Category Archives: FOOD

Chuka Soba Ranchu: Kingly Niboshi Ramen


In the car-friendly suburb of Honancho, ramen shop Chuka Soba Ranchu reigns supreme. Their five-star niboshi ramen has a big nod from Michelin’s Bib Gourmand Guide.

Kingly Niboshi Ramen

They only have one ramen and they sure make it count. While it’s a shining example of modern niboshi (dried sardine) ramen, it still retains a classic chukasoba taste. This is thanks in part to stellar soy sauce seasoning.

Ask for “Ajitama (Egg) Soba”: ¥900

The deep fish flavors and savory pork bone base make a great partnership. Additionally, there’s a almost a buttery flavor when you enjoy the broth with the thin, straight noodles.

Chuka Soba Ranchu Noodles

Kingly Toppings

The egg is insanely creamy and delicious. But from the toppings, the chashu pork belly is the biggest attention grabber. The edges are roasted and provide the bowl with a smoky aura.

Chuka Soba Ranchu

In conclusion, Chuka Soba Ranchu hits well above its weight. It’s worth the hike from Honancho station!

Shop Hours: Mon – Fri: 12:00 ~ 14:00 / 18:00 ~ 21:00 / Sat: 12:00 ~ 15:00 (closed on Sundays)

The post Chuka Soba Ranchu: Kingly Niboshi Ramen appeared first on 5 AM Ramen.

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WOWBOX Japanese Snacks


Japanese snacks are known the world over for their great taste and huge variety with flavours coming and going depending on the season and the time of the year in Japan. Many people will stock up on Japanese snacks while visiting Japan to take home to enjoy as a souvenir, but now you can also easily order Japanese snacks online at your convenience.

WOWBOX is a Japanese snack subscription service that allows you to order your favourite Japanese snacks direct from Tokyo with just a click of your mouse button.

WOWBOX offer one-of-a-kind themed boxes of exclusive Japanese snacks delivered monthly to your doorstep with FREE worldwide shipping. They have four different themes on offer to suit everyone’s taste with one of the most popular being the ‘New & Limited‘, which as the name suggests, is filled with new and limited time snacks found in Japan. The four themes include:

Fun & Tasty‘ – WOWBOX’s original box designed for all lovers of Japanese snacks or those new to Japanese treats

Kawaii & Beauty‘ – for those who love cute and dainty treats made for the health conscious with beauty-themed products and low-calorie snacks

New & Limited‘ – a great selection of new and limited snacks from Japan for the Japanese snack connoisseur

Dagashi Box‘ – a nostalgic collection of snacks that will remind you of childhood in Japan

You can find more information about all these boxes at the WOWBOX website.

I was recently sent a ‘Fun & Tasty‘ WOWBOX full of tasty goodies to try during Obon in Japan. All the snacks were amazing with some cool and unique snacks that I haven’t even been able to find here in Japan at the supermarket or convenience store.


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Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Japanese Foods

J-FestGuide_Omatsuri finder app

Visiting Japan but worried about finding foods that fit your dietary restrictions? Some of the most popular Japanese dishes also happen to be vegetarian. There are some dishes that have secret fish-based ingredients inside, so we compiled a list of the best foods for both strict and non-strict vegetarians alike! Here are the 10 best vegetarian-friendly Japanese foods. No meat, no problem!

1. Tempura

Tempura (天ぷら) is deep fried seafood or vegetables in batter. Tempura is one of the easiest vegetarian Japanese foods to find when you’re on the hunt for something to eat in Japan. And, most tempura restaurants have a vegetable option on the menu, or you can ask for vegetables only. Popular vegetarian-friendly tempura include nasu (なす, eggplant), kabocha (かぼちゃ, pumpkin), kinoko ( きのこ, mushrooms), satsumaimo (さつまいも, sweet potato), and renkon (れんこん, lotus root).

Tempura can be found in many types of restaurants across the country, where it is commonly served as a main dish, side dish, or as a topping for rice bowls or noodle dishes. It is a very versatile staple in Japanese cuisine!

2. Noodles

Japan has a number of noodle-based dishes. These include varieties of chilled noodles served with a dipping sauce, as well as dishes of hot noodles served in soup. A fish-based dashi broth may be used in the dipping sauces or the soup base, so be sure to ask if vegetarian dashi is available.

Soba (そば) noodles are thin, earthy, buckwheat noodles. Soba noodles are enjoyed by the Japanese both hot and cold. Cold soba noodles, called zarusoba, is a popular food in the summer. Zarusoba is typically served on a bamboo tray along with seaweed, spring onion, wasabi, and a soy sauce dipping sauce – the dipping sauce has dashi in it, so strict vegetarians should avoid it. But if this isn’t a …continue reading


10 Best Shibuya Ramen Shops: Classic to Modern

Shibuya Ramen - Hayashi

These are the very best Shibuya ramen shops. The cream of the crop! From classic dumpling to rich tonkotsu ramen, Shibuya is a ramen paradise.

#1 Kiraku

Kiraku has impressively been around since 1952. You’ll feel that old-school vibe as soon as you walk in the door. Once you’re settled, order the Moyashi Wontonmen. It’s a soy-sauce based ramen with a mountain of bean sprouts and boiled dumplings.

The broth is pure chicken and pork bone goodness, boiled for 7-8 hours. Little bit of fried onions add a fun sweetness. Thick and chewy noodles round out this historic bowl of Tokyo ramen.

Shop Hours: 11:30 ~ 20:30 (Every day, closed on Wed)

#2 Ramen Nagi Butao

Going in a richer flavor direction, Ramen Nagi Butao is known for its pork bone ramen. Their ramen is magnificently delicious without being too heavy. While they have many interesting menu options, their finest has to be the “original”.

A nice helping of seabura (pork back fat) makes the ramen glisten in the light and provides a silky-like taste. But again, this ramen doesn’t weigh you down.

Shop Hours: 11:00 ~ 23:00 (Every day)

#3 Oni Soba Fujitani

This ramen shop is the creation of ex-comedian Taku-chan. But there’s nothing funny about his shio ramen. It’s simply heavenly. The light shio flavor allows you to taste the deep layers in the broth.

Shibuya Ramen - Oni Soba

The broth’s mainstay is chicken but there’s a lot of seafood action – dried sardines, bonito and mackerel flakes – and even grilled flying fish. The yuzu citrus is a nice touch. …continue reading


Craft Beer Bars Japan – Brasserie Muh: Musashi Kosugi


Run by the popular Delirium Cafe group of Belgian beer bars, Muh offers an impressive selection of well-prepared grilled meats – premium wagyu, Iberico pork, Hungarian duck, Ezo venison and lots more. There are also charcuterie platters, Belgian staples like mussels and frites, and a handful of pasta dishes.

The bar has ten taps dispensing both Belgian beers and several of their own beers, brewed in Tokyo, including a nice chocolate stout. They also carry dozens of Belgian beers by the bottle, and over thirty wines, with reasonably priced direct imports from France and Spain. …continue reading