There is a place for those days you simply are in craving for a quick meal, so concentrated that you won’t even try to start an interaction with anybody, disturbing you from your bowl of Ramen. In Japan, there’s Ichiran Ramen. A ramen shop chain so popular that sells their own products in their restaurants.
They only serve Tonkotsu Ramen, but that’s the deal. Yo go for their Tonkotsu Ramen. You can read about other ramen varieties in my food hunting ramen list.
The system is easy, even for tourists with no idea of speaking japanese. I tried with some friends and they succeeded, so there’s the good point. At Ichiran Ramen there’s minimum interaction with any human beings.
A vending machine with some Ramen options and toppings to choose welcomes you at the entry of the restaurant. Then you take a seat in a waiting room, staring at an electric board with all the seats on it. As soon as someone leaves you’ll know it and can take the seat.
In the meantime, you fill a questionnaire about your Ramen preferences. Spicy, toughness of the noodles, how much garlic do you want, and a list of toppings to choose.
Once you take a seat this is what you see, a small cube, an aperture in front so the staff will serve your Ramen and your own water tap. I must say the tonkotsu ramen is my favourite, so it was a good deal for me. Ask for a noodle refill and a bowl of rice to dip into the soup, best recommendation.
The whole experience was as fast as promised and with barely no interaction. It almost felt as the only sound concentrated in the restaurant was people slurping their noodles. Like animals in a zoo waiting for the feeding time.