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Does real ramen taste better when it comes with a side of simulated companionship?

Back in my younger days, when I was less experienced and enlightened regarding dating, I used to silently scoff when I saw a guy eating in a ramen restaurant with his girlfriend. “Really, buddy? That’s the best you can do for date night?” I’d think to myself.

Flash forward to today, and I can totally see the upside to a ramen date. There’s an undeniable intimacy that comes from enjoying time with a romantic partner in such casual surroundings, and the fact that most ramen joints have counters where you can sit side-by-side makes it easy to sprinkle little bits of physical affection into the meal. Plus there’s just the simple fact that ramen tastes really, really good.

But what if you’re craving ramen but don’t have a girlfriend? Well, Osaka ramen chain Sasayama can cover you on both fronts. As part of a special promotion going on right now, diners at the chain’s America Mura or Tenjinbashi branches will be given a card with a QR code on it. The code gives you access to one of five videos staring members of idol unit Hamburgirls Z, in which one of the cheerful young ladies will, virtually, enjoy some ramen with you.

Load up the video on your smartphone, and you can watch it as you eat to help complete the illusion. In the above sample, Hamburgirls Z’s Ku-chan starts off with a perky “Itadakimasu!” before trying a mouthful of the piping hot ramen.

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Apparently Ku-chan’s ordered a different type of ramen than you have, so she generously offers to give you a bite, before asking if she can sample some of yours, too.

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Each bowl of ramen you order gets you one QR card, with the restaurant no doubt hoping customers will keep coming back until they’re matched up with their favorite idol or have gone on a virtual date with the whole group before the promotion ends on August 31.

Restaurant information
Sasayama Ramen (America Mura branch) / 篠山らーめん(アメリカ村店)
Address: Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku, Shinsaibashi 2-8-33
Open: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Sasayama Ramen (Tenjinbashi branch) / 篠山らーめん(天神橋店)
Address: Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Kita-ku, Tenjinbashi 3-1-16
Open: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Source: Kai-You
Images: YouTube/ra-men sasayama