Ramen Day in Japan Date in the current year: July 11, 2024

Ramen Day in Japan Ramen is one of the most iconic dishes of Japanese cuisine, so it is not surprising that Japan has a Ramen Day, celebrated annually on July 11. Even if you don’t live in Japan, you can celebrate this amazing holiday by treating yourself to a bowl of delicious ramen.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that originated in China. It consists of four basic components: meat- or fish-based broth, noodles, tare (a sauce used to flavor the broth), and various toppings such as meat, seafood, vegetables and greens, dried seaweed (nori), mushrooms, eggs, sesame seeds, etc. Traditional ramen is made with Chinese-style alkaline wheat noodles that come in various lengths and shapes.

It is unclear when exactly ramen was introduced to Japan from China, but most historians believed that it happened in the late 19th or early 20th centuries with the arrival of Chinese immigrants from Guangzhou and Shanghai to Yokohama. A simple dish of noodles in broth with a few toppings was served by restaurants in Yokohama Chinatown by 1900.

The first specialized ramen restaurant opened in 1910 in the Asakusa district in Tokyo. However, the dish became truly popular during the American occupation of Japan after the latter’s defeat in World War II, partly due to an extremely poor rice harvest in 1945. The United States flooded the market with cheap wheat flour to deal with food shortages, and ramen with its wheat noodles became a common dish. The invention of instant noodles in 1958 helped boost the popularity of ramen even more.

Today, there are countless varieties of ramen, many of which are regional. For example, Sapporo is famous for its miso ramen topped with finely chopped pork, bean sprouts, sweetcorn, garlic, butter, and sometimes local seafood. Tokyo-style ramen is made with thin, curly noodles served in chicken broth flavored with soy sauce and a touch of dashi stock. Yokohama ramen (Iekei) is made with thick, straight noodles and pork bone broth flavored with soy sauce. Kitakata ramen consists of very thick and flat noodles served in pork and fish broth.

Ramen Day was created in 2017 by the Japanese Ramen Association (also known as the Nippon Ramen Association) to support, promote, and develop the country’s unique ramen culture. The date was chosen because the number 7 resembles a ramen spoon, while the number 11 resembles a pair of chopsticks. In addition, July 11 is the birthday of Tokugawa Mitsukuni, an influential Japanese daimyo of the early Edo period who is believed to be one of the first Japanese to eat ramen.

On the occasion of Ramen Day, the Japanese Ramen Association and ramen restaurants across the country offer promotions and special events. If you happen to be in Japan on July 11, don’t miss your chance to make the most of these promotions. And if you’re not from or in Japan, you shouldn’t let it stop you from celebrating. You can enjoy a bowl of ramen at your favorite ramen place or discover a new one, make ramen at home, invite your friends over for an instant ramen tasting, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #RamenDay.

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Ramen Day in Japan, holidays in Japan, ramen, Japanese cuisine, Japanese dishes, food days, unofficial holidays