In what's becoming a regular event, I set out on a midday ramen adventure with a student of mine. I'm often armed with a few guidebooks, my Tokyo street atlas (filled with notes about where to eat), and whatever new noodle magazine is on the shelves. It's a lot of paper. An analog solution to a modern problem.
Introducing my new GPS system, to be called the Ramen Radar from now on. You see, buried in the menu system is an extensive database of ramen shops. Simply choose to display whatever is close to you, and you'll be eating a great bowl in less than a few hundred meters.
It even has detailed information about each shop in the database. The closest was a Kumamoto style tonkotsu soup. Great!
Did I mention the problems I had with this unit the other day? On the way to a remote ramen shop in West Tokyo, the battery died. Turns out this portable unit isn't too portable. The battery lasts from somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour. Strike one. Lesson learned. Wire it up to the motorcycle in the near future.
This time, we couldn't find the shop. Satellites in space indicated that we were 0m from our goal. Phoning the shop indicated that they closed over 2 years ago. Turns out the ramen database is a little outdated. Strike two. Lesson leaned. Update the Ramen Radar software.
Luckily, my student knew of nearby spot. Okayama style. My first bowl in Japan was actually at an Okayama shop. That bowl cost 190 yen. It wasn't so great. How about this one?
Excellent. Firm, straight noodles similar to nearby Onamachi Style, with a lot less fat. The soup is a simple, sweet shoyu.
If you'd like to take your adventure to the next step, pick up some Okayama travel literature on your way out.