How far would you go for good noodles?

This weekend was the CLUB SPLENDOR Kitakata Ramen Touring & Camp. Kitakata is a town in the middle of nowhere in northern Japan that’s famous for its ramen noodles. It’s about 4 hours from Tokyo and has lots of great uncrowded roads on the way. The guys in the club I ride with have been doing this run for the last 17 years, and yes, the ramen really is that good.

The usual pattern is to get up early to make it there by 10 AM when the shops open, and go from shop to shop sampling as many different types of ramen as possible.

My stomach can’t handle as much as it did when I was younger, but I make a special effort on these trips, because this stuff is seriously grubbin’. (Does anyone say that anymore?)

This time my buddy Go and I took the long way around Lake Inawashiro to the campground and got some amazing views of Mount Bandai.
(Go also live photoblogged the trip using his 3G cameraphone.)

Up some spectacular twisties to the campsite, then back to town for more.

With full stomachs, we head back up the mountain, relax in the onsen (hot springs), and then head to the campsite for draft beer.

In the morning we all (only 30-40 bikes this year–in the past we’ve had 50-60) head back down to town for one more meal before heading home.

Nothing like a bowl of hot noodles for breakfast to cure a hangover.

I couldn’t bear to skip the Katsudon (pork cutlet), which is also famous, so breakfast was pretty filling.

More pictures (with comments in Japanese) can be seen at the Gaijin Bikers main site.

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2 thoughts on “How far would you go for good noodles?”

  1. Looks delicious.

    But a bowl of ramen is hugely filling, so how many different types can you sample in a single binge? Do you just eat a little and leave? And if so, isn’t it considered rude to the chef not to finish your ramen — like a sign that you thought it wasn’t tasty enough for you to eat the whole thing?

    Just wondering… 

  2. Sorry, I was out riding again this weekend and missed your comment. (Probably a post about this weekend’s trip today or tomorrow.)

    Yup, it’s filling, but you force yourself to test the capacity of your digestive system because it’s that good. Afterwards you just have to be careful not to accept any wafer-thin mints from anyone.


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