Japanese Students Eat a Bowl of “Success Ramen” at Ichiran Before Exams
Internationally recognised ramen chain Ichiran are currently selling their Gokaku Ramen (‘Success Ramen’) at their Dazaifu Sando branch. It has been almost a year since they began serving it and has been praised by people both in and out of Japan.
Gokaku Ramen uses a natural pork ramen broth, inside which sits 59cm long noodles made from a special blend of wheat flour.
The Dazaifu Sando branch also sells its own merchandise, such as Gokaku Chopsticks. The restaurant is visited by many people preparing to take exams hoping to increase their chances of success. Since students visit the local Dazaifu Tenman-gū Shrine to pray to Sugawara no Michizane, the deity of scholarship, to pray for success on their exams, Ichiran wanted to support them and so created this dish.
The number of high school students and university students, as well as those taking state examinations and employment examinations, declaring that they have passed successfully continues to flourish.
But the success isn’t limited to Japan, as people who have eaten Goraku Ramen from overseas have claimed success too. Both them and their families have expressed their gratitude to the restaurant.
Select comments from customers (*translated from Japanese):
・Thanks to you, I was able to get into my first choice high school. Thank you so much.
・My little brother ate a bowl of Gokaku Ramen and passed his exams for the University of Tokyo.
・I passed my National Nursing Exam. Thank you! What a wonderful meal.
・I said “I will pass my exams for Kyushu University” to everyone yesterday. Announcements were revealed yesterday, and I passed. Thank you very much!!
・I ate this ramen, took my exam, and actually passed. Thank you so much!!!
・I passed my Teacher Employment Examination!!!
“Gokaku” in Japanese is a homophone for “success” and “pentagon”. The Dazaifu Sando branch of Ichiran is scattered with lots of pentagon shaped bits and bobs, including the donburi bowls used for the meals, the 59cm noodles, cups (pictured) above, chopsticks and more.
Even the toilets. The sign reads toire, which means “toilet,” but with the extra lines drawn in a different colour it reads tooru, which is the verb “pass,” as in to pass an exam. The toilet paper holders also make up the kanji “合” used in 合格 (gokaku) to mean “success.” Even the staff’s name tags aren’t just regular tags – they are ema, which are small wooden plaques found at temples and shrines on which people write prayers and wishes.
If you have an exam coming up, whether for school or even the JLPT, then make sure you stop by Ichiran in Dazaifu for a bowl of Gokaku Ramen!
Introducing Ramen Muraji, a Popular Ramen Store in the Backstreets of Kyoto
Gion’s Tatsumi Bridge, a picturesque area plucked straight from a painting. From there, continue south and into the backstreets, you’ll find the popular Kyoto Ramen store, Ramen Muraji.
The bridge takes you over the Shirakawa River which flows into Lake Biwa, with the connecting street spanning a distance of only 180m, with paths the width of three adults. Once you head into the alley, the scenery will completely change.
The asphalt becomes cobblestone, surrounded by Kyoto-style lattice windows. Here you’ll find Ramen Muraji, located in a renovated 100 year old Kyoto-style building, perfectly blending into its surroundings.
At first glance you wouldn’t believe it to be hiding a ramen shop, with many people calling their discovery of the shop a once-in-a-lifetime encounter as they wander the streets of Gion.
The back alleys of Gion retain the history of Kyoto, with hidden shops shrouded by curtains, gently glowing lanterns, and carefully handwritten signboards. Each spot has been crafted to become a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with those who visit.
Ramen Muraji was built in the alley
Tatsumi Bridge, an area famous for retaining the distinctive Gion look.
Muraji’s Speciality White Chicken Ramen
Gion has been popular with Kyoto tourists for years, surrounded by attractive buildings and cityscapes. Located here is the Yasaka Shrine, a world heritage site which hosts the annual Gion Summer Festival.
While the locals rarely explore the area, Gion is full of traditional beauty that has inspired many novels, maintaining the culture and history that has been passed down for generations.
