Ramen, udon, and soba… there are so many foods to choose from!

serials noodles


23/08/2018 Arakicho  Bars & Restaurants  Ramen, Soba, etc...

Soba House Konjiki Hototogisu (new location 2018) – a Michelin Restaurant near Shinjuku Gyoen Park

[UPDATE] Konjiki Hototogisu is now a one-star restaurant in the 2019 edition of the MICHELIN Guide Tokyo

What is the number one ranked ramen restaurant in the Shinjuku area? There are several ranking sites for ramen but recently the “ramen database” (in Japanese only) has started appearing frequently in my search results. Their number 1 ramen restaurant in the Shinjuku area, Soba House Konjiki Hototogisu (Konjiki for short) is a place I never heard of before. In addition, it’s labeled as a Bib Gourmand Michelin restaurant, meaning that it offers gourmet food at a reasonable price. Without further ado, I decided to check it out for myself.

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25/11/2014 Visit: Parks & Nature  Visit: Temples & Shrines

The lovely waters and the abundant greenery of “Jindaiji Temple” will make you forget the hustle and bustle of the city.


The Lovely Waters and the Abundant Greenery of “Jindaiji Temple” Will Make You Forget the Hustle and Bustle of the City. Located in Tokyo’s western suburb of Chofu, Jindaiji temple is surrounded by such abundant greenery that you cannot believe you are in Tokyo, and the stone-paved pathway to the temple, lined with traditional teahouses and soba noodle shops, will make you feel as though you are in an ancient city like Kyoto or Nara. This is a popular sightseeing spot, because while still nearby to Tokyo, you can also savor the feeling of taking a journey. In addition, the god of this temple is famous as a matchmaker, so […]

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04/05/2015 Visit: Temples & Shrines

A recommended route for touring Izumo Vol.1 Make a good match by visiting a place thought to be, flowing with mystical energy.

There are many locations in Izumo thought to be flowing with mystical energy. Why not visit Izumo when you want more energy, power and motivation to seek an unknown mystical power? *In Japanese, the coined term “power spot” denotes any location thought to be, flowing with mystical energy. These places are believed to heal and energize people based on spirituality, feng shui, and Qigong. Location A Izumo-taisha Shrine Izumo-taisha Shrine is one of the most famous ‘power spots.’ This place is famous for its match making God and fortune God, and it’s said that myriads of Gods from all over Japan will meet here in October, according to the old […]

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13/08/2018 Everyday Life in Japan  Ramen, Soba, etc...  Travel Tips

10 things you should know before eating ramen in Japan

If you’re traveling alone and feeling hungry ramen is probably the best choice for a satisfying meal. It’s arguably one of the most famous Japanese dishes and there are several well-known Tokyo ramen restaurants closeby to the Tadaima Japan Shinjuku Ryokan. Whether it’s your first time to try ramen, or whether you are a ramen veteran, you should definitely add one (or more) ramen meals to your itinerary. Here are 10 things you should know before you start slurping down those noodles.

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02/12/2015 Visit: Castles

Matsumoto Castle was built 400 years ago to win gun battles (Nagano Prefecure)

Matsumoto Castle

The impressive, Matsumoto-jo Castle. The oldest castle tower in Japan has 5 tiers and 6 floors, and has been preserved in its current state for 400 years. This black castle is also called “Uzyo” and is one of the most popular. The contrast of the black castle with white snow is especially beautiful. Let me introduce the inside. A castle built for military strategy Along with it’s impressive exterior, Matsumoto Castle is also built for military strategies and gun battles. It has fewer windows and more openings to accommodate gun barrels. Ishitosohi, or openings to drop stones onto soldiers climbing the stone walls, is another impressive feature of this castle. […]

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27/03/2018 Arakicho  Bars & Restaurants  Ramen, Soba, etc...

Yotsuya Mensho Suzy House, unique lemon tsukemen in an unusual house

For those wanting to try a different take on ramen, look no further than Suzy House, just a few minutes on foot from JR Yotsuya station. They offer innovative dipping noodle dishes which you can enjoy surrounded by an interesting decor. If you go for the lemon tsukemen, don’t forget to challenge yourself by squeezing the lemon slices with your chopsticks.

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06/10/2015 Visit: Charming Towns  Visit: Temples & Shrines

Experience it with your five senses! Our recommended route for a 2-day trip to Hiroshima! (MOVIE)


We will recommend the same route we have traveled for 2 days Hiroshima! We toured Hiroshima by streetcars and visited Miyajima Island at night. The next day, we went to the Shimanami Kaido. We also enjoyed the good food of Hiroshima Prepared yourself with a good pair of walking shoes!

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24/12/2015 Bars & Restaurants  Visit: Parks & Nature

Grab an English map and have a look at the stylish, retro restaurants at the foot of Mt. Fuji!

