Monday, November 30, 2009

ロボットふぁーめん (Robot Ramen in Nagoya)

ふぁーめん

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Riding Japan's amazing bullet train out of Tokyo is always a fun (and expensive) adventure. This time the destination was Nagoya.

The lively Akamon street in the Osu-Kannon area of Nagoya could be akin to Tokyo's Akihabara. This means nerdy. Toy shops, maid cafes, and robots. Is there any human task a robot can't do? Not in this country!

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Yep, these are the infamous ramen robots. R2B1 is the manager, and R2B2 is the assistant manager. Working in harmony, they can get a bowl to you in less than 2 minutes. Together they make this:

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It's a fairly normal tonkotsu pork soup. Nothing amazing, but you're not really here for an exceptional bowl of ramen, are you? On with the show!

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Everything is automated, from placing the bowl, to pouring the soup, to shaking the noodles.

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All to the whizz and whir or precision electronics.

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During downtime they joke away with some typical manzai comedian jokes. Slapstick is essential. A quarrel over the fairer of the robot sexes leads to a knife battle.

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Despite the huge number of people walking around this area, the shop was relatively quiet. No line, we walked right in and sat down.

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It's only a couple stops from the central Nagoya station. But if you are in a rush, keep in mind that there is a ramen "street" right in the station for all your eating needs.

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But when the robots attack (they eat old people's medicine for fuel), I'll feel good knowing I gave some love to the first robot ramen chefs on the planet.

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