U.S.-based Yo-Kai Express launches autonomous restaurant platform in Japan

April 14, 2022
The company's innovative autonomous restaurant platform now serves authentic hot ramen bowls at several key transit areas in Japan.

Yo-Kai Express, a Silicon Valley-based food tech company, announced the official debut of the Yo-Kai Express autonomous restaurant platform in J.R. East Tokyo, making the machine available in three transportation locations including Japan's Haneda Airport Terminal 2, J.R. East Tokyo Station, and Shibaura Parking Area.

Founded in 2016, Yo-Kai Express is an innovative autonomous restaurant platform that serves contactless, freshly prepared meals with over 30 menu varieties 24 hours a day. The machine's unique cooking technology creates hot ramen noodles on-demand, just like those served at street-side restaurants. Yo-Kai Express has installed these machines in approximately 50 locations throughout the United States, including airports, hotels, hospitals, corporations, universities, and conference centers, serving over 200,000 meals to date.

"We have supported this project as a technology partner for the past three years," said Akiho Shibata, CTO and general manager of technology division, SoftBank Robotics Corp. "We look forward to continuing to work together to promote the development of food tech solutions, provide services that impress our customers and work together to solve social problems such as food scarcity through technology."

Shigemi Kawahara, president and representative director (founder of Ippudo), Chikaranomoto Holdings Co., Ltd, added: "I would like to extend my congratulations on this occasion. Ippudo has been expanding overseas with the goal of making 'ramen' a universal word, starting with our entry into the New York market in 2008. A new piece of technology originating from the U.S. has opened up new possibilities for customers to enjoy ramen in a new form. It is a homecoming for ramen in Japan and the birth of a new culture. I am glad that we are taking part in this together." 


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