Tag Archive for: Ramen

For us, besides seeing places, trying the different foods of each country that we visit plays an important role during our journey. We love to immerse ourselves in the culinary world and experiences new flavors that our taste buds can enjoy. Japan is a country where gourmets will find an endless number of culinary pleasures, that’s why we listed some of our favorite foods that we think you should not miss while being in Japan.

  • Udon
    Udon are Japanese noodles made from wheat flour, water and salt. The noodles are the thickest in Japanese cuisine. They are prepared in many different dishes. Some of the best-known Udon dishes are:
    Kake-Udon: are doused with broth based on soy sauce.
    Bukkak-Udon: are mixed with various ingredients and then doused with hot water.
    Kitsune-Udon: are cooked in hot broth and with deep fried tofu (Alex’s favorite Udon).
    Kamatama Udon: are served with some broth and raw egg (my favorite Udon).
  • Okonomiyaki
    Okonomyaki is my favorite dish in Japan, although I did not know it before. “Okonomi” means taste and “yaki” means grilled or fried. The base consists of water, cabbage, flour and egg. Depending on your preference, different ingredients such as cheese, fish, meat etc. can be added. Each one of these ingredients is typical for a different region. The dish is prepared on an iron plate and in some restaurants you can fry the Okonomiyaki yourself. Depending on the type, first the base is being formed. It can be associated with a crepe, being filled and turned after a short roast.



  • Sushi
    Not rare I heard from people: “Sushi? That’s not for me, that’s nothing proper to eat “or” Sushi is just something for snobs! ”
    No idea why people think so, because there are many sushi types in different flavors, there should actually be something for everyone. As many things in Japan, sushi might seem an expensive thing to try, but there are cheap alternatives, like running sushi. Even in Tokyo, we could find good sushi at a reasonable price.  (Click here for our best Sushi experience). Small Sushi vocabulary: Shari (斜里) = Expression for sushi rice in the sushi bar

Namida (涙) = Tears:
Wasabi, which is located between the rice and the stuffing or toppings. It reflects the tears that come to you when you eat it. (Japanese basically do not eat very spicy) And yes, in Japan wasabi is not served separately like in Europe.

Gari (ガリ) = Crunch:
This is the ginger that is served with the sushi. The word refers to the crunchy sound when you eat or cut it.

Murasaki (紫) = Purple:
This is the soy sauce, so-called because of its purple shimmering color. Important: It is taboo to waste soy sauce or “drown” the sushi in the sauce.

By the way, it’s okay to eat sushi with your hands. It used to be finger food, but we did not see anybody doing it. There is nothing wrong with the sushi you find in the supermarket. Mostly sushi is offered in Izakaya restaurants (small Japanese bars) or sushi from the line (Jap: Kaiten-zushi or Mawari-zushi).



  • Onigiri
    Our little lifesavers in Japan were the Onigiri. These rice snacks can be found in supermarkets and also in Convenient stores (Seven Eleven or Lawson for example) and have different fillings. Perfect for a snack in between.



  • Ramen
    Isn’t Ramen a Chinese noodle soup? Yes and no! Undoubtedly, the roots of Ramen come from Chinese cuisine and like many other foods it was implemented in Japan after 1859, when the ports were opened.

The father of ramen is the Chinese noodle soup, but the mother is the Japanese food culture. – Quote from the Yokohama Ramen Museum 

The difference between normal Chinese noodles soup and Ramen are the ingredients. While for the Chinese noodle’s soup is always the same, the different types of Ramen are based on different types of soups. The five elements of the Ramen are broth, toppings, oil, spices, noodles. Ingredients are matched depending on the region.


  • Mochi
    Mochi is a Japanese sweet made out of sticky rice (Mochiko). Some Mochi species are filled with Anko (red bean cream) or wrapped in a cherry leaf for example. However, this is a “dangerous” food because the sticky texture can keep the mochis stuck in the throat. Every year there are incidents caused by Mochi.
  • Dango
    Dango means round dumpling and often it is served with green tea. They are very similar to the mochi and are served on skewers.
  • Taiyaki
    Taiyaki means sea bream. It is not a fish dish, but a delicious Japanese sweet. It is a waffle whose dough is baked in a fish form and filled with vanilla cream, Anko (red bean cream) or many others.

Japan’s world of taste is diverse, in addition to the above-mentioned dishes, there are of course many more. You can find even international foods with a typical Japanese flavor. For example, we tried different KitKat versions (Matcha, Wasabi etc.).

What you should know before you start your trip to Japan, are some rules when eating with chopsticks:

  • Never point with the chopsticks at a person or object
  • Do not stick the chopsticks vertically into the rice.
  • Do not play with the chopsticks, like using them as drum sticks.

