Kyushu, Day 5: Kokutei Ramen (Kumamoto)

We ate dinner at Kokutei, famous for their Kumamoto-style ramen. Chicken is added to the tonkotsu broth and plenty of garlic is added – garlic oil and garlic chips. Right up my alley!

MARCH 8, 2020

How do you know you are in Kumamoto? When you see this mascot named Kumamon!

We ran a few errands after checking in and we found a great discovery for ofuro! It is called babu, a carbonated bath tablet. KAO is one of the popular brands for this and we bought the lavender variant. We used it every night and it was such a treat for the body ache/pain.

We finished around sunset and we decided to walk to our dinner place, which was almost 2km away. No regrets because we were treated to this view:

We ate dinner at KOKUTEI, famous for their Kumamoto-style ramen. Chicken is added to the tonkotsu broth and plenty of garlic is added – garlic oil and garlic chips. Right up my alley! I ordered their bestselling Tamagoiri ramen (¥1,250) and what was served was a bowl of ramen with pork fillets and two fresh egg yolks. The egg yolks added creamy texture to the broth which made it even nicer.

No ramen meal is complete without an order of gyoza. Nomnom!

Japan, Day 3: Obara Fureai Park

The bus ride from Senmi Shikizakura no Sato to Obara Fureai Park was about 15 minutes.

When we reached the park, I decided to follow the other locals and found food stalls. Perfect for my hungry tummy since I only had an onigiri for lunch. I checked out all the stalls and since it was very cold (less than 10C), I bought kishimen. Yay for my hiragana skills because I was able to read the stall’s food!

NOVEMBER 23, 2018

The bus ride from Senmi Shikizakura no Sato to OBARA FUREAI PARK was about 15 minutes. The rural area was a nice sight especially with shikizakura in full bloom.

When we reached the park, I decided to follow the other locals and found food stalls. Perfect for my hungry tummy since I only had an onigiri for lunch. I checked out all the stalls and since it was very cold (less than 10C), I bought kishimen. Yay for my hiragana skills because I was able to read the stall’s food!

Kishimen is actually one of Nagoya’s most famous dishes. Its broth is seasoned with tamari and it has flat udon noodles. Some of the common toppings are dried bonito shavings and thinly-sliced kamaboko (Japanese fish cake).

Kishimen — looks plain but broth is flavorful!

That hot broth hit the spot and definitely gave me warmth! I told the stall owner that her food was “hontouni oishii” (really delicious).

There was a stall with long line and I got curious what was sold there so I fell in line. I checked the stall’s name and read the hiragana park as “tamago” (egg) and saw in one of their smaller signs that they were selling “omelet”. I was still a bit cloyed from all the egg of the oyakodon (Day 1 dinner) so it was a bit of que horror when I learned this.

I decided to still buy one stick and I got fascinated with the machine they used to come up with the steamed egg on a stick.

True enough, I had a difficult time finishing one stick. Good thing there was that chicken sausage from another stall to serve as a taste breaker.

After eating, I went back to the parking lot and checked out the entrance area of the shikizakura area. I didn’t explore the place anymore because I was afraid of surprise uphill climbs and missing the last bus to Korankei.

After taking a few pictures, I saw a van beside the bus stop to Korankei so I asked the driver if it was going to that destination. He nodded his head and explained something in Japanese… so just to be sure, I went inside the hall center and found the three volunteers who were with us at the Senmi Shikizakura no Sato bus stop. I pointed to the van and asked if it was the correct vehicle to Korankei, and they responded yes. So yay, I boarded the “bus” and waited for 16:00 to leave.