Ramen Girls Festival 2018 to Take Place in Nakano!

11.April.2018 | FOOD / SPOT

The Ramen Girls Festival is a ramen event aimed at girls. Although it has ‘girls’ in the title, anybody is welcome. The focus comes from how in the past, women wouldn’t be caught sitting in a greasy, male-oriented atmosphere – a stereotypical image of old ramen chains. But the festival aims to change that. This year’s event will take place at Nakano Shiki no Mori Park from April 26th to May 6th.

 

ラーメン女子博 2018-Ramen girls Festival-   中野

To date, the Ramen Girls Festival has taken place three times at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and branched out to Osaka and Nagoya last year. In 2017 alone, more than 32,000 people attended the festival. This year, the long-awaited Tokyo event will take place.

 

ラーメン女子博 2018-Ramen girls Festival-   中野

Female ramen producer Satoko Morimoto eats about 600 bowls of ramen every year. From long-standing old ramen shops to newer establishments, she has selected an array of popular branches from across Japan to participate in this year’s Ramen Girls Festival. About 70% of those chosen are fresh faces to the event.

 

ラーメン女子博 2018-Ramen girls Festival-   中野

Each and every participating ramen shop will serve up their own original menu and toppings for female customers only. There’s plenty to look forward to at this year’s festival: the female-only area, sweets, handsome ramen staff, and for the first time in the festival’s history a sake area which will pair up suitable drinks to go with ramen. Guys can attend the event too, so be sure to stop by.

 

sub1

Kumo no Ito
・“Yamagata Style Niboshi Ramen”
The soup of this ramen uses several varieties of carefully picked seasonal niboshi. It will spread through your body and is prepared and cooked right in front of you. There are people who travel all the way to Yamagata just to eat the thick chijirimen curly noodles! Yamagata has the highest consumption rate of ramen anywhere in Japan. You can have your ramen from Kumo no Ito with or without A-rank backfat pork which can be prepared quickly or richly.

 

sub5
Chukasoba de Komatsu × Goden
・“Hot & Sour Soup Noodles” / “Cold Dan Dan Noodles”
Godan, who painstakingly make their own homemade noodles, are collaborating with Chukaosba de Komatsu, who have over 10 years in the chuka ramen business, to serve up hot and sour soup noodles which are very popular amongst women! There are three dried shrimp dashi to choose from which are spicy and sour. The striking dish is inspired by the fireworks in Omagari, Akita.

 

sub2

Futake
・ “High-Grade Lobster & Thick Miso Ramen”
This ramen is made in a large pot combining 30kg of high quality lobster with miso paste. You’ll be surprised by just how photogenically great the dish looks as it’s served with a whole lobster. The flat noodles were co-created with Phoenix Karasu of long-standing ramen store Asakusa Mankairou. These high quality noodles are made with semolina which is also used in pasta, but they still have that familiar ramen texture to them.

There are many other popular ramen shops participating in the festival, so join in and find your favourite bowl!

 

■Information

Ramen Girls Festival 2018
Date:
[1st Run] April 26, 2018 – April 30, 2018
[2nd Run] May 2, 2018 – May 6, 2018
Time: Weekdays 11:00-21:00 / Weekends & Holidays 10:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:00)
*The final days of both runs will finish at 19:00 (Last Orders 18:30.
*The participating stores differ between both runs.
Address: Nakano Shiki no Mori Park, 4-13 Nakano, Nakano-ku, Tokyo
Price: Free for men and women. (*You must purchase a food voucher for eating and drinking)費
Website:http://www.ramengirls-fes.com

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    Tsukiji Sushiko was the victory of last year’s grand prix. This year, they’ve whipped up a hearty seafood bowl made with a whole Japanese spiny lobster and 11 other delicious critters from the ocean.

     

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    Authentic Lanzhou ramen served by the Halal-certified Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles, customers can choose between nine different thicknesses for their noodles to satisfy their palate.

     

    3rd Place

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    The company just recently launched its first ever mascot characters called “Mama” and “Papa.” They are a family who love to eat out at Kourakuen, with Papa having a weakness for ramen and Kourakuen’s popular Chuka Soba, and Mama having a thing for their seasonal and limited-time dishes.

    In celebration of 65 years since its establishment, Kourakuen announced an international Child Character Design Contest which people from around the world are able to participate in. Participants must create a child character for Mama and Papa. The winning character will serve to promote and make Kourakuen an even more fun place, appearing on the company’s social media platforms and at events to spread the word of their ramen across the globe.

     

    But that’s not all. Winners will receive ¥300,000 travel money with JTB and ¥200,000 in prize money. Many people are unaware of Kourakuen outside Japan, hence the contest, so if you’re reading this article, this is your chance to get involved and get the word out there!

     

    Our MOSHI MOSHI Friends members decided to all get together and enter the contest!

    Six of our amazing members came together. They are a diverse bunch, each of different nationalities and ages and having different hobbies.

     

    They headed to the Dogenzaka branch of Kourakuen in Shibuya, Tokyo where they ordered food of their choice as inspiration for their character designs.

    Being a ramen chain, Kourakuen of course has a long list of ramen options, but they also boast a selection of delicious side dishes too like gyoza and chahan. Our members were spoiled for choice and it took them 5-minutes or so to decide, but each of them settled on their favourite-sounding dishes.

    Time to tuck in!

    Chuka Soba – ¥440

    Naomi is a model from the Philippines. She went and tried the “Chuka Soba,” Kourakuen’s most popular dish.

    This was her first time eating at Kourakuen, and she seemed to enjoy the subtle flavours of her Chuka Soba.

