I'll get to the ramen, which was amazing, in a minute.
My adventures in Japan aren't limited to ramen. I love motorcycle touring, I love onsen (Japanese hot springs), and I love hiking to the top of mountains. Aomori Prefecture is where you catch the ferry to Hokkaido, but you should really take your time; this is a beautiful part of the country.
In fact, just an hour or so from the ferry terminal in Aomori City, you can find Odake (大岳), one of Japan's 100 famous peaks. At the base is an amazing onsen with a campground. A little slice of heaven if you ask me.
The shot above shows the peak on a beautiful day. The video below, over on my Instagram, shows it the next morning.
Ugh. Well, I managed to summit and descend in about three hours. I was soaked, and my spirits reflected the weather.
The only cure was hot ramen.
Takahashi was recommended to me by Ishiyama-san, a famous ramen critic. Sure enough, there is a printout of an article he wrote next to the ticket machine.
The catch-copy in the article says 青森のレベルすごく高い - The level of Aomori ramen is very high.
Couldn't have said it better myself. This is stellar stuff.
Aomori-style, a style that has influenced many shops in Tokyo, is rich in local niboshi, dried baby sardines. The soup is cloudy with the bitter, smoky fish, and the taste is an intense punch in the palate. It is a taste that some foreigners dislike, so make sure you try something a little more accessible first, before trekking to this icon of a shop.
The noodles are made in house, which is just an added bonus. Along with Nagao, this is the one to hit in the region.
Still soaked, but with a bit more pep in my step, I spent the rest of the day at the famed Aomori Museum of Art, another must hit spot if you are into modern art at all.
Next stop, Hokkaido! Just a short four hour ferry ride away.
Aomori-ken, Hirosaki-shi, Naijoshi 1-3-6
Nearest station: Naijochi