Types of Japanese Ramen: Find Your Favorite

bari_ramen

Hi there, it’s Mr. Wada on duty. Once in a while I really crave for noodles such as ramen. Do you like ramen? Yeah, I do. In fact, I used to have ramen very often on the way home from high school.

What is Japanese Ramen like?

Ramen has been one of the most popular Japanese foods (I’m not talking about origins here). Many people are addicted to it and always looking for better ones. Since it has been so much competitive, you may see ramen restaurants on every corner in big cities like Tokyo.

What are the Differences?

When it comes to having ramen, you realize there are different ramen, but you aren’t sure what the differences are. Let’s take a look and hopefully this would be the first step for you to discover your favorite ramen!

Types of Japanese Ramen Soups

Basically there are four types of soups.

Shoyu (Soy Sauce)

It has its origin in Tokyo and from since then it has become standard of ramen. It’s available anywhere in Japan. As it tastes very simple, having shoyu ramen would be the easiest way to tell if a store serves good ramen.

syoyu_ramen

That’s standard!

Miso

Hokkaido Ramen represents Miso Ramen. It’s miso-based soup…I suppose I don’t need to explain what miso is right? It’s rather rare to see it lately. It tastes mild and sorta light, easy in other words.

miso_ramen

Miso isn’t only for Miso soup!

Shio (Salt)

Hokkaido is also known for Shio Ramen, plus as rare as Miso Ramen compared to Shoyu and Tonkotsu Ramen. Though there are some restaurants that only serve Shio Ramen. Light and easy soup.

shio_ramen

(Photo credit: stu_spivack)

Tonkotsu (Pork)

It seems to be the most popular ramen in Japan. Its rich pork broth gives it great flavor. Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture) ramen represents Tonkotsu Ramen. However, we see it anywhere in Japan today. I personally prefer this Tonkotsu Ramen to others.

Tonkotsu_ramen

Looks yummy!

bari_ramen

This is my favorite Bari Ramen in Okayama city.

Extra: Jiro-kei (Jiro-style)

Ramen Jiro is one of the most popular ramen resutaurants in Tokyo where it serves a new type of ramen (that’s what people say). It comes with tons of veggies, garlic, super rich soup (Tonkotsu-based, I think), and thick noodles. Many people (especially men) are addicted to it. After Ramen Jiro, any ramen alike is called Jiro-Kei (Jiro family/style), and fans of Ramen Jiro are called Jirolian(s). I’ve tried it but failed (couldn’t finish). Damn, I’m disqualified to be a Jirolian!

ramen_jiro

(Photo credit: KID the Euforia)


Overwhelming.

Lastly

There are even more new types of ramen. Tsukemen (Dipping Ramen) has been next-classic already. Perhaps you might want to try this out also.

Tsukemen

It’s all yummy, though it’s evil for having it in the middle of the night…but no worries, there is always a way out by Mrs. Wada’s method.

 

Find your favorite Ramen and please share with me! Hmmm, now I’m craving for some noodles. See you around!

ramen_noren

(Photo credit: M Murakami)

You may also be interested in these.
Guide to Sushi Restaurant in Japan
A Guide To Self-Service Udon Restaurant


Capsule Hotel with Hot Spring Bath in Kobe, Japan

Capsule Hotel - capsule units

Hi guys. A long holiday just passed in Japan, the so called “Golden Week.” As expected, mostly everywhere is crowded. Despite knowing this, Mr. Wada and I took the challenge of traveling in Kansai area during one of the busiest seasons in Japan. In this post, I’ll be sharing my first time experience of staying in a capsule hotel. “Kobe Kua House” is the name of the place where we stayed.

Capsule Hotel (Kobe Kua House) - front
In front of the capsule hotel

A hot spring water refill station owned by the hotel can be found on the left side. There’s even vending machine only filled with bottled hot spring water.

Reservation

I made my reservation online through the hotel’s website. It’s really convenient to be able to reserve online without having to go in trouble talking in Japanese on the phone. There’s no English page though but you can find some text in English that might help a bit to guide you around the site.

I’m not sure in other countries but in Japan, many conventional hotels, even capsule hotels, offer discounted rates just by reserving in advance.

Check in

Capsule Hotel (Kobe Kua House) - entrance
Entrance filled with shoe lockers (both sides and in the middle)

You need to take off your shoes at the entrance and deposit it into the shoe locker. Then at the reception, I handed out the shoe locker’s key to the staff in exchange for the door keys for women’s floor and a bag with gown and towels.

In Kobe Kua House, an entire 4th floor is designated exclusive for women. No worries walking around in your pajamas!

This capsule hotel has lockers for big luggage but when all are already occupied, you can ask the staff to keep your luggage at the reception.

The Women’s Floor

Now, let’s go check the capsule! Up to the 4th floor!

Capsule Hotel (Kobe Kua House) - women's floor
Women’s floor – entrance

After getting off the elevator, there is a small corridor and two doors on the sides. One on the left is the entrance towards the restroom, hot bath/sauna, dressing room, with lockers and vending machines.

On the right is the way to the capsule units, another dressing area and more lockers. The keys I got from the reception will be my access to both doors.

The staff showed me around, explaining the facilities of the floor. (Quite surprised she made eye contact the entire time.)

Capsule Hotel - capsule units
On the way to my capsule

Inside the Capsule

Capsule Hotel - capsule inside
My capsule! (Not so lucky, I got the upper level. I have to climb up!)

So what’s inside?

  • TV/PC monitor, keyboard, mouse, remote control
  • control panel for light, radio and alarm clock (left side)
  • mirror (right)
  • air conditioning (right)
  • fire detector (top)
  • pillow and bedding

I didn’t expect there’s actually PC installed, although operating system and keyboard are in Japanese. Oh, if you want to change the PC language, you can check Mr. Wada’s post how to do it here. Inside the capsule is spacious enough for my size. It’s pretty clean and doesn’t smell at all.

Facilities

  • Free pick-up service
    The hotel offers free pick-up service from Sannomiya Station. You can find their schedule on their website here.

  • Capsule Hotel (Kobe Kua House): Free Pick-up/Sending off Service
  • Parking space
    If you are coming by car, they offer parking space for 750 yen per night.
  • Restaurant
    It’s located on the first floor, just beside the reception. They actually offer a good variation of menu.
  • Lounge
    With coin-operated massage chairs, TV and lots of comic books
    Capsule Hotel (Kobe Kua House): Lounge
  • Hot bath, sauna, facial and body massage services
  • (Unlimited) hot spring drinking water
Capsule Hotel - capsule curtain
Time to sleep

Check out

It’s check out time! Just return the keys and the bag they gave you during check in.

So how was the sleep?

Not bad at all. I had a good sleep, no disturbance whatsoever.

On my way out, I just noticed this machine nearby the shoe lockers. It checks your blood vessels’ age by just placing your pointing finger into the reader. I can’t help but to try out of curiosity!

Capsule Hotel (Kobe Kua House): Blood Vessel Age Test

Will I use Capsule Hotel again?

Yes, that is if I can’t find conventional hotels with cheaper rate. During busy season in Japan, hotels get full booked immediately and usually what’s left are too expensive rooms. Just for a place to sleep, capsule hotel is one of the options I would consider. I guess I would prefer this one compared to dormitory-type rooms because there is more privacy.

Kobe Kua House’s rate (3,900 yen for standard unit, as of the time of writing) is a bit high compared to other capsule hotels, but that’s because it already includes access to their hot spring baths.

Reference:
Kobe Kua House Capsule Hotel

(What’s written in this post is based on my own experience and opinion and I have no connection to Kobe Kua House.)