Mt. Fuji

The hidden restaurants and bars that you don’t know about, are here! There are many great Japanese restaurants such as yakitori, sushi, soba, and even bars around the Fujisan station at the Fuji Express Line. These shops are popular among local people, but they are located hidden areas. Recently, new stylish cafés and restaurants have opened up and it creates a cool, new atmosphere in the town. You MUST eat Udon noodles in Yoshida! Enjoyed for over 500 years, Yoshida’s Udon is “The Dish” of Yoshida city. It is said that people used to eat the udon to purify their body before climbing the mountain. There are more than 70 […]

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25/08/2014 Ramen, Soba, etc...  Seasonal Activities

【SUMMER】Scoop and slurp! Nagashi Somen.

Just scoop up and slurp down the noodles as they flow towards you on the slide!

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17/10/2014 Food & Specialties  Ramen, Soba, etc...

Cooking on a roof tile?! Have a taste of “Kawara Soba,” a Yamaguchi Prefecture specialty

This weird cooking technique was born in battle In the City of Shimonoseki, in Yamaguchi Prefecture, there is a local cuisine called kawara soba. It consists of cha-soba, (tea noodles) and various toppings that are served on a heated on a roof tile! The kawara are the pretty tiles you can see on the Japanese traditional housing. Why use this as a cooking ustensil? In 1887 Japan experienced what would become its final civil war. The story says that during intervals between long field battles, the soldiers would heat kawara tiles and cook wild grass and meat on them, giving birth to the dish now known as kawara soba. Beef, […]

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29/10/2014 Food & Specialties  Ramen, Soba, etc...

How would you like to try “Nagasaki Champon”, a local noodle dish from Nagasaki whose name means, “to mix”?

It is cheap and highly nutritious! This local dish was developed from Chinese cuisine. There was a time period called “Sakoku” (literally meaning, national isolation) in which Japan did not have any kind of relationship with other countries. At that time, the only place that had a cultural exchange with a foreign country was Nagasaki. This has greatly influenced the food culture there as well. “Nagasaki Champon,” a representative noodle dish from Nagasaki is said to have been created for Chinese exchange students in Nagasaki by people who had come from the Fujian Province in China. This dish, made by cooking abundant vegetables and scraps of meat together with Chinese […]

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01/05/2015 Food & Specialties

Goboten Udon is a root vegetable cuisine that is loved by the people in Fukuoka Prefecture! Its crispy and crunchy texture is worth giving it a try!

What’s Goboten Udon? It’s Fukuoka people’s soul food. Guess what these finely shredded things are! It’s a Tempura made of the shredded root vegetable, gobo. It comes with hot udon noodles and a hot soup broth made from dried bonito, dried seaweed, and konbu. In Fukuoka Prefecture, the goboten udon is popular among people, and many udon restaurants have it on their menu. What’s gobo? Some of you living in other countries might wonder what kind of vegetable gobo is. I can totally understand why you might not know about it, because it’s mainly eaten in Japan. Frankly to say, gobo is the root of Asteraceae type flowers. You might […]

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30/09/2015 Bars & Restaurants

“Shuukaen”, the ramen shop in Onomichi that brings in ramen lovers!

Shuukaen Ramen

Shuukaen is a ramen shop that opened in 1947 in Onomichi. The first owner, Shu Ashun, was from Taiwan and the shop is still referred to as “Shu-san” by the local people. I recommend arriving earlier for lunch on weekends, because the lines tend to get long just after they open.

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28/07/2014 Ramen, Soba, etc...

Super-thick “Ise udon” noodles, which are boiled for an hour!

【Photo by Yuri Suzuki】 This dish is so popular that it will have you scolded by the god Emma for wanting to eat it! Udon is a dish that is much loved all over Japan, but Ise udon has been in the limelight lately. Tourist after tourist is surprised by how different this dish is to regular udon. Ise udon is the local style of udon in Mie Prefecture, home of the Ise Grand Shrine. This simple dish features super thick noodles with a diameter of one centimeter! They are served in a black sauce and are covered with sliced green onions and raw egg. Ise udon noodles are known […]

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11/11/2014 Ramen, Soba, etc...

“Hakata ramen,” the first step to becoming a ramen connoisseur

If you are having “Hakata ramen,” you have got to master all about the hardness of the noodles and about “kaedama” (or second serving of noodles on a previously purchased ramen bowl.) It is likely that everybody here knows “Hakata ramen.” Japanese ramen is popular among foreigners, so there may even be many of you who have actually eaten it before. This ramen is characterized by the combination of its extra fine noodles with a rich and milky tonkotsu soup. But, aside from its content, it is known for the fact that customers can choose the hardness of the noodles, and also as the originator of the “kaedama,” which consists […]

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19/12/2014 Ramen, Soba, etc...  Seasonal Activities  Traditions & History

【WINTER】Eating “Toshikoshi Soba Noodles” on December 31st will give you good fortune?


