Wednesday, September 7, 2011


When it's cold outside, I like nothing better than a hot bowl of ramen. And I am not talking about the instant ramen that a lot of people think of when they hear "ramen". Let's get one thing straight. That is NOT real ramen. I guarantee that if you have real ramen, you will not be able to eat the instant ramen or admit that you ever did. You'll also become a ramen snob like me.

One of my favorite ramen places in Iwakuni is Nagahama Ramen. Every ramen place is different. The soup is made differently and in a lot of cases, the noodles are even different. You should try a few different places before deciding on a favorite. You might even find that you have a couple of favorites. I have a few favorites and all for different reasons.

Last week a few of us at work decided to go out for some ramen together, and I remembered to bring my camera! For those who have been following since my very first post, Dave blasted me on Facebook because we had gone to Ganesh and I didn't have my camera on me. So, I couldn't blog about it. Ha! This time I was prepared! I now take my Nikon with me everywhere I go because you just never know.

We decided to go to Nagahama Ramen since it was Wednesday. I ordered my usual Wakame Ramen and Gyoza. Their gyoza is awesome! Wakame is seaweed so my ramen had lots of seaweed in it. They also have their traditional Nagahama Ramen which is just green onions and pork slices. If you don't like pork you can order it without the pork. Their Wonton Ramen is also pretty good.

My Wakame Ramen

and my Gyoza...Mmmmmmmm

AND if you go on Wednesdays, it's free noodle refill day (now you know why we decided to go)!! You order one bowl and then you can request extra bowls of just noodles as much as you want for free up to 3 times (updated on 4/6/15). You will always have soup left over so all you really need are the noodles. I am usually pretty full after one bowl and my gyoza so I didn't order any extra noodles, but the guys sure did.

They just bring the noodles out to you in a bowl and you just put them in your soup.

For those who like a little spice in their life, they also have a spicy ramen. You get to choose your level up to 5. Dave chose level 3 and he said it was pretty spicy. Not sure what that means for anyone else since everyone has different levels of tolerance for spicy foods. I think for me that meant I would be running around with smoke coming out of my ears, looking for some ice water to dunk my whole head into. I am a spice wuss. It's not that I don't like spicy foods. I love the flavor! I just can't handle the heat. And when I say heat.....level 1 at Coco Curry is a little spicy for me. I'm not kidding.

Even though the menu is not in English, they do have great pictures on the menu. It also helps that it's a very small menu. The one at the top left corner is the "Nagahama Ramen". That is the original ramen.

Be prepared to wait if you go on a Wednesday. It's not always super busy, but it usually is. I try to go early for lunch to beat the crowd and usually, by the time I'm leaving there's a line of people waiting for a table. I've gone in the evenings and usually I don't have to wait very long for a table. It's usually only crazy busy on Wednesdays though.

To get to this wonderful ramen shop, go out Monzen gate turn right and then turn left onto the main road. After about 30 seconds (maybe less), you'll see a right turn. Take it and go over the railroad tracks (Yellow Hat should be on your left). At the light, turn left. Follow this road and at the third fifth light (I think it's the third one....there is an AU shop on the corner), turn right. Follow this road (you should pass a 7-Eleven on your left) and after a few minutes you will see a bright yellow sign on your right. You'll want to turn right there. It's like a mini shopping plaza. The ramen shop is to the right.

Do you have a favorite ramen shop in Iwakuni? Please share! If you are looking for a favorite ramen shop, make sure you give Nagahama Ramen a try!

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