This photo was taken a few years ago when I first visited the “land of the rising sun” or as I sometimes call it the land of ramen, Japan :-). I went to this place called Yamaoka-ya (山岡屋) which is a 24-hour ramen shop operated by Maruchiyo Yamaokaya Corporation. The company currently has 130 shops in Japan mainly in Hokkaido, Kanto, Tohoku and Tokai areas. I thought it was pretty cool that you place your order through a vending machine near the entrance of the ramen shop. You then choose what soup base you want plus the ingredients and pay. The machine then spits out a meal ticket that you hand over to the staff who will prepare and serve your meal. The friendly staff will then seat you to one of the booths…well…sort of! It’s similar to a booth but more private I’d say because the dividers were much higher than in a typical restaurant booth. You also have to leave your shoes by the steps (kind of like a one step stool) because you have to sit zashiki style. Although I’ve had ramen many times before, I was quite excited to finally have a taste of Japan’s most popular Chinese dish like I’ve never had it before! I think it’s because I was about to eat ramen and I was in Japan :). It’s the culture and the experience that got me really excited. I pictured Naruto enjoying his favorite ramen as I was enjoying mine! Hahahaha!
It’s definitely a check in my bucket list and I hope to visit some of the best ramen shops in my next visit in the land of the ramen! 😉
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