Urban Hiking in Japan: Ramen Hunting

The concept of urban hiking is not new. Where hiking is usually planned out over trails through a wilderness, urban hiking can be more about wandering relatively aimlessly to see as much as you can.

Erin and I visit many cities and take the time to explore them without a tour group, and many times, without a map. We usually wander the city and hunt for food. In New Orleans, it was blue crab, in New York it was our 9 restaurant crawl, in Chicago, well, there was the Taste of Chicago, Lawry’s, and Heaven on Seventh.

While in Japan, we realized that we urban hike, so much so, in fact, that we wore hiking shoes specifically for the purpose there (they are not the most stylish, but they were functional). We carried pedometers to see how far we walked (Personal Training Walking for the DS) and realized that we are going to have to start carrying GPS Data Loggers for people to see our maps.

We had two days in Japan and walked 30,000 steps a day (the daily goal is 3,000 on the Personal Training Walking for the DS). In Japan, we had 5 bowls of ramen in one weekend, each very different and each very good. The picture above is of my 5; both full when served, and after I had finished each one (in the movie Tampopo, you are supposed to finish all of the soup to tell the owner that it was good, the Kazuki one was huge and it was very hard to finish). Erin will add to this article about each of the ramen, and what made each of them so good. Next to each bowl is the front of the restaurant and next to that, the owners at work. The last one there is Erin covering her bowl so you can’t see she didn’t finish; I use this because I forgot to take a picture of the owner.

To see the different stands and restaurants including the one featured in the New York Times (we had discovered them on our honeymoon before that) by the fish market, be sure to go to our photos (once they are up – at this initial writing, they are not up yet 🙂 ).

Chuka Soba Inoue Ramen at Tsukiji Fish Market – Shoyu

Kouryu Ramen at Akihabara Station

Nadai Fuji Soba in Ebisu

Hakata Tenjin Ramen in Shinjuku – Pork Bone Broth

Kazuki Ramen in Ebisu – Tonkotsu

From our Honeymoon:

Kagoshima Ramen in Aqua City Odaiba – Kagoshima

November 2010 Urban Hiking: Ramen Hunting in Tokyo