One of the enjoyable things about road trips in Japan is discovering places to shop for snacks and places to eat.
On our last road trip to Nagano, we stopped at Tsuruya - a supermarket local to Nagano and Gunma where we picked up a load of groceries on the way home.
We also stopped at ramen restaurant Yamaokaya - they can be found across Japan but mainly on Honshu island.
Japan is comprised of five main islands. Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Japan has a load of other smaller islands, which we will discuss in a different post.
Staying on the subject of ramen, they may ask how you want your noodles cooked when ordering. You will hear the word "katasa" [硬さ] meaning "toughness" - answer "barikata" [バリカタ] for super hard noodles (hardly cooked), answer "yawakarame" (pronounced "ya-wa-ra-ka-meh") [柔らかめ] for super soft or "futsuu" [普通] for the standard.
They may also ask how much oil you want in your soup. Soup is also called "soo-poo" in Japanese. Answer "oo-me" (pronounced "ohh-meh") [多め] for "very oily!" or "sukuname" (pronounced su-ku-na-meh)[少なめ] for less oil, or "futsuu" for the standard.
If you want another serving of just the noodles to add to the soup that you still have in your bowl, you would ask for "kaedama" [替え玉] which is quite cheap and usually costs 100 - 200 JPY. Don't forget to say "kudasai" meaning "please" - so "kaedama kudasai."
Today Pride and North join us for the trip ;-)
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