One interesting thing I’ve observed about the Japanese is that they love to line up for things. If a Japanese person is walking down the street and sees people lined up to buy something — doughnuts at the newly opened Krispy Creme in Osaka, perhaps — there’s a good chance they’ll get in line, too. It seems there’s something innately fun about standing in line to buy something, and the general rule is that the longer the wait is, the better the food will be — and if no customers are waiting to eat, it’s a sign that the food isn’t very good. I’ve experienced this phenomenon firsthand when I took my son down to Tokyo for his Lego robot soccer tournament, and we walked around the city trying to find something good to eat. We ended up lining up behind two dozen Waseda university students for an hour to eat was the best chashu pork ramen in our lives. These days, technologies like Twitter are changing the way people line up, since you can check current wait times before going over to the popular Gundam Cafe in Akihabara if you like.
(By the way, the ramen shop we went to is this one. Doesn’t look like much but it was delicious.)
There’s something fun about lining up for hours for something.