Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ho-Oh Ramen (Phoenix)



Ho-Oh Ramen is located in Oirase Town just before entering Towada. We have passed by the sign for this Ramen-ya many times but never tried it because it was so close to our favorite Ramen restaurant, Shanghai-Ryu (Dragon). Today we planned on going to Shanghai Ryu, but it was closed. We remembered Ho-Oh was not far (literally around the corner.) We decided to try it. 195010_1915420407912_1314019772_2225576_6717151_o

Upon entering we were greeted with a manly chorus of “Irrashaimase!” Which, I thought was lovely. The entire building is red and black, inside and out. I found it very chic.



Ho-Oh is celebrating their 7 year anniversary right now and have a special ramen on the menu to commemorate it. We ended up getting a pork base soup ramen, which was a bit heavier, and my favorite, a salt ramen.


I can honestly say Ho-Oh is one of the better ramen shops in the area.


Directions: From P.O.L Gate: go straight past Universe, Cake House, and the Pachinko Parlor that looks like a log cabin. You will hit a red light.  You will see a sign for Ho-Oh and Universe on your left. Take a left at the light (you will also see Shanghai Ryu at the light). Ho-Oh will be on your right.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

十和田湖冬物語 Towada Winter Festival


On February 26th we went to Towada Lake on one of the last days for their snow festival. It is considered a very mini version of what they do in Sapporo. It was very warm in Misawa that week and I joked that there would be nothing left when we got there, just a big puddle!

There are some large snow sculptures and igloos created for the event. They also had a gigantic ramp for children to sledding! For older “kids” they had snowmobile rides. (think bananaboat on the snow).

DSC06735It is very hard to tell from the picture, but this supposed to be the shinkansen. (bullet train) The lights are the windows. DSC06740This is the beautiful entrance to the festivalDSC06746My favorite, the chapel. It even had stained glass windows! It was very tiny and slippery inside!DSC06748DSC06750DSC06751This is the ice stage. There were performances here and the fireworks happen behind the stage. We missed the firework show but I’ll explain why later. DSC06753Many of the igloos were places to get food or a place to get fortunes. There was also a footbath outside for 300 yen!  DSC06752

DSC06765One of the most famous things about this festival is the ice bar. They serve beer and other alcoholic drinks in cups made of ice! I really wanted to try it but I was so cold!DSC06766DSC06784DSC06795

There existed but one warm haven in this whole event…the food tent. This is where all the vendors were. This is also why we missed the fireworks. As you can see, it was extremely crowded. As soon as the fireworks went off, everyone ran outside, while we ran in to get to the front of line and get some food and a place to sit. We will be masters of this yet!DSC06821As we dined on a variety of hot soups, we got some traditional entertainment from the locals.


The Towada Winter Festival was a great experience. I’m not sure if I want to go back next year since I’m not a fan of cold weather. If you do plan to venture out, try to go during the evening, that is when most of the fun is happening. And make sure you dress in layers!

Be good to your mudda and your Phada’s.


Phada’s Pad Thai & Spicy restaurant is located in Misawa about 10 minutes from base. They have a great lunch menu and is a pretty good place to get Thai food. It is one of our friend’s favorite restaurant in town!





The restaurant itself is pretty small but it is a wonderful atmosphere. I love all the wall hangings, statues, and dolls. There is a lot to look at and it gives off an exotic feeling.


You can take a look at their lunch and dinner menus on their website:


Phada’s hours are Monday – Saturday. Lunch from 11am-3pm and Dinner from 5pm-10pm. They are closed on Sundays.


Directions: From the main gate, go straight and take a right at the city office. Go through four sets of lights. Phada’s is on your left.  If you see Max Value, you have gone too far.