Luckily the weather is still nice!! Though it is getting a little chillier and windier, these kinds of days are perfect for outdoor festivals like the Tokyo Ramen Show, where the noodles can warm you up and hit all the right spots. This show in particular was advertised as “representing the different regions of Japan,” which is sweet, sweet music to the ears of someone who’s been commuting in Japan for too long. It takes forever to go from one destination to another, but prefectures are on a completely different level (I love food, but traveling to a whole other district just to try their ramen is a bit much for me!). So this was super convenient and cool for all these chefs to come from all over the country to promote their regional food cultures!
Each ramen ticket was 850 yen, which is really not bad for a good bowl of noodles. My aunt and little cousin recommended that we try three different types of broth: shoyu (soy sauce), tonkotsu (pork bone), and miso/bonito. I’m sure there were a lot of other ones, especially since there were apparently “special collaborative ramens,” but these three are very classic types of broth. Still, you can clearly tell the difference between all three! Even the noodles were different: thick and hearty, thin and curly, and thin and smooth. My favorite one was the heartiest – from Kagoshima, with pork, half-boiled eggs, and a yuzu-cabbage mixture. I didn’t even know that ramen could differ in so many aspects!! And (as I am a topping fiend), the toppings truly do make the perfect additions to those noodles.
Afterwards, we got some kakigori, a Japanese shaved ice dessert. If you’re from Southern California, it’s a liiiiittle similar to Class 302 or Snow Station in texture. In general, Japanese desserts are not as sweet as Western ones, but this means you can eat more of it without getting sick of the sweetness as quickly! Though this was a festival for ramen, the line was the longest for the kakigori stand because shaved ice actually takes a bit of time to prepare for that super soft, fluffy texture. We got the matcha flavor (we had to since it’s a classic), but all the other flavors sounded equally as appetizing, like salted caramel, or purple sweet potato (super curious about this one!).
Besides all that ramen, the show took place in Komazawa Olympic Park. Autumn is in full swing, and the trees were just starting to change color! There were a bunch of families playing underneath the trees, skateboarders at their own skate park, and even the trendiest Shibuya teens were enjoying the weather and noodles.