Why not relive the splendor of Gion at Ramen Muraji, a shop that was born 、
With its long history and culture that weaves towns, humans, and spirits together, why not relive the splendor of Gion with a historical cup of Muraji ramen?
Ramen Muraji is a space where anybody can enjoy ramen, surrounded by Kyoto-style interior decor and Japanese-style decorations.
Their chicken ramen, boiled in a plain water soup, boasts a selection of carefully selected ingredients that condenses the taste of Kyoto’s unique food culture. Kyoto Sake matched to the flavor of the ramen is also available.
Enjoy the charms of Kyoto’s food for yourself at Ramen Muraji.
Ramen Muraji Gion Store
Address: 373-3, Kitomoto-cho, Higashiyama, Kyoto City, Kyoto
※Covid-19 Opening Hours: Daily, 11:30 ~ 20:00 (L.O 19:45)
Lunch: 11:30 ~ 15:00
Dinner: 17:00 ~ 22:00
Weekend, holidays: 11:30 ~ 22:00
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Appointed As Ramen Kourakuen’s New CKO
As a company aiming to bring a new kind of happiness to many people, Ramen Kourakuen have announced their new slogan: All New Happy!
In order to spread the message even further, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has been appointed as Kourakuen’s new CKO – Chief Korekara (Future) Officer.
Their new goal is to work towards each step of the New Happy 5 Plan in order to spread cheer across Japan.
Plus, a new Kourakuen commercial featuring Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will be released nationwide.
The special commercial will be promoting the new student discount set, where students will be able to enjoy ramen meals for ¥550 on weekdays, plus the mobile order service which allows customers to order their ramen in advance, meaning it’ll be ready when you arrive.
The students and workers shown in the commercial are so satisfied that their face morphs into Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s as she dons the Kourakuen logo on her cheek. Make sure to check out Kyary’s China themed hair and costume!
Ramen Inspired T-Shirt Collection Cooks Up in Collaboration With Tenkaippin
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Japanese ramen restaurant chain Tenkaippin. To celebrate, they have joined hands with men’s apparel brand MONO-MART to release a collection of ramen-inspired t-shirts in collaboration with Japanese illustrator Isogai Hitohisa. The limited-edition collection dropped on ZOZOTOWN on June 10.
Tenkaippin | Comment
“Thanks to all of our customers, Tenkaippin turns 50-years-old this year. It’s a turning point for us, and so we’ve decided to develop products in collaboration with an apparel brand for the first time. We hope it helps to spread word of the Tenkaippin name amongst the youth. Designs include photos of when we first opened, illustrations drawn for us, and more. Please enjoy Tenkaippin through these super rare tees!”
Each t-shirt in this collection is branded with Tenkaippin’s logo along with their ‘KOTTERI’ logo. There’s another with a photo of the brand’s legendary founder Tsutomu Kimura, another with the encouraging message ‘Righht effort,’ and more. Other designs include illustrations by Isogai Hitohisa on the back, various photos, and so on.
Tenkaippin x MONO-MART
Released: June 10, 2021
Buy Here: https://zozo.jp/search/?p_tpcsid=1445757
ROKU: Kyoto’s New Soba Ramen Shop Produced by Michelin-Star Chef
10.December.2020 | FOOD
Kamo Dashi Chuka Soba ROKU is a new ramen restaurant set to open at GOOD NATURE STATION, a shopping facility in Kyoto, on December 12, 2020.
The restaurant is produced by Yuki Iwasaki, a chef at VELROSIER which acquired its first Michelin Star in Michelin Guide 2021 Kyoto, Osaka & Okayama. It will serve ramen in a variety of duck-flavoured dashi broths made with duck from Kyoto and France.
Duck Sei Tanmen | ¥1,000
Duck Shiro Tanmen | ¥1,000
ROKU will initially offer three types of ramen dishes which includes the two pictured above as well as a special served each season. The Duck Sei Tanmen uses a broth made from a blend of duck meats and has a distinctly refreshing yet rich taste. The Duck Shiro Tanmen uses the same broth but adds chicken to the base together with mayu burnt garlic oil. The restaurant also makes its own thick noodles to enjoy with the soup. No tare sauce is used, allowing for customers to enjoy the umami flavour of the dashi and the various ingredients added.
