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The thank you note and display to customers left by the owner inside the door is warming hearts around the Internet.

If you’ve ever stepped off the Yamanote train line at Shibuya Station in Tokyo, chances are you’ve walked past a small restaurant on the platform styled like a traditional Japanese eatery, complete with a faux tiled roof, lanterns, and a large noren curtain over the entrance.

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Called “Donbareya”, the eatery served as an antenna outlet for top noodle brand Nissin, and inside, the staff served up the company’s instant cup noodles, complete with hourglass timer, and the option for additional extras like rice, pickles, and crackers.

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The unique menu featured more than a dozen varieties of Nissin instant noodles, including locally-released soba and udon varieties not usually available for purchase in the Tokyo Metropolitan region.


In operation since November 2010, Donbareya opened at 7:00 a.m. in the mornings and closed at 9:00 p.m. in the evenings, feeding busy commuters on the go for the past six years.

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So it was a sad day when Tokyoites found out about the store’s closure on 31 July, with the news appearing on television reports and nostalgic customers sharing memories of the store through personal photos on social media. One commuter who stopped by the restaurant made a unique discovery just inside the door of the darkened shop, and after sharing a picture of it on Twitter, it was retweeted more than 15,000 times.

The store owner had left a thank you note to customers, in an attractive arrangement that included a packet of instant cup noodles, and a stovetop teapot with the store’s name, “Donbareya”, written across it. The note simply reads, “Though it was easy as all I had to was pour in hot water…thank you very much”.

While a larger sign outside the premises mentions one of the reasons for the closure as excessive exhaustion, the humble gratitude of the store owner struck a chord with people around the Internet.

“What a great way to say thanks from a simple business!”
“The owner finally reveals his true feelings!”
“I admire his honesty – just boiling water all day for six years would eventually become tiring!”
“I never thought about it before but I guess that really was the majority of his job!”
“I’m going to miss that store being there.”

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The store closure is just one of many changes coming to Shibuya Station, with the sign outside the closed premises reminding commuters that three new high-rise buildings will be constructed in the district by 2027, along with comments on how the changing face of the area makes small business owners wonder what will change for them and other landmarks like the famous scramble crossing and the statue of the nation’s beloved dog Hachiko. While we’re definitely looking forward to seeing the modern upgrades, we also hope Shibuya can still retain its atmospheric lantern-fronted old businesses too.

Source: Net Lab
Top Image: Twitter/@Konotori6
Insert Images: Twitter/@19990806Daiki, Twitter/@hamjin0113, Twitter/@highfield_earth