New years Eve (Omisoka) has arrived! In Japan we call the last day of the year, December 31st, Omisoka. This day is to rid oneself of negativity and prepare for the New Year. One end of the year custom is eating Toshikoshi Soba Noodles, commonly eaten on the last day of the year. Why, you ask?   Eat Toshikoshi Soba Noodles and free yourself from the hardships of the year! There are several reasons. First of all, the noodle is easy to cut, symbolizing the ability to cut off the evil and negativity of the year. Also, the noodle is long and thin, so it signifies living longer and being […]

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26/01/2015 Ramen, Soba, etc...

”Himokawa Udon” is a kind of foldable noodle like a cloth, a local noodle dish from Gunma


“Is this noodle!?” When I first saw this noodle, I was so surprised even I have been in Japan for 8 years!(I’m from Shanghai, China)It’s opposite to the traditional thin and long noodle, and is very wide! This is called “Himokawa Udon”, a specialty of Kiryu city, Gunma Pref. There are variety of noodles in Japan according to the history and environment in each area. If it was made of flour and has certain width and thickness, it is called Udon. The kinds of Udon is classified by a guideline “Quality Labeling Standards for instant noodles” by Japan Agricultural Standards(JAS). ・Diameter of more than 1.7mm ― Udon ・Diameter of more […]

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18/06/2015 Bars & Restaurants  Ramen, Soba, etc...

Popular Iranian/Japanese ramen in Koenji at Bia Bia restaurant

A ramen shop that’s popular among women and children. Bia Bia is about a 1 min walk from the Higashi-koenji station on Tokyo’s metro Marunouchi line. It looks more like a café or hair salon than a ramen shop. The typical Japanese ramen shop consists of a bunch of guys sitting at a counter, quietly eating ramen, with a grumpy owner quietly serving them. Nowadays it’s getting more common for women to eat ramen alone, but it’s still a bit hard for them to get a seat at a ramen shop on their own. Today, I’d like to introduce a ramen shop that’s popular among women and children and surprisingly […]

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19/08/2015 Ramen, Soba, etc...

Go try Hiroshima’s specialty, “Bakudan-ya” ‘s Tsukemen, as soon as you arrive!

Taste the popular Japanese food Tsukemen, in Hiroshima! The summer is coming to the end, but Japan is still very hot these days. Don’t you feel like eating something hot on a hot day? For those who love spicy food, I recommend Tsukemen from “Bakudan-ya”. There are some special Tsukemen shops all over Japan, but Hiroshima‘s has a special feature. Tsukemen is a type of cold noodle that you dip in hot soup. Occasionally, you can choose from hot or cold soups, and hot or cold noodles. Its very similar to Japanese “Zaru-soba”. Chili battle! What level of spiciness do you prefer? The special feature of Hiroshima’s Tsukemen is its […]

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03/09/2015 Bars & Restaurants  Ramen, Soba, etc...

My favorite “Soba shop” in Asakusa! Go there, it’s the best!

Try traditional Japanese cuisine Asakusa is one of the most famous places for sightseeing in Japan and Sensouji temple and Kaminarimon are located here. I recommend that you to visit “Namiki-Yabu-Soba” shop while your there. This soba shop was founded in 1913 , as one of the “Yabu-Gosannke(藪御三家).” “Yabu(籔)” means historical soba shop in Tokyo, which implies one of three famous and historical restaurants in Tokyo. The most unique feature of the Namiki-Yabu-Soba is the strong soy source flavor of its savory soba broth. This is the reason why I often go to this Soba shop. Which menu item is most popular? The most popular menu item is “Zaru-Soba”! If […]

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01/07/2016 Ramen, Soba, etc...

What’s the differences between Ramen and Tsukemen (Dipping noodles)?

Title_ Tsukemen

Ramen’s archrival, “Tsukemen(Dipping noodles)”!
I’ll show you the differences between them. I’ll also introduce the differences between Tokyo-style Tsukemen and Hiroshima-style Tsukemen, which is ideal for the hot summer!

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30/07/2018 Arakicho  Bars & Restaurants  Ramen, Soba, etc...

Enjoy ramen and “chazuke” in one meal at Tai Shio Soba Toka

So after I finish the noodles I have to pour the leftover soup on top of the rice, is that correct?” The staff behind the counter confirmed that it is indeed the right way to make “chazuke”, a dish I had heard a lot about, but had only eaten a handful of times. If you’re looking for a novel way to enjoy ramen, or just to eat something tasty and filling, go no further than Tai Shio Soba Toka, a place where you can start with ramen, or tsukemen, and then use whatever is left of the soup to create an entirely different dish.

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