The ramen bowls used are original wares created by TOKINOHA, a Japanese crockery brand specialising in traditional Kiyomizu ware which are perfect for enjoying your ramen.
Kamo Dashi Chuka Soba ROKU (Japanese Name: 鴨出汁中華そば ROKU)
Grand Opening: December 12, 2020
Address: GOOD NATURE STATION Floor 2F, 318-6 Inaricho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 11:30-20:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://goodnaturestation.com
Kyoto’s Popular Ramen Restaurant MENBAKA Kyoto Fire Ramen to Open New Branch in Singapore
MENBAKA Kyoto Fire Ramen, a ramen restaurant in Kyoto that’s particularly popular with foreigners in Japan, is expanding overseas by opening a new branch on the 5th floor of Singapore Orchard in Singapore on November 24, 2020.
MENBAKA Kyoto Fire Ramen
Menbaka first opened in 1984 and has gone on to become a popular ramen bar, focusing on the use of green onion in its dishes for its flavour and fragrance enhancement. In recent years, the Kyoto branch has seen a significant increase in the number of foreign visitors to Japan dining at the restaurant, and in 2017 it ranked number six in the country on Tripadvisor as the most popular restaurant in Japan with foreigners. It has gone on to be reported on in news and media outlets, including the video created by the Japan National Tourism Organization as part of its global campaign.
MENBAKA Kyoto Fire Ramen Singapore
The Singapore branch will open as a franchise of SOUTH EAST ASIA FOOD ENTERTAINMENT PTE. LTD. with carefully-selected suppliers and ingredients to ensure the taste is as close to the Japanese as possible. The restaurant will serve not only ramen but food entertainment as well.
Singapore Orchard, where the restaurant is opening, is a shopping mall and major tourist destination of Singapore. Like other countries around the world, Singapore is having to restrict the number of foreigners entering the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has also led to restaurants limiting the number of available tables, social distancing measures being put in place, and so on. The restaurant’s opening date was originally scheduled for April 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic so its grand opening is now scheduled for November 24.
If you’re in Singapore and want to try some authentic Japanese ramen at the same time, be sure to visit MENBAKA Kyoto Fire Ramen.
MENBAKA Kyoto Fire Ramen
Address: Cineleisure Orchard 5F, 8 Grange Rd, Singapore 239695
Opening Hours: 12:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays
Narita Airport’s Anime Deck Serves Up Ramen From Around Japan in Revamped Restaurant
01.November.2020 | FOOD
KADOKAWA revamped and reopened the eat-in restaurant at Narita Airport’s Narita Anime Deck on October 27. Visitors can now look forward to dining at Zenkoku Gensen! Aji no Tabi Ramen Walker.”
The Narita Anime Deck opened inside Narita International Airport Terminal 2 in November 2019. It’s an entertainment facility where travellers from around the world can experience and enjoy Japanese anime culture in various forms such as with character merchandise, food, events, and a variety of photo spots.
The new dine-in restaurant features a long ramen menu of ramen dishes carefully selected by Ramen Walker, Japan’s biggest information site for ramen. There are nine strictly-selected dishes to choose from, as well as over 50 ramens for people to buy and take home with them.
The menu will change its line-up from time to time
Customers can order any of the nine ramen dishes on their own, or they can order from several set menus which enables them to taste different ramen dishes from around Japan. There are also over 20 ramen toppings to choose from, so guests are sure to be spoilt for choice.
The restaurant will also sell their own range of exclusive ramen-related merchandise.
But that’s not all, as Ramen Walker Chicken is also set to open at Tokorozawa Sakura Town in Saitama on November 6 as the world’s first booking-style facility where you can book a table at the most popular ramen bars across Japan.
