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Koyama Ramen Shop visit

This evening my friends and I ventured to Sobudai-mae for dinner at the Koyama family ramen shop. Not only was the food great, but everyone was really friendly even before they discovered we were News and Koyama fans. So this is a brief report and some pics about our evening.

 



Today we went on a trip to Mt Fuji  and Hakone. The weather even cooperated mostly because once we got to Mt Fuji the clouds cleared and we could see the top of the mountain. We left the tour group in Odawara having decided to come back to Tokyo via the ramen shop. I'd read quite a few reports from other fans on their experiences and how to get there. And of course, some good food never goes astray.

It was even easier to find than I'd imagined. All we had to do was walk down the stairs from the north gate of the station and there was the yellow sign surrounded by flashing lights a very short block away. So we ventured in.

As others have reported it's a pretty small space, four tables and some counter seating. You can certainly tell you're in the right place by the interior decorations.

 

And there were some interesting things in at the front door.



There were lots of yummy things on the menu and we found it difficult to make a choice.



We had gyoza, a few different types of ramen and I had the yakisoba.

 



The food was absolutely delicious. We ordered a second round of gyoza and I think we did a pretty good job of getting most of it eaten.



The atmosphere was very relaxed and Mrs Koyama was very kind, smiling and friendly as we tried to sort out our drinks order. She even gave us a free tasting glass of one mixed drink when they didn't have supplies to make the one we'd ordered. The family resemblance is very strong, not just because they look alike, but they say things in very similar ways too.

Many other fans had reported the map on the wall with phone straps and other danglies obviously left by fans.



When we were talking about making the trip there for dinner, we'd agreed that we shouldn't turn up empty handed. So when Mrs Koyama came to give us the bill, we explained that we were from Australia and presented her with a couple of phone straps featuring a koala and a kangaroo. She was quite surprised that we were all the way from Australia, but very interested in the koala and kangaroo.

We joked that Australia was a bit further off the bottom of their map and she said that it was okay because she had a map of the world and she'd get that out.

While we'd been eating two girls came in, obviously very close with everyone there and chatting animatedly with everyone about all sorts of things. They sat at the table behind us and when we were talking about being from Australia they noticed that we had souviners from Mt Fuji and commented on it. We explained that we'd spent the day at Mt Fuji and Hakone and had then come there on the train.

Mrs Koyama asked us how we'd heard about their restaurant. We replied honestly, on the internet and she seem quite pleasantly surprised by that. The other girls summed the situation up quickly and said, 'so, you're News fans?' We replied that we definitely were and that Koyama was a favourite.

His mother was very impressed that people in Australia knew who he was and she asked if we were planning to go to a concert. When we said we were going to Fukui, one of the girls spoke up saying she lived in Fukui and she was also going to the concerts on the weekend. She confirmed that we were talking about the Sun Dome and asked what day we were going.

Mrs Koyama then asked us how we got our tickets. We explained that we had a friend in the fan club, and they were curious to know whether or not it was a Japanese person.

She asked how long we'be been in Japan, and the Japanese are always surprised when you're anywhere for more than a few days. She then asked where we'd been and where we were staying. We told her we were staying in Shinagawa and she guessed our hotel immediately and said it was a good choice.

When we mentioned that one of the places we'd been was Sendai, she asked if we'd been to a News concert already. We said that we'd been there only yesterday, and one of the other girls immedately asked what we thought of Ginza Rhapsody. We spent a few moments discussing how much we liked it, how good they looked etc etc. And how we were looking forward to seeing it again on the weekend.

I eventually managed to hand over the money to Mrs Koyama for the bill, and when she went to get the change, and feeling a lot braver, I showed the girls my Koyama keychain hanging on my handbag. They thought it was great and told me I had to show it to Mrs Koyama.

This is where it gets a bit hazy for me.

When she came back with the change I showed her my keychain. She was absolutely delighted and grabbed my hands, thanking me again and saying it made her very happy. She seemed so happy that she needed to pause and take a deep breath to find her English again. She said that she was very interested in Australia and hoped to be able to visit someday.

