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Ramen is more than the meal of a poor college student.

- Hye Sung

Though the distance between the US and Japan is quite large, Japanese culture has become more and more relevant over the years. From childhood favorites such as Pokemon, Tamagotchi, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Dragon Ball Z, to the cuisine we all know and I hope most of us love, everything Japanese is kind of hip nowadays. Think about it: look at a parking lot. How many of those cars are a Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, or another Japanese company? Go into a GameStop and count how many of those games were made by a Japanese company. I mean, there is a whole section at Barnes and Noble specifically for Manga. Japan is relevant! And I actually was able to go there.

Now, I could talk about the tourist attractions and Disney Land in Tokyo, but the only thing that really got me passionate was the delicious miso ramen I had in Tokyo. You might have had miso soup before at a sushi restaurant… imagine it with ramen noodles. I never had anything like it before. I got to experience this amazing dish while I at a tiny ramen shop in Mitaka, Tokyo, a city within the prefecture of Tokyo. The place was a bit dusty and crowded but my uncle assured me it was the best ramen in Mitaka. It turned out simply being THE best ramen I’ve ever had.

Since that, I have not been as impressed by ramen as I was that day. In Seoul, South Korea, I had some mouth-burning spicy ramen and that was delicious, but it did not come close to that miso ramen in Tokyo.

New York City’s Sapporo Restaurant (152 West 49th Street) comes close, though. The environment of the restaurant feels very authentic and the dishes are put together perfectly. Sapporo’s miso brought me back to my summer in Japan. They have a branch in Edgewater, New Jersey, at the local Mitsuwa, a Japanese market/grocery store. Their ramen is identical to the New York City branch and equally satisfying.

I wish I could give you a taste of Japan myself but the best I can do is suggest you make a trip to New York and get authentic Japanese ramen at Sapporo’s. Heck, if you want to get real authentic, go to Japan. I promise you that the trip will be worth it solely because of the ramen.

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