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Home > Topics(Archives) > Local ramen noodles

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Updated:July 31, 2015

Quick guide to the charms of ChibaLocal ramen noodles

A spectrum of creative,original soup variations

Many areas of Japan have popular local specialties, and perhaps the widest variety of all is developed around the national dish—ramen noodles. Chiba Prefecture has is own local ramen noodles, too, some of which are renowned nation-wide. Get a taste of the genuine local bowls of ramen that Chiba has to offer!

Savory, spicy flavor renowned nation-wide: Katsuura Tantan-men

Katsuura City’s Katsuura Tantan-men, commonly shortened to Katsu-tan, is one of the most widely recognized local specialties of Chiba. The unique ramen dish is so popular that it attracts visitors even from outside the prefecture. It contains no sesame paste ordinarily used in tantan-men, but instead features a generous helping of chili oil added to a soy sauce-flavored soup. The toppings are original, too: onion and minced meat. What started out as a “soul food” for fishermen, who enjoyed the bowl of hot noodles to thaw out their body after returning from sea, is now served at many ramen houses in Katsuura including a good number within walking distance from JR Katsuura Station. Anyone who likes ramen and spicy food is guaranteed to get hooked.

Rich, habit-forming soy sauce flavor: Takeoka-style Ramen

Takeoka-style Ramen is the invention of an established ramen house in Futtsu City. It features a rich soy sauce-flavored black soup made by boiling char siu barbecued pork, a generous topping of char siu, and onion added as accent. Original variations of the popular noodle dish are served at countless ramen houses today, particularly in the Uchibo area. Give it a try around JR Takeoka Station.

Ramen à la yakisoba? Funabashi Sauce Ramen

Sauce Ramen was conceived in postwar Funabashi City. Originally inspired by oyster sauce-flavored, stir-fried yakisoba noodles, it was kept alive by a small number of ramen houses. The local specialty gained fresh attraction in recent years, and in 2014 a promotion project led by the unofficial Funabashi mascot Funassyi led to the production of an instant noodle cup version. Enjoy the fascinating flavor of sauce-flavored ramen near JR Funabashi Station.

Brand new star featuring local produce: Ichiharamen

Ichiharamen is a collaborative dish between ramen houses and Chinese restaurants in Ichihara City. It features three toppings: tozo, the fermented stock of soybeans produced in the process of making miso, oni-oroshi or grated daikon radish produced in Ichihara (a variety that wins praise from the market), and nappa greens such as daikon leaves and rapeseed blossoms produced in Ichihara. The result is a full-bodied miso ramen accentuating the flavor of tozo. Each restaurant serves its original variation near JR Goi Station, Keisei Chiharadai Station, and other locations.

Pure white soup made with milk: White Gauramen

Dairy farming is a vital industry in Chiba, and one of the largest producers of raw milk is Sodegaura City. The local specialty made with this major produce, and bearing the name of the Sodegaura mascot Gaura, is White Gauramen. The highlight is the soup, which softens the distinct smell of milk with ginger and creates smoothness and body with cream cheese. In February 2011 the dish won the Sode-1 Grand Prix competition of local specialties from Sodegarua. Taste it near JR Nagaura Station and other locations.