11 Eating Challenges in Japan That You Can Earn a Prize For Finishing
For those confident big eaters, are you up for a challenge when you come to Japan?
Jun 11 2015 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Kayabashi Ramen Chiba New Town Branch(茅橋らーめん 千葉ニュータウン店), Chiba
Kayabashi Ramen offers the following four challenges (the ramen in the challenges is miso ramen):
- For 1 person - 6 portions of ramen in 45m. Prize money: 30,000 yen
- For 2 people - 6 portions of ramen in 15m. Prize money: 10,000 yen
- For 1 person - 10 portions of ramen in 60m. Prize money: 50,000 yen
- For 2 people - 10 portions of ramen in 30m. Prize money: 30,000 yen
If you don’t manage to finish the dishes, you will be charged 3,000 yen for challenge 1 and 2, and 5,250 yen for challenge 3 and 4. You need to drink all the soup as well for it to count as being finished, and you mustn't leave your seat during the challenge. If you vomit in the restaurant or the car park, you are disqualified and will need to pay an additional 2,000 yen for cleaning, so please be careful!
1409-2 Funao, Inzai City, Chiba Prefecture
2. Oyaji no Chubo Norakuro (おやじの厨房 のらくろ), Kanagawa
Hiyashuchuka, a dish of Chinese noodles served cold with sliced ham, cucumber and other ingredients on top, is a great example of Japanese summer cuisine. Mabo-men is a noodle dish with tofu in a spicy chilli and bean base sauce. These dishes are both examples of Chinese dishes that have been adapted to Japanese tastes.
Frozen Jumbo Hiyashichuka Challenge: 5 portions of hiyashichuka in 20m. Prize money: None, but the meal will be free. (The hiyashichuka challenge is available from June to August.)
Extra Spicy Jumbo Mabo-men Challenge: Finish the dish in 30m. Prize money: 10,000 yen.
If you fail either of the challenges, you will have to pay 4,500 yen.
210-0833 1-7-6 Sakuramoto, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki City, Kanagawa
3. Kaze no Aji GOIN GOIN (風の味 GOIN GOIN), Niigata
Tsukemen, a noodle soup dish where the noodles are served separately from the soup, is a popular dish in Japan, and one we recommend for people who don’t like the incredibly hot soup that comes with regular ramen. Kaze no Aji GOIN GOIN has two rather incredible tsukemen eating challenges:
- BAKE Tsukemen A Course - 6 portions of noodles and 1.2kg of bean sprouts. If you can eat it all within 30m, the dish is free. If not, it will cost you 1,780 yen.
- BAKE Tsukemen B Course - 9 portions of noodles and 1.2kg of bean sprouts. If you can finish it all in less than 30m, not only is the dish free, but you get 5,000 yen of prize money, too. If you fail, it will cost you 2,980 yen.
The sight of the noodles and bean sprouts being brought out in a bucket will leave you dumbfounded. If the tsumeken sauce starts getting thin, they will top it up for you.
5-1139-1 Ōdōriminami Minami-ku, Niigata-shi, Niigata
4. Aburasoba Senmonten Kasugatei (油そば専門店 春日亭), Tokyo
Aburasoba is a Japanese variation of ramen without soup. This aburasoba specialist restaurant holds irregular eating challenges, with the next one planned for summer in 2015.
The dish on the left side of the photo is an extra-large portion of aburasoba, with the regular size on the right. For one of the challenges, you need to eat 3 of these extra-large portions in 30 minutes. To take part in the challenge, you need to buy 2 extra large portion meal tickets. If you succeed, you get a 5,000 yen prize, but if you fail, you get nothing. There is also a challenge where you have to eat 4 extra large portions in 40 minutes. To take part, you have to buy 3 extra large portion meal tickets. If you succeed, you will receive a 10,000 em prize, and again, if you lose, you get nothing.
Ikebukuro Honten 171-0021 1-5-4 Nishi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
5. Manshu (満州), Mie
Japanese gyoza, or dumplings, are usually pan-fried, unlike their Chinese counterparts, which are usually boiled. This restaurant, as you can tell from the name, is a gyoza specialist restaurant where the pan-fried gyoza have a great reputation. There are 3 different challenges you can try here that are great value (if you can manage to complete them…)
- If you finish 100 gyoza in 60 minutes, you can have them for free.
- If it is within the time limit, any gyoza you eat over 100 will be free (but if you leave any, you will be charged for them).
