Ramen shops are a dime a dozen, so what makes this one in Aomori Prefecture so special? Well, it’s in a bus! One writer over at Another Tokyo reported on his experience at this one-of-a-kind Japanese eatery.

Kudou Ramen in Goshogawara City, Aomori Prefecture, is housed inside an old refurbished bus! Parked here in an empty lot, surrounded by snow glowing orange in the light of the electric lights, it looks warm and welcoming in that snowy landscape.

Another Tokyo’s writer was in the area recently for a shamisen world convention. The snow was over 40 centimeters deep, the heaviest snowfall so far this year, and walking anywhere took twice the usual amount of time. When he arrived back at his hotel after the convention, a nearby red paper restaurant lantern in front of a bus caught his eye. From the looks of things the bus was being used as a ramen restaurant, named Kudou Ramen.


As you can see in the photo below, the hotel was right in front of the bus, which is sure to help keep a steady flow of business, especially in weather like this where no one really wants to walk far. The streetlights bathe the surroundings in a warm orange glow, drawing you in.


The writing on the door says ‘please press the button’, but with no button in sight he pushed at the doors.


The old proprietor greeted him and spoke to him in the Aomori dialect. He said that he’d been running the bus ramen restaurant for 40 years in this same spot. The current bus was actually the third he had used, the original being a kindergarten school bus. He said that at first he was selling ramen from a street stall, but it was too cold, so he changed to a warm bus instead. You’ve got to commend him for his ingenuity!

The restaurant’s opening hours are from 6pm to 4am, and since there aren’t many late-night eateries in the area, he’s running a useful service.


The menu includes, from left to right, plain ramen, tempura ramen, miso ramen, char siu (pork) ramen, natto ramen, shio (salt) ramen, and butter ramen.


Parts of the original bus’ interior fixings still remain on the ceiling and under the tables.



You sit at these small, 60s-style flower stools as you wait for your hot ramen to arrive.


He got the tempura ramen for 550 yen ($4.61) which comes with a kakiage (tempura fritter) floating on top. It’s a simple shoyu flavored ramen with a smooth and refreshing taste.


He wrote that it was somehow an emotional experience, sitting in that stalled bus surrounded by snow, slurping down steaming hot ramen.


However, when he woke up the next morning and looked for the bus, it was gone! Who’d have thought that old thing could still run?! Or maybe there’s a more supernatural explanation, and this writer just barely escaped from getting stuck in the magical world of Spirited Away…

Source: Another Tokyo