Swiss bliss…

Day 509:

When I woke up this morning and looked out the window, I froze for at least five minutes with my mouth and eyes wide open. I took a deep breath of the cool, crisp, clean, fresh, swiss air and immediately fell in love with the landscape. Ahh, now this is the Switzerland I remembered from my childhood. Yes, I have relatives in Switzerland, but this is only my second time visiting them. I can’t believe I haven’t visited more!! Thank you cousin Pete for welcoming us into your home under such short notice! I truly appreciate it and I’m really glad that I decided to come.

I probably would have stood looking out that window for hours if it hadn’t been for a familiar smell coming up from the kitchen. Swiss bacon!!! To my delightful surprise, my aunt and uncle (whom I haven’t seen in years) joined us for breakfast. It was a felicitous reunion!

By the way, my Aunt is a famous Japanese calligraphy artist in Switzerland. Please check out some of her work if you have time. I was lucky enough to tour her gallery and workspace and it was awe-inspiring. She has been following her dream for over 50 years now and look how far she has come. I am definitely inspired. Thanks Auntie!

After breakfast, my cousin Pete and his wife Olivera took us to the Basel Dreiländereck (tripoint) where the borders of Switzerland, Germany, and France come together at one point.

I’m in Switzerland!!

I’m in France!!

I’m in Germany!!

I’m dizzy.

Let’s go ride the Rhine. Into the city we go!

There are four ferries that can transport you across the Rhine using only the power of the rivers current. We decided to take the one named Leu.

Apparently the job of ferry driver is highly coveted, but good luck trying to become one. With only four ferries in existence you’ll have to wait a lifetime.

Across the river was Basel Münster. A medieval-like cathedral surrounded by red sandstone.

This is what happens when you go too many days without ramen. Let’s try to avoid this.

Basel is a wonderful city. I think I can see myself living here someday. Someday…

Is it that time again?


I forget the name of this pizza-like pie, but just don’t let them hear you call it a pizza.

Pete: “There’s ramen in Basel. Do you want to give it a try?” Me: “Helllz yes!”

Namamen is a “Japanese Ramenbar” that serves ramen, udon, and Japanese tapas. It’s been around since 2004.

Pete ordered the miso ramen, which inevitably suffers the same fate that many bowls of miso ramen in the States do. I hate to say this, but it just tasted like miso soup with noodles.

I ordered the shoyu ramen. Well…this is ramen in Basel. Good or bad, it relaxed my ramen soul.

The noodles were more like what ramen noodles should be like, but the soup was too normal.

The ramen here was as I expected and I only have one real complaint. A radish in the place of chashu?? Wait, I take that back. I have another complaint. This bowl cost 16.50 Swiss francs. I’ll let you do the conversion.

Hmm…maybe I really should open up a shop in Basel. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

For dinner, cousin Pete was showing off his skills. Go Pete!

And Kyra had the best seat in the house.

Swiss bliss indeed…

4 Replies to “Swiss bliss…”

  1. I'm loving reading about your Europe adventures Keizo! Even though the ramen in scarce these days (on the continent you're on as well as your updates) they're fun to hear about nonetheless. Excited to hear about your new directions once you're back in Tokyo! Take care.

  2. Hmmmm, the 'pizza' looks a lot like Elsässer Flammkuchen or the Swiss equivalent. Maybe some kind of Zwiebelwähe… nice!

  3. Having lived in both Germany and Japan, I'll say this ~ European food in Japan is far, FAR lousier than Japanese food is in Europe.

    I can't remember how many times someone took me to a fancy Italian restaurant in Japan, only for me to discover that the only thing vaguely Italian about it was the pasta. Shoyu and mayonnaise are not part of any European dish I saw in my travels there.

    Don't even get me started on Pizza-la…

    The beer in your pic however, has my mouth watering, and it's only 8:30am. Enjoy your Euro vacation, and do consider bringing your talents farther afield, though I would prefer that you return to OC so I can eat your green curry ramen in the comfort of my own locale.

    Live the dream!

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