Narita Anime Deck
Address: Narita International Airport Terminal 2 Main Building Floor 2F (1-1 Furugome, Narita, Chiba)
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Food Last Orders 19:30)
No Fixed Holidays
Ramen Walker Chicken
Address: Tokorozawa Sakura Town 2F, 3 Chome HigashitokorozawawadaTokorozawa, Saitama
Hello Kitty Collaborates With Japanese Ramen Restaurant Kourakuen
29.September.2020 | FOOD
Kourakuen Holdings Corporation launched a collaboration campaign together with Sanrio’s popular character Hello Kitty on September 26 which is set to run to October 25.
Hello Kitty takes over Kourakuen
For the duration of the collaboration, the Roppongi and Dogenzaka branches of Kourakuen will be decorated in all things Hello Kitty
Free folder with child meal sets
A free and exclusive A4 size folder will be given to all who order the children’s meal set. This is available at select branches only and the folders are limited in stock.
Kourakuen original merchandise
Kourakuen x Hello Kitty Soy Sauce Plate | ¥200 (Tax Included)
Kourakuen x Hello Kitty Folder | ¥100 (Tax Included)
A special line-up of original and exclusive merchandise will also be sold at all Kourakuen branches including soy sauce plates, folders, and more.
Kourakuen Official Website: https://www.rakuten.co.jp/kourakuen-hd/
New York Ramen Bar Kuro-Obi to Open First Japanese Branch in Shibuya
05.July.2020 | FOOD
New York-based ramen bar Kuro-Obi has announced that it’s opening it first Japanese branch in the food hall of Shibuya’s new shopping centre RAYARD MIYASHITA PARK on August 4, 2020.
Kuro-Obi was established in New York back in 2014. To date, it has opened 6 branches across the US as well as one branch in Singapore. It specialises in “tori paitan”, a silky chicken-base broth. The new Japanese ramen bar will serve many different tori paitan ramen dishes takeout style, which is common in the US. All ramen served here is served in paper cups rather than bowls, so it can be eaten both in the food hall or taken away.
Added to the rich soup broth and noodles is moist chicken char siu, soft-boiled egg, negi spring onion, and fried onion chips. The black pepper used adds a kick to the overall flavour. Thick noodles are also used.
“Ramen is Freedom” is the theme of Kuro-Obi’s brand in Japan, with which they aim to challenge the new possibilities of ramen.
Kuro-Obi MIYASHITA PARK
Grand Opening: August 4, 2020
Address: MIYASHITA PARK South 3F FOOD HALL, 6-20-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)
Official Website: https://kuroobi-ramen.com/
Japan’s New Snack Theme Park Little Oyatsu Town Namba to Open in Osaka This October
Japanese snack company Oyatsu Town is opening a new “town-style” theme park inside the Namba Parks shopping complex in Osaka on October 2, 2020 called “Little Oyatsu Town Namba” which will be themed around Oyatsu Town’s timeless Japanese dried noodle snack “Baby Star Ramen.”
When the theme park opens, it will be taking all necessary precautions against COVID-19 to ensure guests have a safe experience.
Hoshio-kun Kitchen: Make your own Baby Star Ramen
In the Hoshio-kun Kitchen area, you will be able to choose favourite seasonings to create your very own personal Baby Star Ramen snack. Guests will also be able to make steamed bread to season too.
Hoshio-kun Fantasy Park: The amusement area
At Hoshio-kun Fantasy Park, kids and adults alike can enjoy Baby Star in a variety of interactive digital content, from music to videos, controlling your own avatar, and more.
Baby Star Dining: Enjoy lunch and dinner in the food area
Baby Star Dining features a menu arranged by pro chefs. Enjoy lunch, dinner, or cafe time. At dinner, alcohol is served too.
Oyatsu Deli: The takeout corner
Here, you can order curry bread, steamed buns, and other freshly-made tasty takeout food made using Baby Star.
Oyatsu Marche: The marketplace
At the Oyatsu Marche market, guests can get their hands on exclusive Baby Star Ramen flavours, merchandise, stationery, and more.
