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How to Buy Meal Tickets at a Restaurant in Japan

Sometimes, you can see restaurants with a vending machine to buy meal tickets. These vending machines are normally near the entrance, either outside or inside the restaurant. Ramen (Chinese noodles) and Gyudon (beef bowl) restaurants mainly have the vending machines.

1. When to buy the meal tickets?

photo credit: 牛の力 via photopin (license)

photo credit: 牛の力 via photopin (license)

You should buy the meal tickets before you take a seat. If you forget to buy the tickets, the servers will ask you to buy them first.

Hand the tickets to the servers when you enter the restaurant. (At some restaurants, they will hand you back the stub of the ticket.)

2. How to buy the meal tickets?

You should first insert money into the vending machine. Press the button of the ticket which you want to buy. You can select several tickets within the money you inserted.

The tickets will be issued automatically, but the change may not be repayed automatically. In that case, do not forget to press the “Otsuri (change)” button or lever.

3. Customize your meal with extra meal tickets

Besides the original menu, you can add original toppings by adding meal tickets (for example, eggs and vegetables at Ramen restaurant). In this case, you need the meal ticket of the original menu and also the ticket of the topping. To change your meal to a large serving, you usually also need a extra ticket.

If you are not sure how to buy the tickets, the staffs may help you. After you buy the tickets, you do not need to have the check after your meal, so all you will do is to enjoy your meal!!


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