Is there such thing as japanese buffet in Japan?
I remember seeing an article on hotel buffets in Otona no Shumatsu magazine, and of the ones they mentioned in their top 10, only 2 offered a washoku buffet.
Omborato restaurant on the 3rd floor of the Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku offers a weekend-only washoku buffet.
The other place mentioned was the weekday lunch buffet at the Intercontinental Tokyo Bay at the restaurant Blue Veranda. I tried to confirm their menu online, but it looks like a general buffet, with perhaps a few washoku items. Most of the blogs seemed to be women raving about the dessert stations. Seems like a reasonable buffet for 2000Y.
Carne Station is a buffet place that focuses on Korean BBQ, but also has sushi, gyoza, and a dozens or so other things- including desserts, draft beer, and liquor! They have a make your own waffle station there as well. It's run by meat wholesalers Hanamasa, so the BBQ is the best part. There are several branches. Here is the Ginza one- http://r.gnavi.co.jp/fl/en/g081207/.
Buffet is usually called "Viking" style dining in Japanese.
Though not the kind you're looking for or the kind you find outside of Japan, my favorite buffet is Kakiyasu Sanjaku Sanzun Bashi.
The price is very reasonable--1800 yen for lunch and 2500 yen for dinner. You can add all-you-can drink (beer, wine, umeshu, shochu, soft drinks) for 1000-2000 yen.
I've been only to the one in Shimsaibashi, Osaka, which closed in Feb. (don't know why it closed. They seemed to have always been packed.) I checked out the one in Umeda, Osaka, but the Shimsaibashi location had a bigger selection, including the dessert. The food there was very good.
re: lost squirrel
Eh, it's a meat and beer buffet. It was fun with a group of rowdy guys. And there's something magical about being able to make your own waffles......If you're Japanese is alright or even if you can at least read addresses, you can pick up specific guidebooks dedicated to tabehoudai/ viking and yakiniku dining in Tokyo.
Japan is a pretty big place - you might want to narrow down your inquiry by city at least.
In general though, yes there are Japanese buffets, but they tend not to include all the dishes you describe. No no Budo (http://www.bento.com/rev/2452.html ) has a good selection of home-style Japanese dishes. And some of the hotel buffets might include Japanese dishes along with other types of food. That might be your best bet. Other possibilities include The Premium in Kobe (http://www.bento.com/kansai/rev/9086.html ) and Aen Table in Osaka (http://www.bento.com/kansai/rev/8212.... ).
Good-quality tempura really isn't so compatible with this format, as it gets soggy quickly and should be served piping hot. Good-quality sushi doesn't benefit by sitting out on a table either. The Hina chain serves all-you-can-eat sushi, but I don't think it's buffet format.