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Japanese from Scratch –Let’s eat Ramen!

The latest Japanese from Scratch event took place on the 5th of December 2013. The theme for this event was ramen, a Japanese dish in which noodles are served in broth, which has recently experienced a surge of popularity in the UK. 47 people came to the Japan Foundation London to learn about these noodles, to learn about their history and how to get the most out of their ramen-eating experience.

The event started with a talk from Dr Barak Kushner, the author of “Slurp! A Social and Culinary History of Ramen - Japan's Favorite Noodle Soup,” who gave a really interesting introduction to the history of ramen in Japan and its special place in Japanese culture. This was followed by a session about ramen culture and an introduction to the types of ramen available in London by the Japan Foundation’s unofficial ramen enthusiast, Josephine Audigier. Next the Japan Foundation’s Chief Japanese language Advisor, Dr Seiji Fukushima, led an interactive Japanese language session focussing on the vocabulary and expressions relating to ramen.

All this talk (and photos) of ramen made most people hungry by the end of the event, but luckily we had already planned to take some participants to try authentic ramen at nearby restaurants in central London. Eight participants visited the nearby Seto restaurant in Camden, while another 14 participants walked over to the new CoCoRo ramen restaurant behind the British Museum. They all had a chance to use their newly-learnt Japanese to order ramen, and taste it for themselves.  If you would like to explore some of the various ramen options available in London, please download the ramen map below.

One participant mentioned that “It was very fun – made me hungry. It was my first time attending something like this so I was nervous, but everyone was really friendly. Thank you!”

 Another attendee told us the following:
“The first part was very interesting, providing knowledge about the history and culture of Japan in just an hour. Very good speaker. I found the info on the places to eat ramen very useful. Also, the language teacher was very good at interpreting the words and I liked the fact that it was an interactive speech.”

We would like to thank all participants for coming – arigatou gozaimashita.

If you have never studied Japanese before and are interested in learning, or have only just begun to study Japanese, please click here to sign up to our monthly e-bulletin to receive notifications of this and other Japan Foundation events. Click here to read more about Japanese from Scratch and view reports of previous workshops.

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