Thursday, September 22, 2016

梅光軒 (Baikoken in Asahikawa, Hokkaido)

梅光軒 旭川本店

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Tourism in Hokkaido has changed rapidly in recent years. With a lot more wealth in other Asian countries, people have begun to flock here in droves. And with direct flights from Shanghai, Seoul, and Bangkok, visiting the cool-in-summer northern island is a breeze.

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Waiting in line for famous shops isn't just a Japanese obsession. A few shops I visited this time, both ramen and not, were about two thirds overseas tourists.

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The one thing I don't understand, though, is why you would go out of your way to visit the chains. Baikoken isn't a huge chain, but it has certainly evolved into the chain category. With nine shops in Japan and eight overseas, they are bringing the Asahikawa ramen game to the world.

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Not a bad bowl, and certainly better than their outlet in Tokyo. I'm sure the guidebooks are rich with suggestions for places like this.

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The fact of the matter is that I was spoiled by Hachiya, what I consider one of the best bowls in the country. I didn't take any shots, but I slurped there a few hours before Baikoken, and kind of ruined my palate with the ultra rich, in-your-face impact that you only find at that shop.

Anyways, Baikoken is a famous place, and if you are going to hit it up, you might as well do it at the main shop in Asahikawa.

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Official site here.

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Map of 8 Chome 2 Jōdōri, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaidō 070-0032

北海道旭川市2条通8丁目右1 ピアザビル B1F
Hokkaido, Asahikawa-shi 2-8
Closest station: Asahikawa

Open 11:00-21:00
Sunday 11:00-20:00