With a plane ticket in one hand, and a map in the other, my latest backpacking adventure brought me and a friend to Japan, exploring through the streets of this exotic country for something delicious. For you foodies who’ve been to Japan, you’ll know that this was definitely not a challenge. With Japan being a country as rich in history as it is in food, this culinary heaven has something to satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds. From insanely tender Kobe beef to the freshest of seafood, the true challenge is rather figuring how to make enough stomach room to fit it all.




Roam down any random street, and you’ll find huge signs and lighted restaurant banners fighting to satisfy your appetite, with each menu having quite a lot to offer.



After making our way from Tokyo to Kyoto and roaming through six cities, what we found the most of after our journey, was none other than Japan’s popular noodles. With variations ranging from Udon to Soba to Ramen, noodles is undoubtedly one of the defining factors of Japanese cuisine. Most Japanese noodles are wheat based with flavors and cooking styles based on region. That’s the miraculous thing about noodles in Japan, there’s so many variations that getting sick of it is pretty much near impossible.


Udon is the definition of delicious simplicity. This wheat flour noodle is usually served with hot broth, fresh vegetables, tempura, and kamaboko (fishcake).


The fusion of Korean cuisine is also popular in Japan, with Naengmyeon being a common favorite. A Korean noodle dish consisting of buckwheat noodles, beef, and vegetables served in a tangy iced broth, Naengmyeon was definitely my favorite way to cool down during our hot summer days in Japan.


No need to say, Ramen was of course the most popular, with Ramen shops lining almost every corner of Japan. Walk into the simplest shop and you’ll still find yourself served with an exceptionally delicious bowl of Ramen, proving that Japan definitely deserves their bragging rights to this popular noodle dish. With Chinese and Japanese origins and created in the 20th century, Ramen variations consist of Shio, Tonkotsu, Shoyu, and Miso. The flavors and ingredients range from light to savory, depending on the region. With their cold weather, Hokkaido’s Ramen is usually rich in seafood and fat. Just when I was convinced that Ramen was my favorite, we stop by the metropolis city of Sendai on our way north to Hokkaido, where I run into Abura Soba, Japan’s oil noodles


Yes, the Ramen was undoubtedly delicious, but these oil noodles were simply amazing. Although Abura Soba is apparently majorly popular in Japan, I’ve honestly never seen it in America and that may be part of the reason why it left such a deep impression. Literally translated into “oil noodles”, Abura Soba is soup-less Ramen noodles mixed in vinegar, peanut seasoning, and hot sauce if you fancy spicy, while topped with poached eggs, tender pork, and seaweed.


The steps are easy:
1. Pour 2 rounds of vinegar and other seasoning
2. Mix well
3. Itadakimasu! Enjoy your meal!


Just in case you need a cute visual, we found an adorable “how-to” guide beside our table. I’m sure you’ll handle step 3 perfectly fine.


My favorite part is how the noodles, egg, and meat completely soak in all the seasoning, creating a long lasting flavor that lingers from the first bite to the last. Sending a big “Arigiato!” to our friend and Japanese local who originally recommended us to try Abura Soba, as it has now topped my favorite list of must-tries in Japan. Just remember to slurp loudly as you dig into your noodles, as it’s considered respectful in Japanese culture. Another sign of respect is to completely finish your meal to the last bite, leaving your bowl clean, but I’m sure you will have no problem with that at all. Itadakimasu!



Abura Soba Ichi Ni San

2-13-2 Kokubuncho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

+81 22-266-1232


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A writer and photographer who's in love with new experiences, visual art, and the written word. Born and raised in Chicago, I've also spent time living in New York City, Hong Kong, and traveled throughout various places. A travel enthusiast by heart, I love roaming new places and exploring the people & food that comes with it. As an avid story teller, I love sharing my discoveries, whether it be my latest travel experience or newest food adventure. I truly believe that food is the universal factor that connects all of us, no matter how different we may be in other ways, we cannot deny that there’s at least one thing that we love to eat and that one favorite food magically and unconditionally gives us comfort and pleasure. That feeling is one of the purest forms of happiness and I’d love to share that feeling through my work

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