Bookings will open in September before the grand opening of Little Oyatsu Town Namba on October 2, 2020.
Little Oyatsu Town Namba
Address: Namba Parks 7F, 2-10-70 Nanbanaka, Naniwa-ku, Osaka
Grand Opening: October 2, 2020 (Subject to change)
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00 (Subject to change)
No Fixed Holidays
Entry: Free (Select services will charge however)
Access: 7-minutes on foot from Namba Station via the south-south ticket gates of the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line or the central ticket gates of the Nankai Electric Railway / 9-minutes on foot from Osaka-Namba Station via the east ticket gates of the Nara Line
Official Website: http://oyatsu.town/
Ramen Delivery Website Ouchi Ramen to Open in Response to Coronavirus Lockdown
10.May.2020 | FOOD
Matsufuji Shokuhin, which manages numerous ramen stores including Rokurinsha, has announced that it is opening a new delivery website called Ouchi Ramen (“At Home Ramen”) on May 18, 2020. This will be the company’s first delivery website to operate in almost six years, and comes in response to the closure of ramen eateries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial sales will collaborate with super popular ramen shops
The first batch of ramen to be open for delivery will come from 8 hugely popular ramen shops in Japan as called for by the head of Rokurinsha (三田遼斉).
1: Senrigan (Nakameguro, Tokyo)
Senrigan is a super popular ramen shop in Komaba-tōdaimae that serves gattsuri style ramenーbasically, hearty portions. It’s normal to be waiting it line to get into this place for a bowl of their hiyashi chūka chilled Chinese noodles.
2: Jump (Kasukabe, Saitama)
Another ramen shop you’ll find people lining up outside is Jump which was independently set up by the owner of Junk Garage, Takayama, after he began working there. They have many loved dishes there, like their mazesoba dry noodles and taresoba.
3: Kuriyama (Yokohama, Kanagawa)
Kuriyama placed first in many ramen competitions, and is said to have been the final place that ramen legend Kazuo Yamagishi taught his practices at before his passing in 2015.
4: Oni Soba Fujiya (Shibuya, Tokyo)
This popular ramen shop is managed by Japanese impressionist HEY! TakuChan. It’s considered the real deal amongst some of Japan’s biggest entertainers and reigned as the champion at a food festival held in the US in 2019.
5: Ootsuya (Yokosuka, Kanagawa)
There is huge support for the owner of this popular ramen restaurant which has many fans for its delicious family ramen.
6: KaneKitchen Noodles (Toshima, Tokyo)
KaneKitchen Noodles has hailed as a Bib Gourmand restaurant three years in a row in Michelin Tokyo. Their cup noodles are popular too.
7: Magorinsha (Chiyoda, Tokyo)
Magorinsha is a famous restaurant where its kitchen is graced by a different ramen master chef every day, including the owner of Rokurinsha. Simply eating their meals with just ramen and vegetables without seafood is enough to earn the description of exquisite.
8: Rokurinsha (Chiyoda, Tokyo)
Rokurinsha is said to be the place that started the tsukemen boom in Japan. It’s incredibly famous, and legend has it that it’s had to close before because lines have been so long in the past.
Online orders are made up of a set of two meals. A price of a set starts at ¥2,980 and shipping is free (Japan only). Many more respected restaurants are scheduled to be added to the website in the near future. This is a great way to continue supporting this hardworking restaurants.
Ouchi Ramen Official Website: http://www.ouchi-ramen.jp
Tokyo Station’s Best Rice Bowl & Noodle Dishes as Voted by Commuters
Tokyo Station and surrounding facilities are currently holding the “Tokyo Station Rice Bowl vs. Noodles Grand Prix 2019” tournament from October 7 to November 24 to find out people’s favourite rice bowl and noodle dishes at the station.
The past three tournaments have focused only on rice bowls, but this year sees the introduction of noodles too, with past restaurants in Kitchen Street and GRANSTA competing once again as well as new ones in ecute Tokyo and KITTE for a total of 13 participating station areas. 92 dishes are in the line-up, the biggest list to date.
