Fukuoka is a city famous for ramen, but even in this ramen-fuelled city it’s rare to have the opportunity to sample so many different types of ramen in one place. That’s why the annual Ramen Show is a favourite amongst locals! Twenty-four ramen shops from all across Japan have set up stalls at this festival in front of City Hall (twelve shops in week one, twelve different shops in week two). The Ramen Show will run for twelve days (starting today, Nov. 12), and is expecting to host over 144,000 guests.
Whether you’re a tonkotsu nut, a shoyu (soy sauce) addict or a shio (salt) disciple, you’ll find your perfect ramen here. You can opt for a local favourite such as Ippudo, or try something from a little further afield.
Fukuoka Now went to slurp up some ramen of our own. Here are the bowls that our staff picked….
Name: Gachinko Ramen-do Hiiragi
Type of soup: Shoyu (Soy sauce base)
Booth number: 8
Description: This shop opened in 2004 with the motto “Spend time and effort”. The slightly sweet soy-based ramen has undertones of earthy umami.
Nick says: “The skewer of braised pork was huge and almost as filling as the noodles. The meat also added a nice smokiness to the soup.”
Name: Hakodate Men Chubo Ajisai
From: Hakodate, Hokkaido
Type of soup: Shio (Salt base)
Booth number: 12
Description: Hakodate’s local ramen is shio-based. This shop was established in the early Showa era.
Jess says: “Delicious! This was my first ever shio ramen and I was worried it would be bland compared to tonkotsu, but I needn’t have worried. The soup was rich without being heavy, making it a great lunchtime option. And I definitely recommend adding an egg for an extra ¥100.”
Name: Kitakyushu Ramen Bijiya x Toryuken
Type of soup: Tonkotsu (Pork broth base)
Booth number: 2
Description: Two of Kitakyushu’s most famous ramen shops have teamed up to host this stall. This tonkotsu ramen is extremely creamy.
Kanako says: “As a Fukuoka-born ramen girl, I love tonkotsu! I strongly recommend trying one of the tonkotsu stalls! This one was creamy and thick, but not too heavy – I felt like I could easily slurp up five bowls in one sitting!”
Want to immortalise your ramen in pixels? Special ramen photo booths have been set up for just such an occasion – they’re even equipped with special lamps (so you can catch your ramen’s good side).
Need something to break up the endless stream of ramen? There are stalls selling side dishes such as karaage, charcoal-grilled chicken, gyoza, and Chikuwa Salad (chikuwa mixed with vegetables and fried).
So if you love, like or are just curious about ramen, visit the Ramen Show within the next two weeks! For all the details, check out our event listing.