I'm writing a skit but I need a counter for bowls of ramen. ひとつ ふたつ somehow sounds weird. Is there a counter for bowls?

2 Answers 2


Quote from 数え方の辞典 (which I have introduced here before):




  • I take it 玉 would mostly be used in the sense of 替え玉{かえだま}?
    – nkjt
    Mar 24, 2013 at 12:20
  • @nkjt うどん[玉]{たま}にも「うどん[2玉]{ふたたま}買ってきて~」とかいいます。 fujimuraya.com/shopping/shop/udon/image/m0100l.jpg ←普通、これ位の大きさのが[1玉]{ひとたま}。ゆでてある「和そば」や、焼きそば・ラーメン用のゆで麺も、よく「玉」で数えます
    – user1016
    May 13, 2013 at 19:57
  • A very misleading answer for most J-leaners. One would need a near-native level proficiency to make use of it.
    – user4032
    Oct 18, 2013 at 2:51
  • @TokyoNagoya どう、どう・・・。(← I mean, "Easy", not "How")
    – user1016
    Oct 18, 2013 at 10:44
  • 1
    まあ、OPがコンテクストを提示してないし、レストラン/ラーメン屋での会話だとも書いてないし・・・「一日にラーメン3杯食えます」って言ってるかもしれないし・・しょうがないよね~汗 ^^;
    – user1016
    Oct 18, 2013 at 11:03

How significant is it when a Japanese learner says a word or phrase sounds weird? ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ, etc. is by far the most often used way of ordering ramen in a restaurant.

玉 is the counter for the noodle part of a ramen, not for the entire bowl of ramen with noodles, soup, toppings, etc.

杯 is the counter for the whole thing --- noodles, soup and toppings. Some people use this counter for ordering ramen but it is much less common to do so than to use ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ.

丁 is the counter almost exclusively used by the waiter/waitress to tell the kitchen how many ramen has just been ordered.

本 is almost irrelevant to the original question because it is only used to count the strands of noodle.  

  • 1
    Come to think of it... we use ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ when ordering coffee, udon, yakisoba, sushi, cheeseburger, french fries and... just about anything! (...except kushi-age and yakitori, maybe?)
    – user1016
    Oct 18, 2013 at 4:03
  • 8
    “How significant is it when a Japanese learner says a word or phrase sounds weird?” What is this sentence supposed to mean? It sounds a little insulting. Oct 18, 2013 at 10:22
  • @Tokyo どう、どう・・・
    – user1016
    Oct 18, 2013 at 10:45

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