Category Archives: FOOD

Miyazaki Ramen: Four Fabulous Ramen Shops


Miyazaki Ramen. While tasty tonkotsu is most common, the ramen in Miyazaki is surprisingly varied. From garlicky red hot ramen to lighter tonkotsu, here are four must visit ramen shops in Miyazaki City.

#1 Eiyouken (栄養軒)

Ramen shops ending with “ken” tend to have a long history. Eiyouken is no different. They’ve been dishing out delicious tonkotsu ramen since 1964. It’s closest to what a Miyazaki tonkotsu ramen looks like.

Miyazaki Ramen - Eiyouken
Ramen: ¥650

The broth utilizes charred pork lard. It’s therefore buttery, but with a slight fish and usui soy sauce aftertaste. It’s not as heavy as Fukuoka or Kurume tonkotsu ramen.

Also unlike Fukuoka tonkotsu, the noodles are thicker. Furthermore, little bean sprouts work well for crunch and don’t dilute the broth like bigger bean sprouts do.

This part of the country likes their food sweet. The sweet-flavored chashu pork slices are fittingly like a fatty dessert.

Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 5 pm ~ 8:30 pm (closed on Mondays)

#2 Karamenya Matsumoto (辛麺屋 桝元 宮崎中央店)

“Karamen” is a spicy ramen native to Miyazaki. Restaurant chain Matsumoto is credited with creating it and they have shops all over Miyazaki serving it.

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Best Tokyo Yakisoba: Mikasa in Jimbocho

Tokyo Yakisoba Mikasa - Noodles

For the best Tokyo yakisoba, look no further than Mikasa (みかさ) in Jimbocho. Mikasa takes this simple stir-fried noodle dish and propels it to a new level.

Tokyo Yakisoba – Picture Perfect Noodles

Yakisoba is often sold by food vendors at festivals (matsuri) in Japan. It’s cheap and filling. The wheat noodles used are usually round and soft.

More Firm Noodles

But at Mikasa, they use fresh noodles. The difference is immediately noticeable. The noodles have a perfect bite to them. They’re also more flat.

Plenty of Condiments

Mikasa is generous with the yakisoba (Worcestershire-like) sauce as it is. But if you feel the need to add more, there is more on the table.

Tokyo Yakisoba Mikasa - Benishouga
After adding the red ginger

Other condiments on the table include black pepper, red ginger (benishouga), spicy mayonnaise, and fried batter bits with squid (ika tenkasu).

Another big difference with Mikasa’s yakisoba is the egg omelette on top. This egg is slightly runny and brings some creaminess. Below the egg layer is charred slices of pork with a sweeter flavor.

In Conclusion

<img data-attachment-id="4170" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="2560,1707" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta='{"aperture":"4","credit":"Frank …continue reading


6 Of The Healthiest Japanese Snacks For Your Kids And You

Healthy Japanese Snacks for Kids

Snacking used to have a bad name, but that changed with the emergence a few years ago of the concept of healthy snacking. Under that idea, eating a small portion of food between meals that is high in fiber and protein can boost your energy and overall nutritional intake and help you avoid the overeating that results from hunger attacks. It aims for intentional eating rather than chowing down on empty calories.

Here we fill you in on some particularly Japanese foods that you can try with your kids to add a bit of cultural adventure to your snack time. After all, culinary courage is an important part of teaching your child wise food habits – you just don’t know how good something is until you try it.

We’ve steered well away from processed foods to focus on some traditional ingredients in Japan’s venerable and longevity-boosting diet.

1. Almond fish

Healthy Japanese Snacks Almond Fish

Nuts are probably the most popular healthy snack in Western countries, and you can easily find them here too. But for a bit of local flavor, and an extra burst of calcium, try almond fish. It’s a crunchy combination of cut almonds and small, dried – usually slightly sweetened – sardines.

Manufacturer Kyoritsu Foods says a Hiroshima fisheries company created this snack in the mid-1980s to boost children’s calcium intake after some kids were breaking bones when practicing the vaulting horse in school sports classes. Almond fish spread throughout Japan after it was introduced to school kyushoku or catered lunches.

You may also see snack packs of just the little fishies which will contain fewer calories than the almonds.

2. Soybeans

<img src="×768.jpg" alt="Healthy Japanese Snacks for Kids Edamame" width="1024" height="768" srcset="×768.jpg 1024w, …continue reading


Neiroya: Hip, Fusion Ramen in Ogikubo

Ramen in Ogikubo - Lemon Ramen

Ramen in Ogikubo normally involves sticking to tradition. But Neiroya (ねいろ屋) is all about bold new flavors, from lemon ramen to ginger miso ramen.

Refreshing Lemon Ramen

Neiroya uses high-quality ingredients from Setouchi (the Seto Inland Sea). Their Lemon Ramen features 3 lemon slices, using lemon from this area. The soup naturally has an acidic zip. But it’s not overpoweringly sour.

Setouchi Lemon Ramen: ¥1,000

The transparent shio salt seasoning works well and any of that lemon sourness is nicely offset with black pepper. Using chicken chashu instead of pork chashu is a wise decision. Thin, straight noodles here.

Ginger Miso Ramen

This dish uses a mild tasting Shinshu miso and aromatic ginger from Kouchi prefecture. The ginger and miso compete for your attention equally, but both come out strong.

Ramen in Ogikubo - Miso Ramen
Ginger Miso Ramen: ¥1,100

This is not your typically heavy miso ramen soup. It’s closer to a light white miso soup infused with ginger. In addition, there’s a touch of yuzu citrus peel, adding more sweetness.

The only heavier element is fatty braised pork belly. Just like the lemon ramen, no chemical additives are used in the ginger miso ramen. It’s guilt free. Lastly, the noodles are rightfully thicker.

A Cafe like Ramen Restaurant

Neiroya feels more like a cafe frequented by musicians than a ramen restaurant. …continue reading


Sake Diary – Muku: Yotsuya


Muku is a small neighborhood izakaya serving excellent charcoal-grilled meat and fish alongside a very serviceable sake list. You can choose from around 40 different craft sakes from both large and small breweries, and there’s always a page of monthly specials to explore. You’ll also find a diverse shochu list if you’re so inclined.

The grilled-skewers portion of the menu covers everything from typical chicken, pork and vegetables to less common ingredients like chorizo sausage, pork tongue, beef short ribs, yellowtail, and shrimp wrapped in bacon. From among the non-skewered grilled dishes we enjoyed some expertly grilled salmon belly and miso-marinated chicken, both of them first rate.

Miso is the perfect companion to sake drinking, and it made additional appearances on our pork-belly skewers and alongside our fresh cucumbers, which were matched with two contrasting flavors of miso. If you want to concentrate on your sake-drinking without filling up on too much food there are plenty of suitable small dishes like smoked iburi-gakko pickles, miso-marinated Sakurajima daikon and eggplant pickles.

The basement dining room is old-fashioned and unpretentious, with a small counter and several tables for groups. Smoking is allowed, but the ventilation seems to be adequate. Budget around Y3000-4500 for food and drink at dinnertime. …continue reading