Tokyo has unveiled a chain of noodle restaurants that rely on high tech radio frequency (RF) and other electronic wizardry to impress punters and keep human contact to a minimum.
The Ichiran Ramen restaurant chain, which specialises in serving Tonkotsu ramen noodles hailing from the southern island of Kyshu, has just added another two establishments to a rapidly while introducing the latest in RF technology to make customers' life's easier.
As a restaurant that likes to take the imbibing of ramen very seriously, the chain feels too much human contact might distract from enjoying the noodles.
Orders are ticked off on a sheet of paper at a wood bar where Japanese-style curtains conceal the chefs and a red bell summons a pair of hands to fetch the order.
Subsequent fillings of the bowl are achieved by placing the bowl in a corner where radio waves detect its presence.
Another pair of hands will then appear to whisk away the empty bowl and replace it with a fresh one.
To find a restaurant ramen fans can snap a picture of a special barcode in an advert with their phone, which will automatically guide the customer to the nearest location using GPS.
By Michael Fitzpatrick