Japan has a variety of instant ramen available in any supermarkets, convenience stores, 100 yen shops, etc. Some of the brands even made their ways outside Japan, such as Sapporo Ichiban and Maruchan.
When you go to some local areas, you’ll find some of the weirdest instant ramen on shelves. Here is a list of 14 weirdest ramen packages!
1) Beware of bears! Ripe’n’Dry Hokkaido Ramen
Just so you know, there isn’t any bear meat in this product. I assume Fujiwara Seimen, the maker of this ramen, used the bear image because Hokkaido is known as a home for many brown bears.
The ramen is supposedly very tasty, the noodle has been dried naturally for 3 days, and its texture is comparable to fresh ramen noodle.
Available on Amazon: salt flavor, soy sauce flavor.
2) Beware of Cubs! Tomato Soup Ramen
This instant ramen is made by the same company that makes Beware of Bears! ramen. It’s a cubby version of it with rather creepy artwork (sorry, in my opinion). This ramen broth is tomato-based and has consistency of minestrone soup.
There is also a butter soy-sauce flavor from this series too.
3) Giraffe Domestic Use Ramen
“Kirin” or giraffe ramen is a local delight from Aichi Prefecture. There is no giraffe in it.
The noodle used for this product is a combination of flour, soy milk, and rice flour, giving it a unique, mild flavor and soft texture.
Available from Amazon: Kirin Ramen (you can choose miso, soy, or salt flavors), or assorted flavor set
4) Ponpoko Ramen
Do you remember Studio Ghibli’s movie “Pom Poko”?
The film featured a bunch of chubby Japanese badgers with round belly and huge balls…Yes, this ramen has the same vibe. “Ponpoko” is an onomatopoeia that describes a full stomach.
It is a very simple ramen with traditional soy-based broth.
5) Lemon Hiyashi Chuka Soba
Hiyashi chuka soba is basically cold, soupless ramen. You top the noodle with cucumbers, ham, fried egg, etc. and eat it with dressing. This lemon hiyashi chuka is, as the name describes, comes with lemon-flavored dressing.
This is also a very healthy option a instant ramen, since it does not contain any artificial flavoring nor preservatives.
Available from Rakuten: Lemon chuka soba
6) Shirokuma Polar Bear Ramen
Shirokuma (polar bear) ramen is produced in association with Maruayma Zoo in Sapporo, Hokkaido. It’s a very popular omiyage from the zoo and has been featured on TV several times.
The white package is salt flavor, and the pink bear package is for soy sauce flavor.
Available from Sirokuma Ramen official site.
7) Horsehair Crab Ramen
Horsehair crabs are very popular crabs used in many Japanese cuisines. This instant ramen is made in Hokkaido with locally caught crabs.
The crab extract is not only included in the soup, but also mixed with noodle itself. So the best way to enjoy this ramen is to NOT throw away all the water you used to boil the noodle. Keep some of the water and mix it with soup base. Then after finishing the dish, you can use the rest of the water (rich with crab flavor) for cooking, mixing with rice, etc.
Available from Amazon
8) Natto Soba
If you like natto, you might want to try this.
This is instant soba (buckwheat noodle) with natto toppings. All the ingredients are produced in Japan, and no genetically modified ingredients nor artificial flavoring are used.
Available from Rakuten
9) Penguin Ramen
Penguin ramen is made by the same company that makes giraffe ramen. The penguin version is meant to be sold at Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. It has the same soy milk + rice flour noodle, but its soup is seafood flavored, which makes you feel king of guilty after seeing the aquarium!
10) Capybara Yuzu (Citrus) Soy Sauce Ramen
Another variation from the same company as Giraffe and Penguin.
This ramen was made in association with Saitama Children’s Zoo, where capybaras are very popular. The broth of capybara ramen is made with yuzu, a citrus fruit native to East Asia, and soy sauce.