Ramen Yokocho Festival, the insanely popular gathering of direct-from-Japan ramen makers that spawned two-hour lines at Japantown's J-Pop Festival in July, is returning to the Bay Area—and this time, it's coming to San Jose. Held over two weekends (October 3-5 and 10-12), the event will have a larger and totally different coterie of Japanese ramen shops from the J-Pop Festival's, including Kohmen, a leading Tokyo shop that specializes in tonkotsu and chicken ramen; Hide-Chan and Tatsunoya, two of the most famous tonkotsu ramen shops in Hakata, where the dish originates; and Chanpon-Tei, which is known for its unique seafood broth. Some American spots will also be on the schedule, including Tsujita, generally considered to be one of L.A.'s finest spots for a bowl of ramen.
To accommodate what are sure to be blockbuster crowds, the event will be held at the San Jose Convention Center. Admission is a reasonable $5/person (kids 12 and under free), and bowls of ramen will go for $8 a pop; you can also buy a $60 VIP pass that includes two bowls of ramen, a souvenir, and access to express lanes for slurping. And if that wasn't enough of an enticement, the inventor of the ramenburger, Brooklyn-based Keizo Shimamoto, will be on hand to debut a new invention: burger ramen, a soupless, burger-centric noodle dish.