Eating Out: Black Curry Ramen & Japan’s Most Secret Bathroom Guarded By A Life-Dimension Star Wars Character!


Common readers of Tokyo Fox might be conscious that I like soccer, Star Wars, and distinctive bathrooms and eating places so think about how excited I used to be once I found a spot catering for all of these issues. Not solely that but it surely was positioned proper below my nostril!

Regardless of numerous journeys to go and watch Kashiwa Reysol through the years I’ve by no means been to this restaurant positioned inside a stones throw of the stadium. To be truthful, it’s a very quick distance off the monitor I normally take when going to see my adopted Japanese staff in motion so I wasn’t conscious of it for a few years.

After a ten minute wait I lastly obtained a seat, and wasted no time in ordering the particular Reysol-themed black curry ramen dish which had introduced this restaurant to my consideration six years in the past. After I later checked out the place on-line I used to be in for an exquisite shock. As an enormous Star Wars fan, I used to be delighted to see considered one of my favorite characters was a outstanding a part of the restaurant’s decor.

There’s a life-size statue of Darth Maul, who first appeared 25 years in the past in ‘The Phantom Menace‘ (1999), exterior the bathrooms. Not solely that however he’s sporting a yellow Kashiwa Reysol shirt which I feel is completely good!


There’s a signal pointing you within the course of the bathrooms however while you get to this space there is no such thing as a signal of them. All that’s seen is the aforementioned Sith Lord determine and a bookcase!!

The cabinets are pretty sparse with some DVDs, footballs and some popular culture figures referring to the likes of Michael Jackson, Terminator, Godzilla, Batman and Toy Story.


That’s all attention-grabbing however the place the hell was that bathroom I desperately wanted while ready for my dish to reach at my counter seat?!! Nicely, that is like a kind of films the place you push a sure e book or a part of the shelf and immediately a mysterious secret room opens up earlier than your eyes. It actually have to be considered one of Japan’s most secret bathrooms!

The restaurant itself is known as Chinrai (1-2-55 Hitachidai, Kashiwa, Chiba-ken) and it has a log historical past courting again practically 100 years. It’s been round since 1928, and is a good place for Reysol followers with signed shirts and photos hanging on the partitions of the restaurant.


There’s an American-diner really feel to the place however the likes of hamburgers and fries have been changed by bowls of noodles.


Fortunately I hadn’t eaten that morning as when my dish did come it was larger than anticipated. Three items of croquette within the dish and three extra on a separate plate was in all probability slightly extreme however I used to be assured I may eat all of it.


I simply occurred to have slightly Darth Maul determine on me for the aim of the pre-meal pictures. That was quite lucky wasn’t it?!!

The noodles have been chewy and scrumptious while the soup was slightly spicier than I used to be anticipating however nothing that will blow your socks off such is the best way in Japan the place spice ranges are far milder than again house.

It’s not so frequent to drink all of the ramen soup however I make occasional exceptions when the dish is much less typical.

As soon as I’d completed off that bowl I took the very quick stroll on to Hitachi-dai Stadium to see Kashiwa Reysol play their opening match of the 2024 J1 season which was their first aggressive one for the reason that Emperor’s Cup Closing defeat on penalties in December.


It was a day of just about continuous drizzly rain and it was pretty depressing to sit down in it for 3 hours. After all I’ve seen matches performed in far heavier rain although so was grateful in a means that it wasn’t that ridiculous.

The soccer itself didn’t do an excessive amount of to make up for the terrible climate however when Savio opened the scoring with a surprise purpose on 77 minutes I used to be over the moon. A penalty kick on 88 minutes ought to’ve wrapped the sport up for my Reysol boys however Hosoya put it vast after which the inevitable occurred within the fourth minute of extra time as Sanga equalised.


It wqs a sickening finish to the day, and was simply typical of the earlier season the place Reysol always didn’t win matches after scoring first.

Regardless of the disappointingly predictable finish to the soccer, the climate did assist to creating this match reside longer than ordinary in my reminiscence. Soccer mixed with Star Wars, tasty and interesting-looking meals, and a really distinctive bathroom is correct up my road. Issues don’t get significantly better than that for me!

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