We hope you’ll enjoy Japan from a culinary point of view. Here you can find more pictures from Japan.

At the end of three days of rushing thru this incredible city, we felt it’s time to leave Tokyo behind and stop in a place where heavy traffic, large masses of people and the explosion of colorful lights are not anymore the main part of the urban landscape that describe so well the capital city of Japan. After just two hours of jumping from train to train (we thought we already understood how the railway system in Japan works, but we realized we didn’t) and changing the line after noticing that we are in the wrong train, we finally arrived at the Hostel Village in Yokohama.

Just 10 minutes walk from the station, we could abandon our backpacks in a really tinny room with tatami beds and went to breathe some air outside, in this city that suddenly felt so much more quiet compared to Tokyo.

Yokohama offered us a range of new experiences, one of them being the chance to explore the largest China Town in Asia. With a history of 150 years, Yokohama Chinatown has a population of about 3.000 to 4.000, although nowadays only few Chinese still live here. Big red lanterns, colorful signs of bars and restaurants and street food carts with steamy dumplings are inviting you to taste from the great variety of Chinese delicatessen.


We decided to start our new experience in our own traditional way, “coffee first”. But this time coffee was more a reason to feel disappointed before we even had a real chance to understand what the place had to offer. We found a small and simple coffee place that felt more inviting than the ones displaying big brands, like Starbucks or Caffé Veloce (widely spread in Japan). So we stopped here for a break and ordered two cappuccinos, for which we were asked to pay on the spot the highest price we had ever paid before for a coffee (approx. 5 euro per person). And so we learned that local places are not necessarily offering cheaper products than famous brands and that prices should always be checked in advance.

We continued our walk through China Town and later searched for something to eat before returning to the hostel. We were planning to start early the following day, to have enough time for all the touristic spots that we wanted to visit.

What to see in Yokohama

The new day welcomed us with beautiful weather. It was week-end and tourists were wandering everywhere, creating a nice atmosphere without leaving the impression of a crowded place. We first went to Osanbashi Pier, a spectacularly designed passenger ship terminal, where we had our lunch break and were looking for arriving ships. We even noticed a list with the cruise ships that had stops in Yokohama, three of them being part of Costa Cruise’s fleet. Suddenly we felt like we could probably never really disconnect from the memories of the life at sea that we experienced in the past since every encounter with the sea or with the ocean was bringing old memories back to life.



Later we had a walk through Yamashita Park and ended at Minato Mirai, Yokohama’s new city center and probably the most touristic area in the city. The main points of interest here are the Landmark Tower, which is the second tallest building and the 4th tallest structure in Japan and the 106 meters high Marine Tower that has also an observation deck for those looking for extraordinary panoramic viewpoints.


We decided to return to the hostel before it got too cold outside and on the way back we looked for a place to eat. A small local restaurant that looked clean and warm convinced us to step inside and check the menu. That evening we were introduced to the delicious Japanese dish called UDON, which we enjoyed so much that it convinced us to return even the second evening for another portion at the same restaurant. The second time it felt even better because the employees knew us already and welcomed us with warmer smiles. We think that the price of 4 Euro was more than fair for such a big and tasty portion of food, especially in Japan.

The following day we took a day trip to Kamakura, where we planned to see the bamboo forest and the giant statue of Buddha. The good weather has been on our side once again and made the day feel very pleasant.

The 5th of March has been our last day in Yokohama. The sun stopped being friends with us and brought us rainy clouds. So we canceled our plan to visit the Sankei-en garden and took the train to Shin-Yokohama, where we wanted to try traditional Ramen at the famous Ramen Museum. And if you are at least a bit of a noodle fan, we highly recommend visiting this place.


Ramen is a traditional Japanese noodle soup that plays an important role in the way the Japanese cuisine evolved in the past centuries. At the Ramen Museum you can find out everything about the history and the diversity of this dish. Furthermore, you can taste one of the many Ramen options at the restaurants inside the museum (the entry ticket comes with the compulsoriness to buy at least one dish per person at one of the restaurants). The atmosphere of ancient Japan is well described by the carefully designed interior, which for us made the Ramen experience a truly unique one.

We finished the afternoon with coffee at one of the places we started to enjoy in Japan, the Caffé Veloce, and later stopped in China Town for a snack, before returning to the hostel where we packed our backpacks for the next day.

We felt a bit tired and the thought at the two weeks stop that we planned after Yokohama felt like a very good idea. Our next destination was Hadano, in the Kanagawa Prefecture, where an old Japanese house would be the place of our first Workaway project.

For more pictures of Yokohama click here.