Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We Love Noodles!

Have you seen the sign, or heard of the word Ramen in Japan? Ramen is one of the most popular foods in Japan and consists of just noodles, soup, and some toppings. (It's absolutely delicious when you eat one after you have a nice drink with your friends outside!!) The first ramen was eaten during the mid-1600s and spread throughout Japan over a long period of time. Now you will see ramen stores almost everywhere in Japan; and today, thousands of Ramen stores all over Japan compete over who makes the most delicious ramen of all. Customers are always looking forward to eating the newest and most delicious ramen available. Soup flavors are usually soy sauce, miso (soybean paste), or salt-based and are topped with boiled eggs, menma (sungan), seaweed, and barbecued pork. However, there are many other original toppings and they vary depending upon where in Japan you eat them.

In Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, there is a place that gives you the opportunity to taste all the unique Ramens from all over the country. That place is called the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum. It has the name "Museum" but it is actually more like a food theme park where you can learn about the history of Ramen and have a taste of them at the same time. The concept of this theme park is "You can eat various types of Ramen without taking an airplane!" -you can have many different types of Ramen all in one place! That is definitely something that you cannot do in other places! The museum is decorated as if you have gone back half a century and houses numerous antique replicas. What kinds of Ramen stores are there? Of course, no company would serve you instant ramen in such a special area for ramens!! All of them are chosen with strict criteria: the store is usually a branch store of the original location, the original must be loved by the people of the area, must be historical, and it must have some kind of history that affected the whole ramen industry of Japan. Currently, nine ramen shops are in the Ramen Museum and even these shops change every now and again.

So, are you getting hungry? Go to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum now and enjoy a nice bowl of delicious ramen!

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is open from 11AM to 11PM on weekdays and 10:30AM to 11PM on weekends (last order is 22:05PM). Entrance fee is JPY300 for adults and JPY100 for children (1st grade and above). Access is 5 minutes from Yokohama Station.

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