    Etsuna, a model from China, has recently been obsessed with going to Hakata to eat tonkotsu, so she went for the “Tonkotsu Chashu Noodles” (¥640). She was really happy that there were mustard greens in the dish which she said made it really tasty. We were looking forward to seeing what kind of character Estuna was going to illustrate as she graduated from an arts college.

    Vegetable Gyoza – ¥240

    “I’ll go with vegetable gyoza!” Peter decided promptly, a Canadian and vegetarian who was raised in Japan.

    He was very pleased with his choice, saying: “I finally get to eat meatless gyoza after so long! There’s plenty of veg in them like yam, beefsteak plant and ginger. The skin is chewy too, it’s really good.” Kourakuen’s vegetable gyoza have no meat or onions in them, so we recommend them for people who have always wanted to try gyoza but don’t like the smell.

    Sammy is a British translator for us on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON and she loves Japanese food. She loves ramen but is also health-wise, so she ordered the “Reduced Salt Chuka Soba” (¥440). “I came prepared, I’ve been practicing drawing my character since yesterday!” she explained, full of vim and vigour.

    Our next member, Daniel, Chief Editor at game and entertainment website IGN JAPAN, ordered the limited-time “Sesame Miso Chashu Noodles” (¥640). He gave careful consideration to his dish and character design idea, explaining: “I want to use noodles in my drawing. I love adding egg to my ramen, and children are born from eggs, so I’m thinking I might include eggs too.”

    Egg Rice Bowl – ¥320

    ChiMy ordered the Negi Ramen (¥540) together with the Egg Rice Bowl. She works as both as an illustrator and DJ. She actually frequents Kourakuen after her DJ sets, so she already had in mind her order.

    With their bellies full and their minds filled with inspiration from each of their dishes, it was time to get drawing.

    They laid out their crayons, pencils, coloured pencils and erasers onto the table. The competition allows both digital and hand drawn submissions. MOSHI MOSHI Friends went the traditional hand drawn route.

    ChiMy got stuck right in, using the pens she normally uses for her works.

    Everyone was chatty just moments ago, but as soon as they put pen to paper, they went straight into serious mode. We could see them incorporating different elements of their food into their drawings, like noodles, egg, seaweed, narutomaki, rice bowls, and so on.

    Each person who participates in the contest can submit as many entries as they like. Estuna seemed to be drawing both a boy and a girl.

    “Does this kid [character] even have a gender to begin with?” Daniel pondered as he worked on his character.

    Our members had to come up with fitting names for their child too.

     

    After about an hour of working hard, our members’ adorable children were finally complete.

    ChiMy’s character is called “En-chan.” She has a rice bowl for a hat and her hair is made of noodles. Her hair also has a stylish narutomaki hair clip.

    Sammy named her character “Umen,” which makes use of both Papa’s noodles and Mama’s narutomaki. His cute shoes are actually eggs!

    Naomi create a super adorable sibling pair, called Chad The E-Boy and VSCO-chan respectively. They have matching wavy noodle hair, as you’d expect from a brother and sister.

    Estuna’s idea was a twin brother and sister called “Menyuyu-chan” and “Rakutaro” who transform when they eat noodles. It’s cool that she even added some lore to their character!

    Daniel’s character is “Ramen Baby,” a creepy-cute ramen bowl who eats their own noodles, aka themselves. The diaper adds that baby touch to the character.

    Peter conceived “Mugimen,” who has a Native American-like appearance and whose torso is an egg. His headpiece is wheat which is a fundamental ingredient of ramen.

    Everyone was able to come up with their own unique ideas and put them on paper. It’s interesting to see how all their ideas came together and how their dishes inspired what they drew.

     

    The MOSHI MOSHI Friends left feeling satisfied after their tasty food at Kourakuen and being engrossed in their work.

     

    Submissions for the contest close at 23:59 (JST) on Friday October 25. Don’t worry if you’re not confident in your drawing skills as Japanese illustrator Shashamin will take your idea and add any finishing touches to your design and colouring. Anyone and everyone are encouraged to get involved.

     

    *All listed prices of the menu items include tax

    *Select branches may not stock select menu options listed in this article

    *To see the full menu, please visit Kourakuen’s official website at https://www.kourakuen.co.jp/

     

    Models: Etsuna, NaomiChiMy, Peter, Sammy, Daniel

    Writer: Ellie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Photographer: pon

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Wear Plain Clothes This Halloween at Shibuya’s Jimi Halloween 2019 Event

    13.October.2019 | FASHION

    Worried about what to wear for Halloween this year? No need to panic. If you’re spending your Halloween in Shibuya this year, which is known the world over for its incredible Halloween festivities, then head to Tokyo Culture Culture on October 27 where a very unique event is taking place.

    Jimi Halloween is an event that takes out the stress of having to go all out for Halloween as people go dressed as ordinary people. It has been held annually since 2014, with the number of attendees growing each year. Over 800 people took part last year, all clad in their plain clothes.

     

    This year’s event will be split into three slots, with a capacity of 200 people per slot. Sign-ups begin on October 15 at 12:00pm (JST).

     

     

    Past Examples

    ①Situational attire

    Beauty salon client

    Dressing up as someone doing something has been a popular choice at the event recently. You can come up with some creative ideas that’ll make people say, “You came as that?!”

     

    ②”I’ve seen people like that!” attire

    Flea market woman

    There’s always certain types of people that everyone sees, and in Japan this is one of them!

     

    ③”I get it, but I don’t get it” attire

    Hawaii vibe  uncle

    You’ve heard all about them, but have you seen them?

     

    ④Work attire

    Handing out tissues with pachinko ads on them

    Work attire is a go-to at the plain clothes event. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the one that started the entire movement.

     

    ⑤Miscellaneous attire

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

    The final entry is those which are hard to categorise. They serve whatever vibes they are feeling.

     

    Attend this year’s event and show off your own unique ideas!

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