Japan Rest Stop Ranzan PA, Kanetsu Expressway, Saitama Prefecture
Japanese rest stops are a welcomed place to stop for food and shopping. “Black” is the culinary keyword (and marketing gimmick) at this parking area on the Tokyo-bound side of the Kanetsu Expressway, which links the heavyweight commercial centers of Tokyo and Niigata.
Truckers plying the route can stop here for black coffee and the PA’s signature black donuts, or they can combine their caffeine and sugar via the espresso-spiked soft-serve ice cream. Also notable is the spicy-sweet black curry, which gets its color from the addition of bamboo charcoal to the recipe. Ranzan PA even sells its own lineup of black goods, including yakisoba sauce, squid-ink/miso sauce and karintō deep-fried wheat snacks. Pictured below is the Black Series at Ranzan PA includes makkuro dorayaki (pitch-black bean-paste cakes).