- If you beat the previous record at the restaurant, you can receive a 30,000 yen price.
Please note that if you leave your seat during the challenge, you will automatically be disqualified.
1-98 Shiomatsu Honcho, Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture
6. Maneki Koyamaten (まねき 湖山店 ), Tottori
While it actually is an udon and soba restaurant, "Bakatsu-don" is a popular with the locals for its katsudon. They have a great challenge for katsudon lovers. If you can eat an extra large katsudon that is 5 times the size of a regular portion within 30 minutes, you can have the dish for free and get a prize of 10,000 yen! If you fail, you have to pay 2,500 yen, but if you like katsudon, that doesn’t sound to bad does it?
4-12 Chiyomi, Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture
7. Steak House Ribera Meguro Store (ステーキハウス リベラ 目黒店), Tokyo
This restaurant is like the Mecca for meat lovers. The sign above the entrance to the restaurant shows all the challengers who have managed to finish 3 500g steak and extra large portions of rice, a total of over 3kg, in under 30 minutes. If you succeed, you get a 10,000 yen prize, but if you fail, it will cost you 9,900 yen. You can book in advance here. Please note that Steak House Ribera is only open at night from 17:00 to 24:00, with last orders at 23:30.
6-17-20 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
8. Steak Kentas (ステーキケンタス), Tokyo
Here, the challenge is to see how many of the 200g steaks and vegetable sets (as seen in the photo above) you can eat. The restaurant has quite an interesting system, where the prize money increases the more sets you eat. At the 14th set, it becomes free. For the 15th set, you can earn 200 yen, and for the 20th set, the prize is 4,200 yen.
You have to make a reservation to take the challenge, and you can only do it from Sunday to Wednesday. Be careful though, as if you leave anything, you will have to pay the standard price. Also, if you go to the toilet 10 minutes after finishing the challenge, do something to upset the other customers or make a mess, depending on how bad it is, you will be fined anything from 1,000 yen to 10,000 yen.
1-14 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
9. Hokkaido Jiyujinsha Jikan Kitadai Store (北海道 自由人舎 時館 北大店), Hokkaido
Jikan is a popular curry restaurant located near Hokkaido University. The challenge here is to finish the 2kg of rice and 1kg of curry seen in the picture above within 30 minutes. Before the challenge, you need to pay a 2,000 yen participation fee, but if you complete the challenge, you will get that 2,000 yen back, along with a 5,000 yen prize. (If you don’t manage to complete the challenge, you don’t get the 2,000 yen participation fee back.) Along with the curry, you can also eat as many pickles as you want.
Nishi 6 Chome, Kita 18, Kita-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido
10. Gold Curry Main Store (ゴールドカレー 本店), Kanazawa
Kanazawa curry is one of the local dishes of Ishikawa Prefecture. It comes served on a stainless plate with finely sliced cabbage. The rice is covered with a thick curry sauce which in turn is topped off with tonkatsu and sauce, and is usually eaten with a fork.
At Gold Curry Hon-ten, you can test your mettle in their Kanazawa curry challenge.
Menu: (1) 2kg of curry (2) 4kg of curry (3) 6kg of curry (4) 8kg of curry (5) 10kg of curry
Time limit: (1) 15 (2) 30m (3) 30m (4) 45m (5) 60m
Prize for succeeding: (1) No charge for the curry *If you complete the challenge 5 times in a month, you can have free curry for a month (2) Free food and drink from then on (3) Prize money of 30,000 yen (4) Prize money of 50,000 yen (5) Prize money of 100,000 yen)
Fine for failing the challenge: (1) 1,980 yen (2) 3,840 yen (3) 4,980 yen (4) 6,480 yen (5) 8,000 yen
393-1 Fujie-kita, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture
11. Restaurant Kingsport (レストラン キングスポート), Osaka
Japanese western-style food is quite unique, and if you’re a fan of it, this is the place we recommend.
Here, they have a challenge which involves eating a “Triple King Set” with “Mt. Fuji rice,” which gets its name from the fact that it is 3776g of rice, the same as the height of Mt. Fuji. The “Triple King Set” includes one jumbo prawn, one prawn fry, a steak, a hamburg steak, fried chicken, tonkatsu and a fried egg. The time limit for the challenge is 40 minutes, and if you succeed, you can pocket a 10,000 yen prize. (If you fail, it will cost you 2,500 yen.)
Shinge, Higashi Osaka City, Osaka
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.