The setting is an industrial area, off one of central Japan’s main highways that lead up to mountains and ski resorts. Picture an old warehouse, with steam billowing out from a wall-mounted stack.
Though the exterior may be beaten and worn by weather and time, it hides what waits inside. Modern sliding glass doors open up to a bright and open space that one cannot immediately digest — to the right is a fully stocked bar, yet in front are a tables that suggest a café. Look towards the back and there are numerous display cases. Beyond these, however, is a collection of vintage scooters, and, from time to time, a classic Lotus or other rare sports car.
Wait . . . is this a garage for drunks?
Don’t pass judgement yet. Instead follow your nose and your eyes will be led to an open kitchen with enormous stainless steel pots boiling over with rich soup stock and noodles.
You’re at T.T. Ramen. One of Japan’s largest collections of scooter swag. As well as a damn fine noodle shop.
TT Ramen was the result of a local scooterist who had a passion for both vintage scooters and great, homemade ramen noodles.
For the equivalent of $7, one can fill up on this juicy delight, served in rich stock that you slurp to the last drop. Add Chinese dumplings or fried rice and you will be glad you came by scooter as you will be too full to walk. T.T. has become one of the favorite destinations for the local Midland Flyers SC, but also for scooterists making a special trip from Tokyo, Osaka and places beyond.
One warning – it is not an easy place to get to, even if one is already in Japan!
“Come by scooter” and leisurely slurp away as you delight in this relaxing atmosphere, surrounded by endless swag.
(David – Thanks so much for the write-up and photos! -SSwag)