The current rankings for the rice bowl and noodle categories have finally been unveiled, so let’s take a look at the Top 3 of each to see which is leading the race.
Category Is: Rice Bowl
Ultimate Japanese Spiny Lobster Bowl – ¥2,200 (Tax Included) @ Tsukiji Sushiko (GRANSTA Marunouchi)
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.
Premium Wagyu & Uni Otsukimi Date – ¥2,530 (Tax Included) @ Uniya no Amagokoro (Kitchen Street)
Served with sliced premium brand wagyu, this bowl is topped with uni sea urchin eggs and ikura salted salmon roeーa luxurious combination you won’t find anywhere else.
Ura Ooedo Tempura Bowl – ¥1,800 (Tax Included) @ Tenkiyo (Grand Roof)
This is an alternate version of the restaurant’s famous Ooedo Tempura Bowl, served with delicious tempura.
Category Is: Noodles
MISO JIRO – ¥1,000 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Style Miso Ramen Do Miso (KITTE GRANCHE)
A super-filling bowl piled with pork char siu and a mountain of vegetables.
Lanzhou Wagyu Noodles – ¥950 (Tax Included) @ Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles
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.
Dehydrated Hamburger Bolognese – ¥1,190 (Tax Included) @ HAMBURG WORKS
Enjoy the full flavour of the hamburger meat made from Japanese black wagyu beef and served with pasta.
Be sure to use this list as reference if you’re looking to eat while travelling through Tokyo Station!
Tokyo Station Rice Bowl vs. Noodles Grand Prix 2019
Running: October 7, 2019 – November 24, 2019
Locations: Kitchen Street, Kurobei Yokocho, Kitamachi Dining, Grand Roof, Grand Roof Front, GranAge, GRANSTA, GRANSTA Marunouchi, KITTE, ecute Tokyo, ecute Keiyo Street
Participating Restaurants: 91
Menu Items: 92 (79 of which are exclusive to Tokyo Station)
MOSHI MOSHI FRIENDS Members Enter Kourakuen’s Child Character Design Contest to Win 500,000 Yen
Kourakuen is a popular Japanese ramen chain based in the east of Japan that is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. Their diverse ramen menu line-up elicits a hint of nostalgia amongst the people of Japan, with its number one product being the “Chuka Soba,” a Chinese-style soba noodle dish.
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/
Writer: Ellie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Kourakuen’s Child Character Design Contest
Summary: Kourakuen is a ramen chain loved by families, so to celebrate the restaurant’s 65th anniversary it has created the Kourakuen Family, a family who now serve as the mascots for the chain. The competition asks people to draw the Mama and Papa a child to complete the family, who is also the main character.
Prize: ¥300,000 travel money with JTB and ¥200,000 prize money
Running: September 24, 2019 at 10:00 (JST) – October 25, 2019 at 23:59 (JST)
①Follow Kourakuen on Twitter@kourakuen_pr and post your illustration with the hashtag #幸楽苑ファミリー along with the name of your character. Illustrations must be in JPEG format and be less than 2mb.
②Upload your illustration to the campaign website along with the name of your character.
*Your illustration must be coloured. You are free to draw whatever ideas you like. Submissions can be digital art or hand-drawn art.
*If doing a hand drawn illustration, please ensure your photo is taken in a brightly-lit room so it can be seen clearly.
*Each participant can draw as many drawings as they like. However, only one character will be accepted from a submission.
Submission Necessities: You must ensure the following 2 items are included in your submission. If you forget to include both, your submission will not be accepted.
①Character illustration (JPEG)
*You may include how you conceived the character along with your drawing process, but this it not mandatory.
The winning entry will be posted on Kourakuen’s official website and social media platforms 1 month after submissions close. Time frame is subject to change. Please make sure all the information and required items are included before submitting.
Contest Details (Japanese): https://www.kourakuen.co.jp/pr/campaign201909/character