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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

( 184 comments — Leave a comment )
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babyshazam
Oct. 28th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
oh wow...that's so awesome =)
i feel so happy for you!
thanks for sharing the wonderful experience ^^v
reiko25
Oct. 28th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)
sugoi! you get to meet koyama's okaa-san!that's great!they seem to be really nice!

when i go to japan, i'd definitely go and visit their ramen shop!
mit_souko
Oct. 28th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
Your visit sounds lovely. I am making a note and will try to get there next time I am in Tokyo. Nice that they speak English, although I can struggle along in Japanese, it does make things easier!
loonykatt
Oct. 28th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
that's an awesome encounter! happy for u! thanks for sharing! it's not everyday that u get to meet close people to ur idols! ^^ ometedou!
quinie115
Oct. 28th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
omg thats one place im so gonna visit for my graduation vacation we were planninbg to go to paces in tokyo but not like good places thanks for the good siuggestion XD
jesychan
Oct. 28th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
woowwww realmente fue muy emocionante lo q viviste con koyamama ella se nota q es muy buena y tierna, me imagino la cara q puso cuando le dijeron q eran d australia

nos dejaron mas q bien representadas a las fans extranjeras
q cara pondria cuando le diga q soy de argentina

yo tengo pensado ir para el 2011 (falta mucho pero bueno)
y me encanta keichan es d mis favoritos asi voy a ir a comer a su tienda
(Anonymous)
Oct. 28th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
wow great!

i wanna go to KEICHan ramen shop.
THANK FOR YOUR BRIEFLY REPORT.
IT'S SO WONDERFUL TRIP.
yama_shin
Oct. 28th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
WOW ur from Australia too!
I'm Actually going to Tokyo this New Years. If you dont mine me asking, can I get the address or directions to Keichan ramen shop? I wanna be another Aussie to be in their shop ^^.. although I wonder if Koyama mum will notice me.. considering I'm an Asian too XD and dark one at that XD..

oh yeh! were you allowed to take photos inside their shop?
ahh since u already gave his mum a koala and kangeroo phone strap.. I wonder what I could present her with, it shouldn't be too big huh?

oh i cant wait to goo!! XD
inala
Nov. 10th, 2008 07:37 am (UTC)
Sorry for the delay, but now I'm finally home from my trip, I'm busily trying to catch up on many things.

A few people have asked about directions and I'm going to do a post about getting there, based on my experiences. So stay tuned for that.

We started out taking photos very discretely but by the end, after things got much more animated, they invited us to take photos, so I guess you've just got to play it by ear.

And there's plenty of other Aussie things - many kinds of kangaroos and koalas, you can never have too many. And from what I've read from other reports, they don't really accept gifts, the phonestraps seem like a small token that is definitely a way to introduce yourself and say thank you.
(no subject) - inala - Apr. 19th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC) - Expand
mariegina
Oct. 28th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
Koyama's mum is SO adorable. Maybe I'll visit Japan again. XD
rizzzyriz
Oct. 28th, 2008 06:23 am (UTC)
Wow AMAZED hehe so koyama's mom speaks english?^^
kyuri_chan
Oct. 28th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC)
What great memories of Japan you'll carry with you for the rest of your life!!! :D
lilibs
Oct. 28th, 2008 06:53 am (UTC)
Woah~
You guys are so lucky (:

AUSTRALIA FTW! ^W^

2 more years until I can go to Japan though..

*kicks VCE* ;o;
peku_suke
Oct. 28th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
uwaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh~

nice experience! and you tell us in a good way ^^
huwaa~ i wish i could be there.. ^^
Mrs. Koyama must be a very friendly person, just like her son ^^

nice nice..
thx for sharing this! *hugs*
frozencrumbz
Oct. 28th, 2008 07:01 am (UTC)
That is soooo awesome!! ^_____^
helios_blue
Oct. 28th, 2008 07:10 am (UTC)
so does this means you talked to her in english? or in japanese?
i'm kinda curious about it because it's a bit hard to find an english-speaking japanese

anyway, thanks for sharing the story and for being the representative for all NEWS foreign fans!
we have to make them know that we exist ^^
i hope someday i'll get the chance to meet them too!
inala
Nov. 10th, 2008 07:43 am (UTC)
I'm finally home and catching up, so sorry for the delay ... but yes, we did mostly speak to her in Japanese. Our Japanese is pretty basic, but we did have enough to sustain a conversation, so that was very rewarding as well.

She was definitely surprised that we knew about News and Kei-chan in Australia, and blown away that I really was a fan of his. It was a real highlight of my trip, and so unexpected.
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( 184 comments — Leave a comment )

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