Add a plate of gyoza and you can eat and drink for less than 25 cents a day!

As one of the busiest travel hubs in Japan, Tokyo Station is filled with restaurants ready to serve the daily hordes of commuters. While it can be hard to choose between them all, the decision of where to eat and drink has just been made a lot easier, thanks to a new deal we discovered at the Gransta Yaekita branch of popular ramen chain Dotonbori Kamukura.

The sign below alerted us to the incredible deal, exclusively available at this branch of the Osaka-born chain. It reads: “Subscriptions have begun!” with the details, in red boxes below, stating “Beer or Highball, one a day for 500 yen a month“, “Gyoza (five pieces), one plate a day for 500 yen a month” and “Toppings (seasoned egg, green onions, kimchi, mung bean sprouts), one a day for 500 yen a month“.

Our reporter Yuuichiro Wasai, who stumbled upon this sign, blinked in utter amazement at what was being offered — pay just 500 yen (US$3.51) and you’ll get a beer or highball every day for a month, and the same goes for gyoza and toppings too.

In today’s day and age, with costs rising all over the place, this seemed like a deal too good to be true, so Yuuichiro wondered if there might be a hidden catch like additional fees to subscribe. However, when he researched it online, there was no catch — the beer you get is served in a 350-millilitre (12-ounce) tumbler, and the subscription automatically renews if you don’t cancel before the renewal date.

▼ The Mainichi Alcohol Plan (Every Day Alcohol Plan)

This was a subscription Yuuichiro was eager to sign up for, so he stopped by the restaurant to sign up, which turned out to be as simple as scanning the QR code on the poster inside.

After signing up for both the alcohol and the gyoza subscriptions, Yuuichiro took a look at the ordering screen on the touch panel system and found there were three options for alcohol subscribers. Every day you visit, you can choose one of the following: a draft beer in a tumbler, a highball whisky with soda, or, as a third option, a draft beer in a mug, which will cost you 100 yen.

▼ Alcohol subscribers have to pay 100 yen for every upsized beer, otherwise stick to the tumbler or highball for no extra charge.

Gyoza subscribers also had another option — either choose gyoza for no additional charge or switch to karaage fried chicken for an additional 100 yen each time.

An additional 100 yen was no skin off Yuuichiro’s back on this particular day, so he decided to order the mug of beer, switch the gyoza to karaage and order a plate of gyoza on its own.

Checking the prices on the regular menu, he found that a tumbler of beer usually costs 350 yen while a mug of beer costs 630 yen. Going by regular prices, a tumbler every day for 30 days equates to 10,500 yen, or 18,900 yen for a mug, so even if he ordered a mug every time on the subscription, he’d only pay a total of 3,500 yen a month, which is a saving of 15,400 yen!

This was a cause for celebration, so Yuuichiro ordered a bowl of ramen to go with his meal. He was looking for a place to eat anyway, so being able to tack on a plate of fried chicken and a beer at minimal extra cost made this bowl of ramen taste even better than usual.

Kamukura is famous for its distinctive ramen, which contains an original broth created by a chef who used to specialise in French cuisine. The broth contains Chinese cabbage, which is unusual for a ramen dish, and the soup has a mild flavour, in keeping with Kamukura’s concept of serving “ramen that people want to eat every day“.

▼ The branch at Tokyo Station is located outside the ticket gate so you don’t need to buy a train ticket to eat there.

For a restaurant with ramen that people want to eat every day, enticing them in with a cheap daily beer and gyoza is a clever win-win for everyone. And with Tokyo Station being located in a thriving business district, this is a deal that’ll appeal to both local workers and frequent travellers, especially those visiting for the crazy big street food that recently became a hit with overseas visitors.

Restaurant information

Doutonbori Kamukura Gransta Yaekita branch / どうとんぼり神座グランスタ八重北店
Address: Gransta Yaekita, Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-9-1
東京都千代田区丸の内1-9-1 グランスタ八重北
Open: 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. (last order 10:30 p.m.)

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