I have been back for a little over 1 week and already managed to have a fabulous time with friends- twice! How lucky am I?! The first time was a nice day with L&M- we hiked, did a public bath, had some beer, sushi, a nap, and then watched a movie. Pretty calm and relaxing. Until...
C's birthday. C's b-day is an annual event (no sh&t Sherlock), but it is like no other yearly shin-dig. This one always entails debauchery, complete with women's breast, tequila, spanking, very very loud talking, more and more beer, hugging strangers, broken cell phones, people getting lost, piping hot and yummy ramen, and my favorite- a slight to major (depending on your age and the number of tequila shots) hangover and little to no voice (depending on how good you are at loud talking) the following day.
Every year we do it, and every year I promise that I will eat more before, so that I don't get horribly drunk. However, every year, somehow I just bypass the food and go straight to super loud talking, laughing.... no, cackling.... and end up so hungry I could eat not just a bowl of
ramen but the whole damned shop!
Ramen in Japan is what pizza is in the US. After a night of drinking you want pizza- a testament to the zillions of pizza shops on or near every college campus in the US. Here, we want ramen, and you don't have to go far to find one. But, just like pizza has many flavors, so does ramen, and people will go to blows, if drunk enough, over which shop is the best. I have a short list of personal favorites, but what is important to know is that each one makes the main broth, and then all of the other brothes in that shop are variations of the main one. Some are oily and rich, others salty and smooth. The amount of chopped green onions, whether it has chashu (a kind of pork), bamboo, or other veggies will depend on the type of ramen and ultimately the shop. No two places will taste the same- that is for sure! Hence, finding good ramen is much like an American's quest to find the best pizza. Once you find it you are loyal and tell all your friend about it. You bring guest there and you talk major shit about how great it is up until you go! You want them to know the deliciousness that it is, and to partake with you!
When Hiro and I moved to Yamashina, we soon tried the ramen place just across the street. THANK GOODNESS it is some of the best ramen I have ever had in Japan! They have this super freaking hot kind, with tons of veggies, pork, and Korean kimchi. It burns going in and coming out, but it has a taste that is like no other!
Now, the down side to ramen, is that much like pizza it is not very healthy, and if not eaten in moderation will add many a pound! However, working it off is worth it! Every sit up and aerobic jump!
Here are pics form our day with L&M
At the waterfall.
With rural Takatsuki behind us.
Hot form the hike. Yes, I am aware that I am overdressed for a hike, but it is all I had with.
The chopsticks are resting on hashioki, which hold the chopsticks up o they do not touch the table. I have quite a number of them. I find them cute and such a nice accent to a decorated table.
Now, here are the pics from the debauchery, though these make it all look so tame! My friend Stu is a great photog, isn't he!?
In love and waiting for ramen...