Chris Takahashi spent years making dishes for some of the world's most fussy eaters -- New Yorkers. On returning to his home country a few years ago after 27 years away, instead of trying to slot into some kind of salaried position in a society where he felt completely lost, he decided to do what he knew best.

So Takahashi bought a van, remodeled it into a cozy kitchen-on-wheels he named Wrap'n Roll, and started to produce the kind of tortilla sandwiches that became a trendy alternative to burritos in New York and San Francisco in the 1990s.

On a typical day, Takahashi now prepares his ingredients at home for two hours after seeing his child off to school in the morning. Then he hits the road at around 11 a.m. and heads off to Tokyo's posh Daikanyama district, where he finds a place to park his mobile shop in an alley. Open from noon to 8 p.m. every day but Wednesday, he serves seven kinds of wraps to office and shop workers looking for convenient but tasty meals on weekdays, and at weekends also caters to tourists from out of town who might be looking to save as much money as they can for shopping.