I was thanking her, she was thanking me, we smiled at each other a lot and she kept squeezing my hands. Then it was time to go. We'd been there almost two hours. We said our goodbyes, the girls said they'd look out for us on Saturday in Fukui, and Mrs Koyama walked us to the door and waved us goodbye.

What can I say - it made me very happy too.
 


Comments

( 185 comments — Leave a comment )
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dw9lives
Oct. 27th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
You are sooooo lucky!!!! I hope my experience there will be just as good!! thank you for sharing!!!

so... Kei's mom speak english??? wow. i've never read about that...
inala
Oct. 27th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Not a whole lot of English, and we don't speak a whole lot of Japanese, but we all managed to get by.
(no subject) - nanasse - Apr. 27th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inala - Apr. 28th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - nanasse - Apr. 28th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
reikou_chan
Oct. 27th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
what an experience! :]
now im looking forward to my trip there.
thankyou for your report!
and of course, enjoy the rest of your trip!
h4hime
Oct. 27th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
bless koyamama and bless you!
what a great day! i am grateful for what you did, cos you kinda spoke for a lot of us here too.
well done!!!!!!!!!!!!!
mujun
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
LOL! We sat at the same table! (Well, there's a 25% chance, rignt?) How great that you got to talk to her! She never came out from behind the counter when we were there. I'm so glad you had such a memorable time!
mujun
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I just saw that you took the local, too! We did that. The express wasn't much faster on the way home. Wow, that is way out there, isn't it?

Edited at 2008-10-27 06:13 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
togechan
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
Ahh! Lucky! XD I want to eat there, too! :D
dilya_007
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
WOW!!!! that's amazing! When i went there we didn't really talk to her much... and i didn't bring any souvenirs *stupid me!* So did u see his aniki? he looks like Kei-chan ne!!! i was amazed coz' they have the same voice! when he was speaking it was like Kei-chan was talking to me hahaha:)

Ok, next time i gonna go to kei-chan's ramen i gonna bring some souvenirs ^__^
rlia
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
uwaaah...
you're so lucky....

i don't know when i can go to japan...=(

thank you for this...
yamapi85
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
WAHH!! Thanks a lot for this nice report!!
It's very awesome to read how kind and sweet person is Koya mama!!^o^
She is also very beautiful woman, from what I remember, right?!^^

I had a very good memory of her!!
I'm very glad you had a nice time there!!*.*
I'm sure she was very happy and surprised that not japanese or asian are NEWS and keichan fans!!^___^
akira_ken2
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
hey did you leave a phone strap when you went there?
im remember reading a fanreport from you but not sure if you mentioned that though.
i just want to see the phone straps of ppl i know when if i get to go there :D *prays* need to get a part time job first hahaha
(no subject) - yamapi85 - Oct. 28th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
kris_kt
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
ahh how lucky!!
I love how all you manage to communicate~
She seems really nice~
she waved goodbye ahhh so cute <33
now we know where koyama got his kindness from xD

thanks for sharing :]
watchful21
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
WOW!! That's all. WOW!!
sakuradanielle
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a wonderful event.. You got to talk about many things and his mom has to be sooo proud of him.. That is going to be one of my stops when I go. I get 2 weeks in Japan next year and just can't wait.
akira_ken2
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
WOW! sugoi ne :D
the food looks good and the atmosphere seems to be a family like shop.
haha i think koyamama likes gaijin and was very shocked to know that her own son is actually very famous!!
thanks for the report XD
renoa_heartilly
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
yaaaay looks like you had fun XD
i've never tasted japanese food, is it as bad as foreigners say it is? or just different? especially gyoza XD ?

