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Devouring a Bowl of Monster Ramen

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In my 7 years of travelling Japan, I’ve been fortunate to visit 40 of the country’s 47 prefectures, travelling from freezing Hokkaido to the turquoise seas that lap the shores of Okinawa. These are the memories, moments and experiences that I frequently find myself going back to; the ones that put a smile on a face that is typically riddled with cynicism and despair. Hopefully they’ll give you some fresh ideas and inspire you to go off the beaten path and experience Japan your own way. Memories travelling Japan is an ongoing series.

Devouring a Bowl of Monster Ramen | Akihabara, Tokyo

If you’ve always wondered if there’s a place that sells a bowl of ramen so large and ridiculous in scale that you could potentially overdose on noodles, then you’ll be pleased to hear there is a place you can taste those limits in Akihabara, Tokyo.

Akihabara may be renown for being a Japanese pop culture Mecca, but hidden down a back street is a restaurant called “Yarou Ramen”, a ramen shop for the everyman.

Yet there’s one dish on the menu known as “Mega Pork Yarou Ramen” that’s been created for the madman.

Huge slices of braised pork, a mountain of bean sprouts and thick noodles to soak up the thick soup broth. I can’t say it’s my favourite ramen - or indeed a particularly good ramen - but you don’t go to Yarou ramen to be impressed by flavour. You go to challenge yourself to Tokyo’s finest monster food challenge.

And that is exactly what I did, when I went head to head with Natsuki one autumn, as we sat in the corner of the store and spent 30 minutes attempting to devour the bowl.

Whilst I’d rather forget the food, I can’t forget the hilarity of battling the increasingly cocky Natsuki. Of the various food challenges I’ve undertaken in Japan, the monster ramen challenge was easily my most favourite and given it’s now been watched by over a million people, I dread to think how many others we inspired to attempt to consume the nightmarish bowl of “Mega Pork Yarou Ramen”.

Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn’t end well for me either.

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