Back in Tokyo, Leah and I were delirious, hungry, and completely unsure of how to proceed. We punched some random buttons on the machine. After a few failed attempts, we managed to successfully figure out where sit down in neighboring booths, and pulled back the partition dividing us (this is a little-discussed aspect of the Ichiran experience— you can actually share your booth with another person, should you so desire). We filled out our papers, mercifully in English, indicating how rich we'd like our broth and how firm we'd like our noodles. And then, moments later, a pair of disembodied hands emerged from the curtain before us, holding a bowl containing a single egg, in its shell, and a tiny packet of salt.