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Standing Room Only…Restaurants?

Fried meat on a stick, SRO.

Taking the single-guy-wolfing-down-a-microwaved-burrito-over-the-sink to new levels, check out these SRO restaurants! Not uncommon, especially near train stations, these places solve a major problem for harried Japanese citizens: how do you grab a bite when you’ve got 30 minutes from office to meeting and 20 of those are going to be spent in a subway car?

Let’s review the obstacle course:

1: No eating or drinking on trains.

2: No eating or drinking while walking around.

3: No auto in which to dine while vrooming to meeting.

4: Nowhere to throw your trash if you think you can get away with furtively gobbling down a rice ball from a convenience store while hiding in a nearby alley or behind a planter.

There are several varieties of standing room only restaurants to choose from: kushiage (fried meaty bits on sticks), soba, udon or ramen (bowls of noodles), and even sushi! But all deliver the two things people working like demons need most: speed and calories!

In this restaurant, you can slurp up a bowl of noodles between trains

Read a novel set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with two strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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