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Set of different types of Japanese ramen, tantanmen, shio ramen, shrimp, wood mushrooms, top view on a wooden background, in blue traditional bowls

Regional Varieties of Ramen

Ramen, synonymous with Japan, has captivated the world. Crafting its flavorful broth alone takes hours, and when combined with the other ingredients, it creates a truly hearty and mouthwatering dish.

Over the last few decades, there has been a surge in regional variations of ramen across Japan, known as gotouchi ramen (ご当地ラーメン, “regional ramen”). Some of these regional styles have gained national prominence, including:

Hakata pork bone ramen in a bowlHakata Ramen

Hakata Ramen originates from Fukuoka in southern Japan, formerly known as Hakata, a prominent port city. This style of ramen combines a creamy tonkotsu pork bone broth with seafood broth, creating a distinctive flavor. It’s typically served with thin Hakata-style ramen noodles and topped with pickled ginger, chashu pork, sesame seeds, and scallions.

Sapporo Ramen

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is renowned for its famous Sapporo Miso Ramen. This ramen features a broth infused with both miso and tonkotsu flavors, topped with corn and a knob of local butter melted into the broth. Enjoy it with chashu pork and bamboo shoots.

Hakodate Ramen

Hakodate, a port city in Hokkaido, is known for its shio ramen. This ramen showcases a clear, salty broth made from chicken, pork, kelp, and seafood. It’s complemented by locally sourced vegetables as toppings.

taiwan ramen taken in aichiTaiwan Ramen

Despite its name, Taiwan Ramen is popular in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture. This ramen is a fusion of Japanese and Taiwanese influences, featuring a spicy soy sauce and chicken broth with doubanjiang (Chinese chili paste), bean sprouts, scallions, and spicy ground pork.

Kitakata Ramen

Originating from Fukuoka but popular in northern regions, Kitakata Ramen features a shoyu soy sauce base with fat, wavy egg noodles. Common toppings include chashu pork, bamboo shoots, and narutomaki (fish cake with a pink and white swirl).

Onomichi Ramen

Onomichi, a seaside town in Hiroshima prefecture, offers a rich soy sauce-based ramen broth made from pork and chicken. The broth is known for its flavorful fat layer, enhanced by fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea.

Champon is a kind of noodle soup topped with a variety of ingredients such as seafood and vegetableNagasaki Champon

Although not technically ramen, Nagasaki Champon is a signature noodle dish of Nagasaki, blending Chinese and Japanese influences. It features thick egg noodles cooked with meat, seafood, and vegetables, offering a unique and delightful flavor.

Wakayama Ramen

Wakayama Ramen, from Wakayama Prefecture, is often referred to as “chuka soba” (Chinese-style noodles) by locals. Topped generously with scallions and fish cake, this ramen combines tonkotsu broth with soy sauce, featuring thin, straight noodles for a satisfying experience.

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Read all about Japanese immersion learning and studying abroad. Check out our eZasshi archives for more articles!