Japanese Drive-Thru Sushi & Ramen Experience ★ ONLY in JAPAN
ONLY in JAPAN This time, we’ve left the big city
and driven to Tokyo’s neighbor, Ibaraki Prefecture. Driving makes you hungry, so we’re in search of
good and quick Japanese food like… Ramen. It’s one of the top foods that you have to eat with Japan, maybe the top three. Like sushi, wagyu… Ramen is up there. And every region in Japan
has a different style and a different taste. In this series, we’ve covered all the way from
Sapporo and Asahikawa, down to Fukuoka’s ramen. I’m here with my friend Dean (Hey guys).
In this episode we’re here in Ibaraki prefecture That’s one of the reasons why we’re driving. It’s so close to Tokyo! Driving is the most convenient
way to get around Ibaraki, don’t you think? Absolutely, you need the car. I feel like Ibaraki is one of those places where you really get to see how Japanese people are living locally, right? Right. It’s the suburbs of Tokyo, pretty much. And what makes this ramen place unique,
is not so much the taste…
– It’s not, yeah… It’s gonna be… the restaurants.
Yes, we’re going to a drive-thru ramen restaurant. A drive-thru ramen restaurant… That’s gotta be a first, huh? Yeah. We’ll also be going to a
drive-thru sushi restaurant in this episode, and checking out the Ibaraki countryside. Should be a lot of fun.
Yeah, looking forward to it. Ibaraki prefecture is a paradise for
drive-thru food hunters, but where exactly are we? If we start down here, where everyone knows, Tokyo… Ibaraki is about an hours drive northeast
on the Jōban expressway. Dean and I rented a car in Ibaraki Airport,
a friendly and relaxing gateway. You need an international driver’s license
and a credit card to get one. It only took a few minutes before we were
seated in our car, a Toyota X. And away we go! We drove about 45 minutes towards Tokyo,
to Japan’s science city, Tsukuba. Besides engineers, scientists,
students and the JAXA space program, there’s this! Drive-thru sushi. Our first stop of the day. Hamazushi has hundreds of conveyor belt sushi restaurants all over Japan. But in Tsukuba, they have an added feature.
A drive-thru! You won’t find this in Tokyo. This is what drive-thru looks like in Japanese. When they have one, restaurants do a good job of guiding you with arrows and painted lanes. You could go inside.
Everything is digital and multilingual. And conveyor belt sushi is fun! But we wanted to try the drive-thru
because that’s what this episode is all about! I guess we pull up here, yeah?
Yeah. There were twelve choices on the menu,
and we had to decide fast. Yeah, what do we want?
There’s a lot of choices… So we have all these– Each one’s numbered here. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
The other ones look like they’re for families. I’m gonna go with number …number 5. I’m not as hungry.
Okay. I’m gonna do number 3, which is based on all different types of tuna fish. Alright. There she is… It’s not too different to fast-food drive-thrus
in the United States. But I never really considered sushi to be a fast-food. But it is. And reasonably priced, too! She told me to wait there, but I pulled up in case
another customer came behind me. It took a few minutes, before she came out
a secret door to hand us our order. We asked why the drive-thru
was needed here in the suburbs. The sushi looked incredible.
Here’s mine. And here’s Dean’s maguro tuna set. It is super. It is the country of convenience, huh?
It is. I’ve got my chopsticks, I’ve even got a toothpick inside. Just kind of, shotgun it,
and put the soy sauce all over everything when you have to eat the sushi in the car. I think that’s the way to go. Whole plate of maguro… Mmm… That’s actually really good! Dean’s maguro set has it all. Akami red, chutoro and otoro fatty cuts.
And minced negitoro with a little ginger. I’ll go for the ikura first. Look at how beautiful that is.
Mmm… Looks good. Mmm… Very good.
Is that good? Yeah? I’m impressed of the quality of sushi
for the price that it costs. I think you get a lot for your money. Yep, you know you can go in and eat,
but I was surprised about what you said. A lot of the people who live here in Ibaraki, Preferred not to get out of their car… Right. That can be a difference between choosing
the restaurant or not, right? If they have to get out of the car, just to pick it up,
they’ll pick another place, just for the convenience factor. We put the car in gear and started a drive
to the other side of Tsukuba. That sushi was pretty good. It was very good. Yeah,
it was really good. I’m impressed. I liked the girl bringing it out over to us.
Aww, wasn’t she cute? Yeah, she was really cute. I think there’s a lot of customers that
come back regularly If you fall in love with the drive-thru window girl. It definitely helps! You might be back again, you might be back again… But there’s one other drive-thru food
we’re gonna be eating this time. Ramen. – It was a ten minute drive from Hamazushi to our next drive-thru in Tsukuba. Yukimura-Tei Ramen has restaurants in four prefectures across Japan, and serves more than ramen. We came here for the basics, but there was
no second window to pay at! This is really weird, because usually after
a drive-thru you order the food Afterwards, there’s a window where you
pay and collect your order… and there’s no window here!
So, let’s see what happens… I’m hungry… I followed the arrows on the road around to the parking lot to a space reserved for drive-thru customers. A few seconds later, a staff member
appeared to collect our payment. She confirmed our order but declined Dean’s credit card.
Not many drive-thrus in Japan will accept credit cards, so it’s a good idea to have cash. The restaurant chef had already started preparing our order. Here’s my miso ramen being made. The noodles are typically served a little harder than normal, since they’ll be sitting in the soup for a while before being eaten. They’ll gradually soften over time this way. Add the vegetables and chashu steak, and it’s done. Restaurant staff packages it up and brings it out. The extra footwork is always appreciated
by customers in Japan. It’s not easy to eat ramen in a car, but they packaged it up really well and included chopsticks and napkins. This is much better than instant ramen. It’s the real deal for people on the move, like us. This is pretty tight… Like, there’s no table to eat it on, but
I like that they give you this cardboard cutout to fit the bowl in, that makes it
a little bit more convenient. And the ramen is definitely hot. Let’s give this a try.
Okay. No, this is good, good ramen. Just soul food. I like it. The noodles are thicker. Kind of like, udon-ish. They’re a little firm.
Their noodles are a little bit firm. But… I see I’m already slurping and getting
the broth all over the car. And I know that they’re not
gonna like that when we return it. We’re gonna have to wash her down a little bit, otherwise… It’s pretty tight. It’s pretty tight in here. Dean tries his soy-based ramen. I’m thinking, most people are probably taking this home
and not trying to eat it in their car but, I don’t know. Should we give it a go?
Yeah. Go ahead, try it, Dean. That’s really good! I asked the manager why they need a drive-thru. Many restaurants really think about
the customers’ needs. And seeing we were still hungry… He served us up one of his favorites…
Mapo Tofu Rramen. A spicy chinese meat sauce with tofu
over noodles instead of rice. Dean and I ate it inside before our drive
to our next destination, to try some of Ibaraki’s best A5 WAGYU, Hitachi Beef,
and a massive food challenge on the way. Our DRIVING in JAPAN adventure continues next time,
with more delicious food in Tokyo’s suburbs. If you liked it, hit that SUBSCRIBE button
and check out another one of our shows. Don’t miss my second live streaming channel
ONLY in JAPAN * GO And check out location photos on Instagram http://instagram.com/onlyinjapantv Mata ne~