waaaa the map on the wall is amazing XD i wanna stick something up there too~~~ XDDD
gambatte koyamama! koyakazoku XD! (somehow i've become a fan of her too lool ♥ )
watchful21
Oct. 27th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
Forgot to add: All foreign NEWS fans were well represented by you...Thank you for that. You definitely left a favorable impression on Mrs. Koyama which puts all of his foreign fans in a very positive light.
akira_ken2
Oct. 27th, 2008 07:01 pm (UTC)
good point.
inala! thank you!
foreign fans should not be left unknown!
now koyamama is very proud that her son well known and has such lovely fans <3
trivialaffair
Oct. 27th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
hahaha that's so cute! :D now i'm hungry...
starmuffin_news
Oct. 27th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
OMG! the whole experiance must have been just priceless! I wonder how she would react if she knew im from Chile and keii-chan is my fav. Thank you for the fan report, you are so lucky ^^
starmuffin_news
Oct. 27th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
btw, im hoping they will have vegetarian dishes too, im certainly traveling to japan one day, and im defenetly stopping by, im hoping some dishes don't include meat >.
laina_raylight
Oct. 27th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Wow, I am so jealous of you to have such a close encounter with Koya-mama! Uwah! I want to go so bad, I will definitely go there when I visit Japan though, definitely! thanks for sharing! I wondered about the look of the inside! I bet they get a lot of News fans huh? :)
nyagcpinkuneko
Oct. 27th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Meh, I miss her. Need to stop in on her next time I have the chance. ^.^ She really is a kind woman.
mikan_daisuki
Oct. 27th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
TT___TT Ahhhh~ I'm so so soooo jealous of you. I totally wish I could have gone to Koyama's family's ramen shop when I was in Japan in June!! I didn't know the address, though, and I was with a big group of people, so there was no way I could have really ventured out and gone there. Maybe next time. :)

Did you like Hakone? I also went there in June for a day. It was so green and beautiful up there in the mountains, and the onsen was SO relaxing. ^^ I also stayed at Shinagawa in Tokyo, at Shinagawa Prince Hotel. It was so nice, I'd totally stay at that hotel again.

Haha, oh gosh...that's so sweet how his family decorated their restaurant with NEWS posters!! :D They must be so supportive of him. ^^

I'm so hungry now. The gyoza looks amazing...

Anyway, thanks for sharing this - what a cool experience!! Koyama's mother sounds like such a sweetheart ♥

Enjoy the concert in Fukui *more jealousy pangs* xD;;

P.S. Could you perhaps direct me to a webpage that has more exact directions on how to get to the ramen shop?? If you know of one, that is. I would be eternally grateful. ^^
retsuno
Oct. 28th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
neko_no_yume had post it in news_jpop, i had to bookmark it here : http://neko-no-yume.livejournal.com/95542.html

*hope the link work, and gomen ne~ i don't know how to put lj cut for ljuser and ljcomm T-T*
(no subject) - mikan_daisuki - Nov. 1st, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inala - Apr. 19th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
nanchant
Oct. 27th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Very sweet experience inala ^^

I'm 100% sure that Koyamama will tell him about you guys when he comes back home, LOL.
mklia
Oct. 27th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC)
cool!!!
i'll be going there this week and u really make me feel confident to go there cos i'll be on my own there.

so Koyamama speaks English?? Cos i dun really speaks Japanese, but i will be bringing some notes so that i could converse with her in Japanese as well.

Was the place crowded? what time did u go? and how long did u have to wait in line(i heard there'll be queues sometimes)

u make us international fans proud.. :D

thanks so much for the info...
inala
Oct. 27th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
She doesn't speak very much English, not enough for a conversation. She was asking us questions mostly in Japanese (and we only have basic skills). We were lucky that the others there had better English to help us all out.

We arrived at about 7.20pm and there were no queues at all. There were only about 3 people inside and maybe we were just lucky that it wasn't busy so everyone wasn't more rushed. So it was all quite relaxed, though I imagine if it's busy it would be a totally different situation.
x_amadare
Oct. 27th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
That's an amazing experience! Just yesterday I was talking to my sister about going there the next time we're in Tokyo XD Thank you so much for sharing your report~! My love for Koyama has deepened ♥ 8D

Have fun in Japan! ♥ :Db
mishigeaki
Oct. 27th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
that sounds so amazing :D gah jealous jealous but i guess reading this makes me KIND OF feel like i was there? LOL

shall definitely go there when i visit japan end of the year :D

thank youuu hope you update again :D
jangbong
Oct. 29th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
wow~~~

u r so lucky
i'm happy with u too >_<

i hope i have a chance to go like that once too
which u the best for the rest of the time i'll wait 4 ur report

thx a lots for ur report!!!
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