What's Trending in Japan?! Weekly Digest (11/5 - 11/9, 2018)
Are you sick of getting late news on the newest hot topics in Japan? Here's a quick and easy weekly digest that'll give you the scoop on the top 3 trends making waves on Japan's social media platforms! This week is all about unusual Japanese foods. Read more to discover a coffee-filled ramen with crazy toppings like ice cream, fish-shaped fortune telling charms that you need to fish out with a rod, and traditional Japanese sweets that even vegans may be able to eat!
Nov 09 2018 (Jul 04 2019)
Do You Love Coffee Enough to Eat Coffee Ramen?
Are you a fan of ramen? What about coffee?
This coffee ramen from Aroma combines the best of both worlds by mixing ramen noodles in a delicious coffee soup. Just like regular coffee, you can choose to have it hot or cold, though first-timers are recommended to have it cold. Finally, to up the weird factor, they've topped it with ice cream, kiwi slices, banana slices, and cheese, along with the standard ramen toppings, egg and pork.
Most of the reviews on this dish seem to say it has a "chaotic" flavor. Make of that what you will, but rest assured that you'll get your money's worth of weirdness!
Ramen 246 Tei
For another take on coffee ramen, you can check out Ramen 246 Tei in Kanagawa Prefecture. What's interesting about the coffee ramen here is that it does not come with any toppings aside from char siu, so you can really appreciate the coffee flavor. Once an order comes in, they take beans and grind them to make fresh coffee, which is then put into the soup. The coffee ramen is then served in a set meal with rice, which many people like to mix with the ramen soup.
Unlike the first dish, the reviews on this coffee ramen are overwhelmingly positive. There are even many loyal costumers who come back for this coffee ramen regularly, as the blend of coffee they use for the soup is changed each month. So, if you'd prefer something with a bit less of a weird factor, but that's still yummy, try this one from Ramen 246 Tei!
While we're on the subject of ramen, let's talk about why exactly ramen is so delicious. What's in it that makes it so addictive? How does it differ from other noodle dishes? We've got the answer down in the article below.
Go Fishing to Learn of Your Future!
At Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, there's a place where you can literally fish for fortune telling charms. Pink fish are called "Ai-tai" and tell of your luck in love, while red fish are called "Ichinen An-tai" and determine how stable your life will be for the year.
The fortune telling slips are attached to the tail of each fish, so all you have to do is fish it out with a fishing rod they give you and pull the tail off to find out about your future! If you're curious to learn just how lucky in love you'll be, or if you're dying to know what the year will be like, come on over and go fish!
Before you leave, don't forget to pray at the shrine! Japan has its own unique set of rules surrounding this, so we highly suggest that you burn the points in the article below into your brain prior to visiting. We don't want to offend anyone, including the gods!
Finally, Japanese Confections that are Actually Healthy for You!
Even though Japanese food is thought to be healthy, wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) can be rather heavy on the calories. Azabu Yasai Gashi has sought to change that by making wagashi out of vegetables.
Since a graphic designer was involved in the creation of this wagashi brand, all the sweets are also known for their stunning appearances. Just take a look at the three Vegetable Monaka above! Their designs showcase what they're made out of: the one above is made out of lotus root, the bottom-left uses black sesame seeds and Japanese pepper, and the monaka to the bottom-right contains sweet potato.
Azabu Yasai Gashi has both a storefront and a cafe, so you can enjoy their wagashi at home or with a cup of tea in the cafe. One recommendation is the Vegetable Yokan (Tomato Flavored) pictured above, which is a jellied dessert made with white sweet bean paste, tomatoes, and brown sugar. Despite having a strong tomato taste, it still has a dessert-like flavor that'll have you hooked!
One problem with trips is that you tend to gain weight... a lot of it. To prevent that, sometimes eating something healthy like the snacks above or a salad are necessary evils. But just like the wagashi above, Japan has also perfected the art of salads! They're not boring, plain, or yucky. In fact, Japanese dressings are known to be exceptionally delicious! Check out the article below for our top salad spot recommendations.
Bonus: Learn About Our Top Autumn Event Picks
Autumn in Japan is an exciting time of the year for everyone. There's so much food and festivity that it can be difficult deciding what to do! We decided to round up our top picks to make it easier for you to decide... and even better, we managed to get free tickets to one of the events for you! There's very few tickets left, so we highly suggest checking the article out for the details before it's too late!