We non-Japanese ramen lovers are very lucky to have a few very well written, detailed blogs about ramen (especially in Tokyo). One that I keep going back to is Ramen Adventures. Anyway, Ramen Adventures had given a good review of a Miso ramen place called Hokkaido Ramen Oyaji (the word Oyaji means "Old Man") in an area called Machida which just happens to be in sometime blog day companion, Dan's part of Tokyo so I organised to meet up with him and have a look around Machida.
Machida itself is a pretty normal, unremarkable area, but is quite a large suburb of Tokyo. The population is about 425,000 and because it is so far from downtown Tokyo it has everything you need for day to day life. It is a self-sufficient suburb.
Dan took me to see Serigaya Park which was a beautifully green park that is very typical of the parks in many places here that just look so out of place in Tokyo.
A little further on, there was a little stream bubbling happily away.
Walking further on, we came to the source of the stream.
There were the massive, ever present carp swimming around in the pond.
One of them was swimming happily along showing off to his friends by doing barrel rolls! These ones were not like the usual ones who are quite comfortable with people walking around above them, these ones were very jumpy. I saw a guy walking around with what looked like a fishing rod, and if that was the case, you can't blame them.
The park had that nice peaceful calming feel to it that so many Japanese parks have and having found my Zen, we were off to the local temple. This one had cows!
Cows are familiar symbols in religion in Japan. They are considered protectors from illness and also have an agricultural meaning as well and are considered to be a symbol of a good harvest. It is believed that if you touch the statue of the cow, it will cure all physical ills. That explains why the nose on the second cow has been rubbed shiny. If I had known that while I was there I would have given it a good rub to cure my physical ills, but more on that later.
It also had the ever present statues of the dogs.
The temple proper.
There was also a couple of smaller shrines on site.
Both Dan and I bought our fortunes. Dan's was the best fortune, so he's going to have an amazing year. Mine was average, and I am hoping the preceding few days got rid of all of my bad luck.
The highlight of the day for me though, was the ramen. It looked like your average little neighbourhood ramen shop.
What was inside was far from average. I ordered the "Oyaji set" that comes with Gyoza too. Dan ordered the Oomori ramen with extra noodles.
It was fantastic! The soup was very creamy, a little sweet and it went down so well, so thank you to Ramen Adventures!! The gyoza also were really good.
So I spoke a couple of times during this post of physical ills and bad luck. Well, last Sunday night I was riding my bicycle home at night. A cat ran out in front of me and I tried to avoid it. In the process I fell from my bicycle and cut myself open pretty badly. I had cut into an artery so there was a lot of blood lost. I was taken to hospital and stitched up. They did a CAT scan which did reveal that I do have a brain, but that there was no damage to it. I was allowed to go home the same day, but am feeling a little worse than I usually do. I have had a couple of days off work but back to it tomorrow. So I apologise if I haven't been updating as often as I usually do, but I will take a little time to recover. As I am doing that, I have another post ready to do, so I will write that one up. A warning now. If you have a weak stomach, look away now!
A little banged up, but it could have been a whole lot worse.
Anyway, thanks for reading again, and see you next time!