Ramen Show: Things You Need to Know!
By Riccardo on 31 Oct 2016
This is a very important week in Tokyo. In fact, for me, it is easily the most important week of the year. No, I’m not talking about the G8 or any upcoming geo-political event, I’m talking about ramen. If you don’t like ramen, then I’m not sure what planet you come from but if, like me, you were born on planet Earth and you happen to be in Tokyo during this week, then you shouldn’t miss the Ramen Show for anything in the world.
There are 2 ramen shows going on right now in Tokyo. Sadly, one of them is almost over, but the main festival is still running for another week.
You can find all the details below.
- Dai Tsukemen Haku
Period: October 10 – October 31
Place: Shinjuku (Tokyo)
Price: ticket for 1 ramen or tsukemen 860 yen (1600 for 2 tickets)
This is a minor event, compared to the other bigger Ramen Festival in Komazawa, but it is still worth going since it is conveniently located in Kabukicho. This festival takes place in an open area where different ramen shops cominf from various towns of Japan have set up their stands where you can buy and taste the best ramen in the country. It is pretty easy to understand how it works: basically you will find automated ticket machines at the entrance, buy one (or many) tickets, and get in line for one of the many ramen shops.
It might be more challenging to decide which kind of ramen you want to go for. Luckily, every shop has pictures of what they are serving, so even if you don’t understand Kanji, you can still get an idea of what you are going to eat. Of course, looking good doesn't necessarily mean tasting good, and vice versa. For example, the first Tsukemen I ate there, doesn’t look that good in pictures (see below) but as a matter of fact it was super delicious.
The noodles had pieces of crabs in it, and it was served in a fish-based broth. This is something you won’t normally find in ramen shops and it’s probably one of the most unique ramen I had the chance to eat since I moved to Japan years ago (maybe not as unique as the sea urchin ramen I ate once, but that’s a story for another time).
The second ramen I ordered was a typical soy-based soup ramen, nothing too fancy, but what made it delicious was the huge amount of meat on top of it (picture below). Speaking about toppings, one important thing to know is that you can add extra toppings such as boiled eggs, extra meat, vetegables, bamboo, etc. but it requires extra charges you can pay directly when ordering. As you can see from the picture, my ramen was stuffed with extra meat and eggs, and that costed me 500 yen, which is still pretty reasonable.
Just for the records, below is the picture of the ramen my friend ordered. I’m not sure what kind of ramen that is but according to him it tasted very good.
- Tokyo Ramen Show
Period: October 27 – November 6
Place: Komazawa (Tokyo), Olympic Park
Price: ticket for 1 ramen or tsukemen 850 yen
This is the biggest ramen festival happening in Tokyo this year, and it will be running for another week so hurry up and go there asap. Just like the other festival, you can buy the tickets using automated machines at the entrance, and if you want extra toppings on your ramen you’ll need to pay extra cash.
The location, though, is what makes it different: this festival is in the middle of a gorgeous park (the Olympic Park) which offers other types of activities as well, such as cycling (rental bikes available), a skate park, and various sport amenities. If you’re not the sporty type of fellow, just go straight to the ramen show and put on some fat, no one is going to judge you!
Among the usual plethora of ramen available, this timeI decided to go for the “donkotsu” type, which is a very dense and creamy type of pork-based soup. What I liked about this ramen (see the picture below) was the meat, which was as tender as butter, it almost melted in my mouth.
The second ramen I ordered was a “donkotsu” ramen as well. The difference was the soup was so thick and salty I felt totally full after just a couple of spoons. Nevertheless this was probably the most delicious ramen of the four I ate.
Below are the pictures of the two ramen my friend chose to eat:
Just a final warning before you decide to go there though:
Try to avoid weekends and go there on weekdays if you can!
It will save you a lot of time…
Curious about what is going on in Tokyo and Osaka this month? Check our events post blog!
Riccardo is an Italian weirdo who has been living in Asia for the past 10 years. He speaks several languages and sometimes he doesn’t even remember where he came from. He likes ice cream, pizza, and Quentin Tarantino. Say "Hi" if you meet him around Tokyo, though he probably won't say hello back to you.