Sunday, January 08, 2006

First post from Japan

Here are the first pics from Japan. I also want to introduce you to my little Japanese nephew Taito. He's a cute little guy, but also busy and very energetic. He's now two and a half year old. I saw him for the first time two years ago when he was a baby. I expected that he would be scared for a big guy like me or at least shy, but not at all. Within 10 minutes after we arrived he was already sitting on my lap and asking for attention. Here are a few pics that my mother in law took.
This one I took:
I was impressed by Taito's chopstick skills.
Later this day Noriko and I went into town to check for a new ramenplace. For those who don't know what ramen is check this info. The place we went has a website but unfortunately it's only in Japanese.

When it comes to efficiency some Japanese restaurants can't be beaten. Most of those efficient places you don't go for dining the whole evening, you go there to have a quick and if possible a good meal. First you buy tickets from a vendingmachine, starting with a ticket for the basic ramen and then you can choose additional toppings, like pork, onions, mushrooms, boiled egg and if you want you can have extra noodles halfway your meal. Then you decide if you want beer or just water (water is free). For the beer you need to buy a ticket from the vendingmachine too.

A young lady tells you which seatnumber you can sit. You take a small paper form with you and while you sit down you start to fill in how you want everything. Firm, regular or soft noodles? Extra peppers, strong or soft onions? Medium or lots of garlic etc.. Then you push a button, you give the person behind the counter your form and the tickets from the vendingmachine and within 5 minutes you have your ramen standing in front of you. If you bought a ticket for extra noodles halfway (I did) then you push the button again, you give the person your token and they will bring you the extra noodles, you add them to your soup/bouillon and you continue eating.

The food was very nice, but I also had to laugh about the way things were decorated and organised. Actually you were sitting in some wooden box with a small desk. You can find chopsticks, a glass and a watertap. You could hardly see your neighbour. There is hole in the wall where your ramen is given to you by someone whose face you can't see. Noriko told me that the philosophy of this chain is that you only should concentrate on the food and nothing else. They sure did a good job, because there is almost nothing else you can concentrate on! It's was fun, but very anonymus and somehow I had to think of some kind of peepshow, the way everything looked. But the food was very nice and this place is certainly worth another visit.

After the ramen Noriko and I split up. Noriko went for a massageplace and I took the train to Akihabara. This is the place in Tokyo to check the latest in electronics. It's always noisy and crowded, but if I have the chance I always like to check. When I took the pics below it was already becoming a bit dark, so the view is not so clear.


Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Evert Jan. Noriko's nephew is adorable!


B_ForeverYoung said...

Thanks for the compliments, Julie!

Anonymous said...

What a sweetie, great pics as always Jan.