Connect magazine Japan #39 -- May 2015

Page 38


Gotochi ramen (ご当地 ラーメン) is ramen unique to a certain region in Japan. The variation is vast; some ramen have thick noodles and some have thin ones. Some have a thick, rich soup (kotteri, こって り), while others have a light soup (assari, あっさり). “Sapporo ramen” generally means miso ramen. However, according to many of the cooks at ramen establishments in Hokkaido, milk miso ramen is also very popular. In areas closer to the ocean, like Hakodate and Aomori, shio (salt) ramen reigns supreme. Also, as these regions are famous for fish, gotochi ramen in these areas often have a slight fishy taste; in Aomori, Shige Ramen (茂ラーメン) in Sapporo is a quaint, familyowned restaurant that serves many types of ramen, including milk miso ramen.



there is a distinct sardine taste, and the noodles are on the thicker side. In Mito, Ibaraki, all of the locals talk about stamina ramen. Stamina ramen was created in Mito city, and is eaten both hot and cold. It has a unique broth, which is both sweet and savory, and the special feature is Japanese squash, or kabocha (かぼちゃ). Tokyo has many varieties of ramen. This is likely because of influence from all around Japan as well as all around the world. For example, there is one ramen shop that has almost any kind of ramen imaginable, such as

ramen with ribs, chicken, or steak. “Tokyo ramen” generally means shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, but tsukemen (dipping ramen) and abura soba (broth-less oily noodles) also originated there and are quite popular. Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan. However, it is also quite urban and modern. Tenkaippin is a nice example of modern Kyoto ramen. Although it is now a chain that can be found across the country, it originated in Kyoto, and the original flavor hasn’t changed, according to the cooks. Hakata ramen is possibly the most famous in Japan.

Matsugoro (松五郎) in Mito, Ibaraki is famous for stamina ramen with kabocha. It can be eaten hot or cold; cold is slightly more popular.

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