How to Eat Ramen in Japan 

Etiquette and Unspoken Rules You're Probably Breaking

You've been doing it wrong this whole time.  Like many things in Japan, there's a certain way of doing things and as travellers, it's often hard to grasp those things unless you learn through a bit of trial, error, and passive aggressive stares.

Now I gotta say that I certainly didn't have all of this vocabulary before going back to Japan but after spending time with Hiroshi of Ramen Beast and eating so many bowls of ramen in a short span of time, I realized that it definitely helps to have a good understanding of what you're eating before you go.

What's in a bowl of ramen?


This is considered to be distinctly separate from the soup base because it's made on its own.  It's this sort of secret sauce or seasoning that ultimately gives the ramen its classification and what we consider as “type of ramen”.  This defines the taste.

Styles of ramen

Just when you thought that was it, you then have all the variants of ramen that are usually region-based.


We've gone this far without talking about one of the other important parts of ramen however nailing down all the types will be pretty hard like it would be with pasta.


This isn't exactly a specific ingredient in ramen but if you read any reviews, it's a word often used to describe the flavour.  I didn't really know what it meant so I had to look it up as well.  Umami directly translates to “yummy” or “delicious” in Japanese.

Ramen etiquette you need to know

If there's one thing that you learn about the Japanese as a people is that they are incredibly dedicated, humble, serious, and deeply respectful, and honour driven.  If you think it'd be any different with ramen, you're greatly mistaken.

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