When I travel for work, I don't subject my colleagues to my ramen adventures. I tend to go out late, slurp multiple bowls, and try my best to be low-key. Those I work with, for the most part, take a bit of arm-pulling to even leave the cheap business hotels we stay in. Check in, watch a 500 yen pay-per-view movie, and sleep. I think it is a huge waste, travelling to the far reaches of Japan on weekends, then sitting in a sterile hotel room, but I can also see it as a way to recharge after the week in Tokyo.
Well, I dragged them out in Asahikawa. Not for ramen, but to a friend of a friend's izakaya, located in the heart of Asahikawa's red-light district. Nestled in with 40 other shops, from snack bars to quite restaurants, Tokiyasu was awesome and I'm glad I forced the social evening.
And though I ate my fill of raw Hokkaido salmon, seasoned deep-fried chicken, and corn tempura, I said goodnight to the crew and went for a bowl.
My biggest problem with non-Tokyo Japan, especially somewhere like Asahikawa, is that the ramen shops close early. Eight or nine at night. In a country that views ramen as the perfect post-drinking food, I just don't understand.
But there are always a few. Kasui is open late, three or four in the morning late.
And it ain't bad. Typical Asahikawa style; heavy, porky broth with a lot of heavy, dark soy sauce. Great for preventing a hangover the next day, just make sure you drink a lot of water with that soup.
And though it isn't Hachiya, Kasui gets the job done.
北海道旭川市3条通7 ソシアルビル 1F
Hokkaido, Asahikawa-shi, 3-7
Closest station: Asahikawa
Open 11:30-15:00, 17:30-3:00am
Weekends until 4:00am