What’s The First Thing I’m Going to Do When I Get Back to Japan? Eat Ramen!

Now that it is confirmed that I’ll be going out to Japan this May, my brain has been busy running through the things that now need to be done. These tasks are mostly tedious, and so I have allowed my mind to dwell on some of the stuff I’ll do once I get to Japan.

First on that list is deciding what the first thing to do is. As in… anyway, when I get to Japan the first thing I will do is: Eat ramen.

Well, obviously the first thing I’ll do is grab some canned coffee, but that won’t take long. My first proper action will involve locating ramen, and of course some gyoza to accompany it.

Let me explain briefly what I’m talking about.

Oh, you know about ramen? You had some at Wagamama?

You know nothing of ramen!

Ahem… what I meant is that the difference between the ramen you get in Japan and the stuff on offer in the UK is roughly equivalent to the difference between real-life Mt. Fuji and a badly-drawn triangle.

Me eating ramen with my friend Takuma

Enjoying some ramen and gyoza with my good friend Takuma. A bad photo of some good food.

Anyway, in case you really do know nothing of ramen, it’s essentially noodles in broth, except much more exciting than that sounds. The broth is what makes the ramen. Deep, rich, and in all other ways very tasty. It generally comes in 3 flavours: salt, miso, and soy sauce, which incidentally is my order of preference. Throw in some quality noodles, some sliced pork, a bit of chopped up veg, and a half-boiled egg for good measure and you have yourself a meal my friend.

Almost. A bowl of ramen is not complete without a plate of gyoza on the side.

Gyoza are dumplings. But again, such a translation fails to do them justice. They are bite-sized bundles of delight. I defy anyone to sit before a plate of steaming gyoza and remain an atheist. They are irresistible proof of divine benevolency.

Interestingly, ramen and gyoza are both originally from China. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. But they are one of the most popular dishes in Japan. Kinda like the way us Brits have adopted and adapted curry to our tastes.

A fair few of my Japanese friends have traveled overseas. And when they get back to Japan they invariably seek out a ramen restaurant as soon as possible. I understand why: Ramen is – in case you hadn’t gathered this already – amazing!

But enough about me, what about you? If you’ve spent time in Japan, or elsewhere, what’s the dish that you really crave? And if you do know a restaurant in the UK that sells Japan-level ramen, please let me know!

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9 thoughts on “What’s The First Thing I’m Going to Do When I Get Back to Japan? Eat Ramen!

  1. Cathryn

    As I said on FB, Arthur would first hunt out the cat cafe and I’d head to Ueno Park, sit in my favourite Starbucks and eat their cakes because SB cakes in Japan are infinitely better.

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    1. levibooth Post author

      You know I’m yet to go to a cat cafe. The idea of paying to have a cat dig its claws into you whilst you try to drink coffee… I’m just not sold on that. And surely you would find a Mister Donuts, rather than a Starbucks?

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      1. Cathryn

        No, I really like the one in Ueno, it’s really peaceful. Try the cat cafe in Odaiba (big pink place). They play music of cats meowing the sound of music songs. It’s bliss.

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  2. Rossi

    With you on the gyoza (though I did recently acquire a bag of frozen ones from the local Asian super-market which wasn’t half bad!).
    It probably sounds dull and basic but I really miss the rice, it was so much better than rice we get here (even so-caller ‘sushi-rice’ you can buy tends to often be Italian in origin). That and Anin-Dofu, which I have attempted to make at home with only limited success.

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    1. levibooth Post author

      Totally agree on the rice. The stuff you can buy from Asian shops here is just… there’s something missing. I’m not sure what, but it doesn’t taste as good.

      Well done on attempting Anin-Dofu. I haven’t tried anything as adventurous as that.

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  3. Matthew Weston

    There’s a restaurant in Brighton that does very tasty donburi for less than a fiver. As a Relay worker I went there frequently! I also discovered a Japanese food store that sold onigiri, but they were very expensive. I agree with you about ramen and gyoza. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…

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    1. levibooth Post author

      Ah, donburi… I am a big fan! Sadly I don’t imagine I’ll get to visit Brighton before I head out to Japan, so I’ll take your word on that one. I have the same problem with onigiri. I find it hard to justify buying it in shops here, knowing that in Japan you can get it for half the price (or less).

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  4. Pingback: For Everything a Season: on Goodbyes and Cherry Blossom | Reversed Thunder

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