Tokyo walk: Harajuku & Aoyama

The Harajuku/Aoyama area is a popular shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo. There are also shrines and a lot of high-end residences.

Continue reading Tokyo walk: Harajuku & Aoyama


Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine in Sendagaya

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is a shinto shrine in Sendagaya, Shibuya City. Its distinguishing feature is its Fujizuka, called the Sendagaya Fuji. Fujizuka are small mounds that represent Mount Fuji. Fuji worshipers who are unable to do a pilgrimage to the top of Mount Fuji can use one of those instead. There are many other such Fujizuka in Tokyo (for example, at Shinagawa Shrine or Onoterusaki Shrine in Iriya).

Above, the Fuji-zuka mound.

Above, view from the top.

Above, cherry tree just outside the shrine.

Black Spicy Miso Ramen at Yaguratei in Shinjuku

Hotaru (ほたる; meaning Firefly) Ramen, with additional egg.

Since the soup was not bright red (the black liquid is garlic oil), I did not think it would be that spicy. This ramen was actually very intense, about the same as the Spicy Miso ramen from Nakamoto I posted about some time ago. This was with the default level of heat (level 1). It can go up to level 20 but the max level will probably blow a hole in your guts. The heat comes from habanero chili pepper: There are red bits of the stuff floating in the bowl and mixed with the noodles.

I was not fast enough to capture it on camera myself but the ramens were served with blue flames on the chashu. Very impressive! This website has more photos and a review in English.

I found out about this shop from the 2014 issue of Ramen Walker (Tokyo edition) that I bought a couple of weeks ago. The magazine lists many noodle shops in Tokyo, with opening times and some info about the menu.

This issue has a special feature about some guy doing a Spicy Ramen challenge that involves going to restaurants known for the heat of their ramen and ordering the spiciest thing on the menu (I think: My Japanese is not very good). I have been to about half of the shops listed (although I did not go for the spiciest item: I still want to enjoy what I eat) and I plan on trying the rest in the near future. The spiciest ramen in the list is the so-called Oroqen Megafire from Do Miso in Ginza (I posted about the normal spicy version here).