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Slurping opportunities at Ramen Expo 2013

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

Ramen, Japan’s soul food, continues to evolve by the day. It comes in a variety of flavors, with numerous toppings and at different prices. If you’re a fan and happen to be in Osaka between Dec. 12 and 25, you are in luck — the Ramen Expo 2013 brings together noodle dishes from all over the country and offers visitors the chance to taste any of them, all at the same price.

The expo is expecting a turnout of more than 150,000, so organizers recommend that you come prepared: Study the ramen restaurants taking part and choose your favorites beforehand. Also arrive with a hearty appetite, since there will be 30 booths, each with different offerings.

If you want something more “orthodox,” try Taishoken’s Chuka-Soba, a traditional soy-sauce-based soup ramen with toppings of pork, bamboo shoots and leeks. Looking for something a bit heavier? Try Menya Nakahira’s cutlet ramen, which comes with crispy pork cutlets and a miso-based soup.

Other attractions aside from ramen will also take place, including wadaiko drum and other acoustic music performances, as well as comedy shows by the local Yoshimoto comedy group. It should be noodles of fun for everyone.

The Ramen Expo 2013 takes place at Expo Park in Osaka’s Suita city on Dec. 12-15 and Dec. 20-25. Ramen will be served from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Entrance is ¥250 and all ramens will be ¥800. For more details, visit www.ramen-expo.com.