I’m Frank. I’m Filipino American and currently live in Tokyo’s Meguro-ku. I actually grew up in Tokyo, spending most of my life in Setagaya-ku and Ota-ku (Southwestern Tokyo).
After graduating from high school in Tokyo, I decided to go to college in the US. More specifically, I chose a school in the state of Minnesota (where it was as cold as -40°C my first year there). After 4 years in Minnesota, I came back to Japan. Or perhaps I should say that home called me back. I think the loudest call came from the food.
Even though I grew up here and am used to the country and its culture, Japan still pleasantly surprises me every day. It’s wonderful to live in a country so steeped in history and to live in such a vibrant megapolis like Tokyo.
Growing up, I spoke mostly English at home and at school. But I would use Japanese with friends. As a result, my Japanese back then was pretty casual and even rough. Keigo (polite Japanese often necessary in business situations) was something I really had to work on!
I think the overall quality of life in Japan is top-notch. Japan is extremely safe, clean, and the food of course is amazing. The Japanese continuously strive for perfection. This dedication, obsessive attention to detail, whatever you’d like to call it – it definitely shines through in the cuisine here. It’s almost impossible to have a bad meal in Japan.
Miso and shio (salt based) are probably my 2 favorite types of ramen. But I don’t discriminate – I enjoy all types of ramen, from classic Tokyo shoyu ramen to fusion abura soba (soupless ramen). The ramen type I’ll eat will depend on my mood and maybe even the temperature outside.
I like Malaysian or Singaporean laksa, Vietnamese pho, Filipino pancit, yakisoba…you may see a pattern here.
I’ve been eating ramen since I was old enough to chew. My mother would make the “Sapporo Ichiban” brand instant ramen at home, also adding eggs and various veggies. So I essentially grew up on ramen. As I got older, I started to appreciate ramen on a greater level.
I do enjoy writing and taking photos. The blog simply became an outlet for these 2 things and expressing my love for ramen.
I tend to think with my stomach. I therefore always book food tours first when I travel. Food tours are an efficient and exciting way to learn about and sample authentic local cuisine. Through food, you get a strong sense of a city or country’s culture.
I’m not sure if this fits under any of the above categories, but there are some crazy ramen concepts out there. In Tokyo there are ramen shops that serve coffee ramen, pineapple ramen, and even tequila ramen.
I’m excited to be working with Arigato Food Tours! I’m happy to see how popular ramen has become around the world. This magical dish will continue to evolve and impress. If you’re seeking the ultimate ramen experience, have a look at the Ramen Tasting Tour (Japan’s only)!
One day I’d like to say that I’ve visited all 47 prefectures in Japan. I suppose the message is that there’s so much to see in this little country. See as much of Japan as possible!