Asahikawa Ramen Aoba
Asahikawa Ramen Aoba is a long-established ramen shop that started from a stall in 1947. It used to have a stand at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, but now there are only two stores, the main store in 2-jo-dori 8-chome and the store in the Asahikawa Ramen Village.
The current owner of the shop the third, but its predecessor and his wife are still helping the shop out.
The wife of the predecessor is the waitress: she will guide you to your seat, make conversations and is full of hospitality.
The ramen of "Asahikawa Ramen Aoba" has a double soup made by mixing pork bones and chicken bones with a seafood soup stock using ingredients like Rishiri kelp, dried bonito flakes, and dried sardines. With this soup, Aoba became one of the founder of the traditional Asahikawa ramen.
The featured and recommended ramen is, of course, the “soy sauce ramen" for 750 yen.
Since it is one of the longest-established ramen shops in Asahikawa, Aoba is often interviewed by the medias. The narrow walls of the shop are decorated with the autographs and the photographs written by celebrities and entertainers.
But the most impressive thing is the photo of the former Prime Minister, Yasuhiro Nakasone, from when he visited the ramen shop. The predecessor's wife showed us the two bowls left from that time.
Name: Asahikawa Ramen Aoba
Address: Asahikawa-shi 2 Jodori 8-chome Left 8 Nijo Building
Business hours: Mon-Sat 9:30 -14:00 - 15: 0-19:30
Sundays and public holidays 9:30-14:00 - 15:00-18:30
Regular holiday: Wednesday
Hachiya Gojo Founding Store
Like Asahikawa Ramen Aoba, "Hachiya" was founded in 1947. At its beginning, from where it took its name from, Hachiya sold honey ice cream. You can also order the ice cream reproducing the one they used to sell in 1947.
"Hachiya" too, used to have a store in the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum. It also had a store at the former Asahikawa station, but now there are only two stores, the founding store and the main store at 3-15-chome.
Hachiya is characterised by its charred lard. It’s got a quite unique taste that makes people either love it or hate it. The ramen here is also called “drug ramen” because it becomes addictive when you get hooked to it.
You can choose between the strongly flavoured lard, the normal one, and no lard. The clerk will always ask you when you order your ramen bowl.
Since our writer is not a Hachiya addict, he went for the normal lard. People who are addicted to Hachiya order the strongly flavoured charred lard, blackening the surface of the soup.
If you are going to eat ramen at Hachiya for the first time, we recommend you to order the normal lard first.
Name: Hachiya Gojo founding store
Address: Asahikawa-shi 5 Jodori 7-chome Right 6
Business hours: 10: 30-19: 50
No regular holiday
"Umekoken Asahikawa" is located in the basement of the Piazza Building facing the shopping park.
There are branch of ramen shops divided in the city.
But the shops in Asahikawa Ramen Village and Station Road Asahikawa are affiliated here.
Umekoken was founded in 1969, a little later than Aoba and Hachiya. It has stores in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Vietnam, and Hawaii, thus spreading Asahikawa ramen to the world.
Menma is a Japanese condiment made from lacto-fermented bamboo shoots. The bamboo shoots are dried in the sun or through other means before the process of fermentation. Menma is a common topping for noodle soups, notably ramen.
Umekoken is characterized by its thick Menma. The soy sauce ramen here has a mild taste, and the soup is excellent.
In Hokkaido, there is a shop in the Sapporo Ramen Republic and in the New Chitose Airport but nothing beats the main shop’s taste.
Name: Umekoken Asahikawa
Address: Asahikawa-shi 2-8 Chome Piazza Building B1F
Business hours: 11:00 to 15:30 17:00 to 21:00
Regular holiday: Irregular holiday
This time, we introduced three stores, the "Asahikawa Ramen Aoba", "Hachiya", and "Umekoken Asahikawa". Each shop represents the Asahikawa ramen style and is recognised by Asahikawa citizens.
We now hope that you know where to go to enjoy the traditional Asahikawa Ramen!
Translated from Tora’s article.