What if I told you there was a magical event every fall in Tokyo where you could eat ramen from all over Japan? What if I told you the number of shops participating was not 20, not 30, but over 100? Would you be in?
This is the Dai Tsukemen Haku (大つけ麵博) aka the Tsukehaku event. The event has been going annually since 2009. Since its humble beginnings in Hibiya Park, it has grown year after year. In 2013 the event moved to Okubo Park in Shinjuku, and the number of shops went up . . . by a lot.
Here’s the TL;DR (too long; didn’t read it) for you. The 2023 Tsukehaku will take place from October 11th to November 26th. There will be over 100 shops from all over Japan serving ramen, tsukemen, and mazesoba. Details are forthcoming on their official website here. I’ll be there crushing bowls as often as I can. The park is in the heart of Shinjuku. If you plan on going, hit me up on Instagram @ramenadventures and maybe we can crush a bowl together.
These photos are from the 2022 event. Over 100 shops joined this time (I think the number was 101). It was madness. In the past, the format was simple. Something like 24 shops with each given a week to serve. Now, the schedule is completely all over the place, with some shops only popping up for one day. Competition is fierce, with “dream” collabs drawing massive lines before the doors open each day.
I’ve been going almost every year since 2009. That first year, none other than Ivan from Ivan Ramen invited me to help him at his booth. It was a highlight of my early ramen career.
I’ve also made a few YouTube videos about the event. Check the playlist here!
In 2022 I shot the event live on my YouTube and Twitch channels. Good times! Did you tune in?
In 2023, the event is going longer than ever before. Around 115 shops will be in attendance and the event is six weeks long. That’s a lot of noodles.
Rain or shine, the event is on. The venue in Shinjuku has a massive covered area in the middle. Hundreds of hungry men, women, and children can enjoy. One of the best parts about the location in Shinjuku is that it is centrally located in Kabukicho, Tokyo’s seedy red-light district. Well, the area had a major facelift some years ago, meaning it is more of an entertainment district now. Fun for all ages!
You’ll see families, hung-over hosts, ramen nerds, and old-timers who wandered over from the hospital next door. The people watching here is second to none.
Some of the famous shops have insane lines. Please plan accordingly. Some shops do a one-off bowl for this event, meaning it might be your only chance to try an epic bowl of ramen.
I always try and visit with friends for maximum enjoyment. Everyone grabs a bowl and everyone has a taste.
See you in October 2023! I’ll be around crushing bowls. All 115 is impossible for me, but maybe I can break last year’s record of 39. Let’s go!