One of the nicer things about Japanese food is that they are the one's who invented and perfected Ramen. Now I'm not talking about your instant pack of dehydrated noodles that you cook in three minutes and have a narrow selection of flavors including, salt, salty, or saltier. No, not that crap, what I'm talking about is a real food, let alone a real meal.
Now that's ramen! Real meat, real vegetables, real noodles. Nothing but the freshest and the finest ingredients. Cha-shumen is the type of ramen seen above, which is a soup based ramen with the special flavoring of pork. The slices of meat are small pork cuts of the finest white thigh of a swine, and the flavor is to die for!
One of the unique things about Japanese quisine is its locality and the reginiol popularity of certain types of flavors or styles (via methods) of cooking. Kumamoto is famous for the ton-katsu flavor, or pig bone-marrow, which gives a fried pork-chop flavoring to the ramen seen above. Drinking up the soupy-mix at the bottom of the bowl when everything else is eaten up is the best part. It's where all the flavor is.
Every region sponsors a different food, or style of cooking or flavoring the same type of food. The ramen in Fukuoka is famous for it's spicy pepper flavors, and the ramen in Osaka is famous in yet a different way. Traveling Japan one of the greatest and funnest things one can do is try all the different flavors at each stop. (Kumamoto is also famous for Horse Shashimi -raw horse slices served like sushi). Oh, and if you happen to be Jewish, no worries mate! You can find other flavors of ramen including corn ramen. No meat, just lots of corn, noodles, and vegies! (Also suitable for you vegetarians out there).
One of the best ramen places in Japan actually comes from a fast-food chain called Aji-sen Ramen. Ajisen is distinquishable by the little (anime styled) girl holding the big fake bowl of ramen, and also the superior quality of the ramen they serve. Above I took a picture of the two gils to show you the contrast. The woman sitting in the window just happens to be Sayaka's mother.
Even though Ajisen is a mega-chain restaurant, I still rank its ramen in the top 3 places I have ever eaten ramen in Japan. The other 2 ramen sites beong to private small corner ramen shops which serve some of the greatest mouth watering ramen you could ever dream up. Fukoka is home to one, and Kumamoto has the other. I look forward to finding many more delicious ramen shops, and part of the adventure is he excitement of find the various places around town.
Here are the two love birds as they wait for delicious hot ramen.