Three popular chains offering frozen ramen packs for people riding the subway but thinking about noodles.

The big appeal of vending machines is how fast and convenient they are. Just stick your money in the slot, slap the button for the item you want, grab it from the machine, and you’re on your way again in hardly any time at all.

Such speedy transactions are especially appreciated in rail stations, where pretty much everyone is in a hurry to get to their destination. And since the only thing worse than being short on time is being short on ramen, the Tokyo subway system now has its first ramen vending machine.

The machine is located inside Iidabashi Station, which is the intersection of the Tokyo Metro rail network’s Tozai, Yurakucho, Namboku, and Oedo Lines. The hardware is called Frozen 24 Mart, and like most ramen vending machines, it dispenses all the ingredients you need to enjoy a delicious bowl of restaurant-style ramen after heating them up.

The culinary creative partners are no slouches, as the first option is Fukuoka-based ramen chain’s Shiromaru Motoaji, also known as Shiromaru Classic, one of Japan’s absolute favorite examples of tonkotsu (pork stock) ramen.

The alternatives are the Ore no Black (“My Black”) ramen from Toyama ramen restaurant Ebisuko, seasoned with black pepper…

…and the Sugoi Niboshi ramen, with a sardine stock, plus a couple of dried sardines, from Nagi, a popular chain that started out in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood.

The Ippudo ramen is priced at 1,100 yen (US$9.60) and the others at 1,000, not bad prices for such well-loved ramen varieties. If you’re in the mood for a bargain, though, the machine also sells gyoza (Japanese-style pot stickers) from Tokyo’s Omori neighborhood gyoza shop Kinneko priced at just 800 yen for a pack of 21.

▼ The machine also sells additional freezer packs for 200 yen, in case you’ve got a long ride home.

The machine went into operation on Tuesday, and its items are on sale between the first and last trains of the day, which works out to approximately 5:15 a.m. to 12:20 a.m., depending on the exact day of the week. Tokyo Metro has even been thoughtful enough to provide a map to the machine, though with the complicated layout of Iidabashi Station, but unfortunately, the map looks like this.

The vending machine’s location, marked by the red circle, is in the corridor that connects the station’s B1 and B2 exits, with the machine between the B1 exit and Starbucks. We have a hunch that map isn’t going to be enough for most people to reach this treasure trove of ramen and gyoza, though, so if you’re in a pinch, you can always find a station attendant and ask them “Ramen no jidouhanbaiki wa doko desu ka?”/”Where is the ramen vending machine?”

Source: PR Times (1, 2) via IT Media
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: PR (1, 2)
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!