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1697, Mito Mitsukuni was the first person to eat Ramen in Japan.

Ramen is a noodle dish that is inspired by a Chinese noodle dish. Ramen spread to Japan when the port opened for training in end of Meiji era (1868-1912). A China town was made in Kobe and Yokohama (the main ports). The ramen was called chuka-soba, (which means Chinese soba).

First Ramen shop opened in Tokyo. The restaurant owner invited 12 Chinese chefs from the Yokohama China town to work in his new restaurant.

Ramen is slightly different to other noodles. Ramen noodles are mixed with Kansui (alkalinized water). Kansui makes wheat noodles softer. Only last year, it was discovered in an old Japanese book that noodles made with kansui and wheat called Keitai-men were served in 1488, which could possibly be the first ramen style noodle ever served in Japan.

During the early stages of ramen arriving in Japan, it wasn’t so popular with the locals. The Japanese found the soup slightly too oily. During its evolution in Japan, ramen changed greatly from its Chinese counterpart to appeal to the taste of the Japanese. Toppings were changed to chashu pork, bamboo shoots, nori and eggs. Also, the soup flavours slightly differed to include soy sauce flavour, which wasn’t as oily as the Chinese soups.

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