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Many foreigners who travel to Japan are relieved to find that it’s common for restaurants here to have a display window filled with plastic models of the food they serve, which is a huge help in getting around the language barrier. That’s not really why restaurants have them, though. After all, the potential number of foreign customers is a drop in the bucket compared to the native Japanese population that has no trouble reading the menu or placing an order.

The real reason for those plastic models is that they catch the eye and stimulate the appetite of passersby, be they foreign tourist, local resident, or adorable cat.

Japanese Twitter user @ikomahatensi was out and about when he passed by a restaurant called Ryuen. The inexpensive Chinese eatery seems to do a brisk business selling boxed lunches, and occupying the shelves of the glass case in front of its take-out window are the restaurant’s myriad bento options. But with so many to choose from, we imagine it takes some customers a while to make up their minds. Thankfully, there was no one else in line to rush this indecisive guy.

“This cat can’t decide which bento to get…” tweeted @ikomahatensi, and we have to admit, the kitty does look to be in a pretty serious quandary.

“Hmm…should I get the fried rice? Or maybe a couple of gyoza?”

Online commenters had the following to say:


“That cat is too cute.”

“[The poster on the wall says] the restaurant is hiring. They should give him a job.”

“This must be a behind the scenes photo from the making of Studio Ghibli’s anime The Cat Returns.”

Of course, the comment about the cat getting a part-time job is just a bit of playful silliness, since we can’t imagine the cat needs money. Cute as it is, it was probably only a matter of time until it melted the staff’s heart and earned itself a free meal.

Source: Hamster Sokuho, Twitter/@ikomahatensi