I spent most of this day being confused. So I ate this curry pan from the local bakery and still remained confused.
Then I ate this tsukemen before we opened shop and things started to clear up, slightly.
A few hours later I ate this ramen with mixed-noodles and instantly understood…
Ramen is everything to me and not worth losing over anything…
First, I gotta give props to my friends at Sun Noodle for hooking me up with the golden ticket! Second, thank you Mikawaya Seimen for making me feel like a kid again. To be able to tour the factory of one of the biggest noodle makers in Japan is something I never believed would ever be possible. My jaw was dropped the entire time.
It began with our rep, Hoshi-san, picking us up at the station and driving us to the factory. (Btw, we use Mikawaya Seimen noodles at Bassanova.)
Where he led us into a door that basically says ‘no normal people allowed.’ I always knew I wasn’t normal. haha. Then we spent the next two hours speaking with the president, Miyauchi 社長, as he gave us a personal tour of his factory. All I have to say is wow! I learned so much today and it was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
As one would expect, I wasn’t able to take any pictures inside of the factory due to the secrecy of the profession…that is…aside from the men’s urinal. Hey, at least I now have proof I was actually in the building! haha.
Afterwards, we still had some time before work so Shuga and I decided to check out Menbu Kotatsu in Shinjuku.
They have a 参った ramen plaque!
Shuga got the shoyu to help heal his battle wounds.
I got the famed miso.
I was blown, but not blown away.
There’s still nothing like miso ramen from the Sumire honten in Sapporo.
Hey look! There’s a samurai at the bottom of the bowl…
I started to make a shoyu tori-soba and then I messed up on the ingredients I had planned and ended up improvising. In the end, this was better than anything I’ve made before.
Then Komuro-san made this super good abura-soba. Perhaps we should start putting these on the menu. haha.
Later, I was in the mood for natto.
After work I enjoyed this grilled cheese sandwich while I waited for a friend.
I love my camera. I took the above pic in the dark without a flash and it still came out alright.
I woke up this morning to an unexpected knock on my door. It was her and she was craving some wonton ramen. Who, you ask? Haha, that’s not important. Anyway, I took her to Ryo Tan Tei just down the street. She had some wontons…
And I had my first Hiyashi Chuuka of the summer.
It was refreshing.
And I felt refreshed…
I’ve always wanted to live in a high-rise building over-looking a big city like Tokyo so I can wake up to a view like this. And for one night, I got the chance. I know I’ll probably never live in a pad this fresh, but it was nice to just experience it once.
Then it was off to Eleven Foods (イレブンフーズ) where they start serving ramen at 8 in the morning. Since eleven is my favorite number, could this become my favorite ramen-ya?
I first heard of Eleven Foods when I was hanging out at the 808 lounge with Ono-san and friends. They told me that I wouldn’t be a true ramen geek until I tried it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am now a true ramen geek! They weren’t kidding. This was a very good bowl. And it’s a strange bowl at that. The soup was not piping hot and the noodles were a tad overcooked, but the bowl still had loads of character.
A bowl at 9am never tasted so good. But I wouldn’t be in a rush to call it my fave.
They also use the honor system here. When you are finished eating, you pay by putting your money in a cup and take out whatever change you need.
Afterwards, I went home to get some much needed sleep before work, then went out to grab some Chinese food.
Work was a bit crazy, but I can always count on the green curry to keep me sane.
I am very lucky…
After only a few hours of sleep, I was ready to meet my friends at our usual spot on my night off. Rameniac was back in town and it was time to get down.
My friend moca had other plans and just wanted to munch on my pocket wifi.
Apparently she was hungry so we all went to go get some ramen!
Wakatsuki is one of my faves.
And in case the ramen wasn’t enough.
We ordered some yakisoba. The handmade noodles are awesome!
And now it was time to enjoy the view.
I began the day paying a visit to my nieces and was surprised to see this fresh dog greeting me at the door. Her name was Luna.
Then it was off to get some fresh ramen in Shinjuku before buying my plane ticket home. Oh did I not tell you I’ll be back in LA for a week next month? (well, pending my waiting list status.)
Horiuchi is another nostalgic shop that opened in 1961. The owner is some fresh old dude that has one of the best “irasshaimase’s” that I’ve ever heard. Yes, I observe those things about ramen shops too. haha.
Now this chashu ramen was definitely fresh!
Even the fresh noodles were…well…fresh!
Just look at the size of this fresh ass piece of chashu.
And after a fresh night of work it was time to check out the Japan vs. Denmark soccer game.
Japan won 3-1! Fresh.
The game ended at six in the morning and I was invited to see some fresh models at seven.
Needless to say, I went 26 hours without sleep just to be a part of this. I was not fresh.
So what does ramen have to do with this photo shoot? Absolutely nothing, but I was invited and I wanted to go. haha. Ain’t that fresh enough?
By the way, apparently models like to eat fresh too….