Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sapporo!

Ugh...
One beer too many last night. Ouch...

A rather unpleasant way to greet the day, but greet it I did. Out the door by 9 AM, I hopped in Wasabi-kun (my car's nickname) and headed for the BIG CITY. Ooooooooh.

An hour on the regular roads, an hour on the toll highway, and I had arrived. Sapporo. Famous for beer, Susukino, and...

RAMEN.

My first stop was Sumire Ramen, a nationally famous ramen shop. You can see the line in front of the shop there, right? That made for a half-hour wait to get a bowl of ramen.

Some of you out there may be thinking, "Ramen? Isn't that the dried noodles in a cup that college students who have no money whatsoever eat to survive? You're waiting in line for half an hour to eat THAT?"

You poor soul. You know nothing of the wonder that is ramen. Look at that bowl there. Does that look like someone just poured hot water in a styrofoam cup? I ask you again, DOES IT!? Of course it doesn't. The Wonderful World of Ramen that exists in Japan is...well...ummm...wonderful? (Six years of living in Japan has all but killed off my vocabulary.) This is some good stuff. The soup is of a miso base, and the ramen is topped with onions, bamboo shoots, and fried pork. This is some gooooooood ramen.

Hokkaido is all about ramen. From the salt-based soup in Hakodate to the soy sauce-based soup in Asahikawa, the miso-based soup in Sapporo to the pork bone-based soup in Fukuoka (whoops, that's not in Hokkaido), ramen is all over the place.

There's even a Ramen Republic.
It's located on the tenth floor of the Bic Camera building next to Sapporo Station. It's a tourist tra...umm, a place for the different ramen shops around Hokkaido to showcase their wares. It's pretty crazy in there. Lines all over the place. The ramen is quite good, though. Definately worth checking out if you're ever in Sapporo.

Ramen is all fine and dandy, but the happiest discovery for me was finding Sombrero Mexicano.

YES! YES! THANK YOU, OH LORD IN HEAVEN!

A restaurant that serves Mexican food! Woo hoo!

Fajitas! Burritos! Enchiladas! Tostitos! Tacos!

TEQUILA!!!!!! (umm, does that qualify as food?)

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