So we got an invitation…to the biggest noodle convention in the world! Can you say, sweet!!! The ramen expo part of the convention has been around for 5 years, but this year they were also showcasing udon, soba, and pasta.
The sign in front said ‘NO PHOTO.’ Hmm…does that mean pictures are okay?
Discouraged at first, I thought I would have to be all sneaky. Like when I took this pic of a new noodle making machine. (But look, that dude is taking video!) It turned out that some booths were okay with taking photos of their products. Sometimes all you needed to do was ask.
There were several, I mean several, booths that were passing out samples of ramen like this below. Seriously, this is probably as close to ramen heaven that one can get.
Here’s the booth of Marusaya, one of the vendors we already use. Did you know that katsuobushi is made by growing different types of fungus on the fish?
Alright time for some real ramen! Wait…make that udon and soba! Since this was the first year for the udon & soba expo, these famous ramen shops were making their own versions of udon and soba.
Like this Niku Udon from Tsujita.
A bit different from what I was expecting, but good nonetheless.
The only shop really serving ramen was Nagi, but the noodles were more like soba noodles and had a really nice texture.
We all planned on sharing, but Boom had different ideas. haha.
And that made Shuga mad! haha.
There were several booths from noodle factories.
And several booths with cute girls. (C’mon I know what you guys are really here for.)
The Nippon Ramen Association was hosting a special Toshinose Ramen booth and today’s limited edition bowl was created by Tsukada Kenji. It was an interesting bowl of flat, slippery noodles that tasted very fresh and peppery. Someone even claimed it to be ‘healthy’ but I forgot to ask why. Anyway, moving on…
Some booths had masters making soba and udon by hand.
And others had cool contraptions like this tsukemen washer to make people’s jobs easier. Too bad we can’t afford this stuff.
This gyoza making maching was cool too.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures of everything but just experiencing this was amazing. I could have stayed for hours upon hours, but it was time to head back to Tokyo.
Since we got the approval to close shop for one night, this was the first night the three of us could really chill together over some beers…
And good food.
But things soon became blurry.
And with Boom running rampantly through the streets of Tokyo, Shuga and I needed a midnight snack.
Goukai (らーめん屋 豪快) was across the street and luring us in.
Oh what a day!…