Sapporo Ramen Show

By Stan Osur
This item appears on page 47 of the February 2018 issue.
People sampling various types of ramen at the Sapporo Ramen Show. Photo by Stanley Osur

In 2017, the Annual Sapporo Ramen Show was held May 16-21 and May 23-28, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., in Odori Park, Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan.

This festival started in 2009 and has grown into a major event. The number of attendees in 2016 totaled 130,000 over the 12-day period.

Admission to this event is free, although you pay for each bowl of ramen; this year, a bowl cost ¥800 (near $7). You buy tickets at ticket booths on site so you don’t hold the line up to pay as you get your favorite bowl. The last order is taken at 8:30 p.m.

People waiting in long lines to sample types of ramen from out of town — Sapporo Ramen Show. Photo by Stanley Osur

In 2016 there were 20 booths. In 2017 the number dropped to nine, which consisted of five from Tokyo, one from Osaka, one from Shizuoka (near Mt. Fuji) and two from Sapporo. The shortest lines were at the Sapporo booths, since all the locals were interested in trying the out-of-town offerings.

Because of the crowds, additional food plus wine, etc., were offered at other locations in Odori Park.

Even though the ramen was mass-produced, its quality was maintained. My friend Kazuyoku and I sampled bowls of ramen from a Sapporo booth because the line was shorter. He makes his own ramen, and he assured me that what we sampled was exceptional.

Hawthorne, NJ