By Yasuka Tateishi
A lot of students in the University of Tokyo eat ramen noodles for lunch.
In April, the cafeteria was is so crowded that people have difficulty finding a seat. Little by little, students learn to look for alternative eateries: some of them go outside the campus to eat ramen.
In fact, there are a lot of ramen restaurant near the Komaba campus. Close to the back gate of the campus, there is Senrigan. It is famous for its quantity of ramen. Usually, noodles of ramen are about 200g or so, but here, the regular size is about 300g. Ramen Yamate is one which places backside the campus, too. In front of the Komaba-todaimae station is Komatetsu, where we can eat tsukemen (a kind of ramen where the noodle is dipped in the soups that is served separately). If you walk a little from the station, you will find Samurai. On the way to Shibuya, there are more. At most of these restaurants it’s free or cheap to add noodles or toppings and this service is helpful for hungry students. Some of the restaurants have special service for students, too. One student said he doesn’t get tired of eating ramen everyday.
Of course, in the cafeteria, ramen is the one of the most popular items on the menu. There are 4 to 5 kinds of ramen and often seasonal ones, too. A long line can be seen in the ramen corner every lunch time. The popularity of ramen is increases in winter because ramen makes our cold body warm.
What worries us most with this ramen culture is that it is high in calories. It contains a lot of oil in the soup base. In addition, some slice of cha-shu, thick roast pork, is added as a topping. Noodles are high in calories, too. It is said ramen has 700 to 1,000 calories in regular size and some ramen has over 1,200 calories. Usual calories that we take in a day are 2,000 for males and 1,800 for females. More than half calories that we take in a day! The student interviewed above said he seems to be getting fat day by day because of ramen.
Ramen is delicious indeed. Most of Todai students love it. But this winter, be careful with your health when you eat ramen; or else you will gain weight.
Yasuka is a first year student at the University of Tokyo.