Hawaiian dish featuring chunks of tuna. This popular dish is also available in a flavorful version that includes spicy tuna.

Sashimi Combo
Struggling to select just one type of sashimi? Multiples are available at this Genki location, but you have the opportunity to try several at once when you order this combo. It comes with salmon, ahi, and hamachi sushi, all of which you’ll find enticing.

Genki Set
When you want sushi on the go and aren’t quite sure what to order, you can streamline the process by getting the Genki set. This assortment hits all the essential categories and should be filling enough to leave you satisfied. Genki sets are available in different sizes, so consider ordering the largest if you want to share with loved ones.

Genki Sushi is by no means the fanciest sushi destination on the Big Island, but it’s worth visiting nonetheless. Stop by for affordable Japanese and Hawaiian favorites delivered via conveyor belt and bullet train systems that you won’t quickly forget. 

Insider Tips:
-Take care when ordering sushi online, as the process involves selecting from a long list of Genki Sushi locations. 
-While conveyor belt ordering is typically thought of as an efficient approach to dining out, this small location can sometimes be incredibly busy — and surprisingly slow. If you visit during peak dinner hours, be prepared to wait up to half an hour.
-When in doubt, order from the server rather than pulling dishes off the conveyor belt. When the restaurant isn’t busy, some items remain on the conveyor long enough to prevent them from being as fresh as desired.
-Visitors beware: while this location has definitely improved over time, it’s previously had issues with the Department of Health.