On my first night in Nikko I went out for dinner with two other guys from my hostel. One of them was a British web designer named John and the other was a Japanese PhD student named Jin (or maybe it was Jun). We walked around for a while checking out various establishments and eventually settled on a ramen restaurant that was right off one of the town’s main roads. The staff there spoke tiny bits of English but it was definitely helpful to have Jin with us. Jin would also end up helping an American couple that were sitting near us and were having trouble communicating the wife’s food allergy to the staff.
For my dinner I ordered some salt chicken ramen with a small beef and rice bowl, plus three dumplings. John and Jin had different varieties of ramen and it turned out to be a very good meal. When I’m back in Nikko this year I’m going to see if that ramen restaurant is still open and if so I’ll likely pay it another visit. I don’t remember the name of the place but I took a photo of it the next day to help me remember it.