Ramen Stock
Photo: Youka Nagase

Vending machines with frozen ramen meal kits are popping up in Tokyo

The Ramen Stock 24 machines sell ready-made ramen from some of the city’s best noodle shops

Youka Nagase
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Youka Nagase
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Ramen is a staple Japanese comfort food that comes in a variety of flavours and styles, from your standard shio (salt) and shoyu (soy sauce) broth to Sapporo’s famous miso ramen and even the soupless tsukemen. In Tokyo, ramen shops are almost as common as convenience stores and you’ll have no trouble finding a decent bowl of noodles any time of day.

However, with restaurants closing early during the city’s successive states of emergency, it hasn’t been so easy to pop into your local noodle joint. But fear not: online ramen shop Ramen Stock has placed its own special Ramen Stock 24 vending machines around Tokyo, so you can get high quality ramen anytime.

Ramen Stock
Photo: Youka Nagase

Every Ramen Stock 24 vending machine is unique and has around five different frozen ramen kits on offer, each from a different Tokyo ramen shop. You can expect ramen from popular local restaurants like Ramen Nagi, Debuchan, Kichijoji Musashiya and more, priced at just ¥1,000 each. Best of all, you don't need any cooking skills for this – all you have to do is heat up the ingredients, which takes less than 10 minutes.

Ramen Stock
Photo: Youka Nagase

Insert your money into the machine and select your preferred ramen, which gives you a vacuum-sealed kit with all the frozen ingredients. We opted for the niboshi ramen from Ramen Nagi.

Ramen Stock
Photo: Youka Nagase

Take it  home – you can even use one of the handy, free bags attached to the machine – and start boiling some water. First, you’ll need to heat up the packaged soup and toppings, so leave them in their packages and soak them in boiling water. In the meantime, take the frozen noodles out of the packaging and boil them for three to five minutes, depending how firm you want them.

Once everything’s heated up, just dump your noodles into a bowl, pour in the soup, lay out the toppings and voila – you have a bowl of restaurant-quality ramen at home. If you’re feeling creative, you can easily throw additional ingredients into the mix, too, like the soft boiled egg we added to it.

Ramen Stock currently has three vending machines around Tokyo: Takadanobaba (2-13-6 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku), Nakano (2-28-8 Nakano, Nakano) and Itabashi (45-17 Oharacho, Itabashi).

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