Popular Japanese ramen chain Ippudo has some serious expansion plans. The restaurant already has locations in New York, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Taiwan, and it recently opened in London. Now, according to Asia One, the Cool Japan Fund — which is financed mainly by the Japanese government "to promote Japanese culture overseas" — will invest as much as 2 billion yen ($16.5 million USD) into the company. The Cool Japan Fund hopes Ippudo will use the money to "set up premium outlets in Europe and the United States."
In Japan, diners typically leave ramen shops as soon as they are finished eating. Organizers behind the fund hope that Ippudo can build a "ramen shop chain in a different style overseas" where diners can also drink sake and order side dishes to go with their ramen. So brace, America, there may soon be an Ippudo near you.