8:00am - Haneda Airport.
9:30am - Aomori Airport.
10:00am - Taxi to the performance hall.
4:00pm - Work is done, with exactly two hours of free time until the train to the next city.
Perfect timing to grab the most famous bowl in Aomori Prefecture.
I wasn't the first ramen nut to come to Nagao.
And some locals come here almost every week! There are bowls labeled with people's names all over the shop. If you sign up for a members card and get 1000 points, you get you own bowl. That's about 150 bowls. Dedication.
But I was just in town for a minute, with just enough time for one.
From the 裏メニュー, the secret menu. Sure, you can go with a standard item, like the light asari ramen, or even the heavier kotteri, bu if you ask for the ura-menu, you'll get the max amount of niboshi possible.
Nagao made their name with heavy niboshi flavors, a trend that is all the rage in Tokyo these days.
The idea of dried sardines as the main flavor in a bowl of ramen might sound off-putting to some foodies. Sardines, of course, are one of the most fishy smelling flavors of the sea. But by drying them, and boiling them for just the right amount of time, you get a smoky richness that is unparalleled in the food world.
And due to strict laws about importing dried fish from Japan to America, you aren't likely to find a bowl like this anytime soon. As was explained to me, dried fish needs to have all the guts removed to make it into the States, an impossibility for niboshi. Take advantage if you are in Japan. And if you can't make it up to Aomori, Nagi in Shinjuku does a good one.
Official Site Here
Aomori-ken, Aomori-shi, Miyoshi 2-3-5
Closest station: Shin-Aomori