I was somewhere around Susukino slipping and sliding on frosted concrete when the hunger kicked in. As I walk past random strangers, I can’t help but notice their thick and warm looking winter boots while curiously staring at me in my tennis shoes as if to say: “Hey moron, it’s winter and there’s a blizzard out. Why are you wearing those!?”
My toes were numb past the point of frostbite, it felt like a thousand needles were fired at every exposed skin in my body, and all I can think of is Ramen!
Hot, delicious, and savory Ramen!
My affair with Ramen started during my college years. I would decorate and garnish cheap Top Ramen with various toppings to where it became an art of sorts.
I figured that topping the sodium and preservative rich junk food would make it somewhat palatable and delay heart attacks long enough for me to get me through college to afford the medical bills. Fast forward a few years later, I still haven’t had a cardiac arrest from the college diet and can now afford my second holiday to Japan.
I’ve also graduated to real Ramen and became somewhat of a connoisseur. While here braving a blizzard in Hokkaido, I stumbled upon Sapporo Ramen Yokocho.
But it’s no accident I found this place; it came as a recommendation from the hostel I stayed at in the Red Light district. I know what you’re thinking. The Red Light district, Uh-huh. Just what the heck are you doing there Adonis? Let me explain. By sheer accident I came by this place, it was the cheapest one I could find, I swear, no funny business!
Sapporo Ramen Yokocho
Or simply called Ramen Alley, is a famous spot in Susukino. It is said to be the birthplace of my Miso Ramen (my favorite), and here the cream of the crop rises to the top….or better yet a terminator, like Arnold…Schwar….Terrible House of Pain reference, sorry! The ground zero, the base at which every Ramen bowl defines itself is the broth, and the rich, creamy broth of Miso Ramen is so delicious it will leave you licking every last drop from your bowl.
Topped with slightly fatty slices of melt-in-your-mouth slow roasted pork belly with perfectly boiled soft yolk egg? You have yourself a Ramen bowl made in heaven. The ramen was so good it melted the frostbite out of my frozen toes. I could eat Ramen at every meal for a month here in Sapporo and never run into the same Ramen shop. They’re scattered throughout the city but there’s several packed in the Ramen alley, and it behooves to visit it should your travels take you to Sapporo.
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If Miso Ramen isn’t down your alley, do not despair! There are plenty of Ramen choices in each shop, and some will specialize in specific ones. There’s Tsuke-Men, Shio, Shoyu, Tonkotsu, and Wakayama – you have many Ramen to cater to your appetite so slurp your noodles away!
Ramen alley is at Chuo-ku, Sapporo 064-0808, Hokkaido, Japan.
By train Take the Nanboku line to Susukino Station. From there it’s just a 2-minute walk south and to your left.