Some Pep(per) in Your Step: Spice in Hiroshima

ByWilliam Farrow
Feb 24, 2022

Some Pep(per) in Your Step: Spice in Hiroshima

After being in Japan for a while, foreign residents often opine that the local food culture does not offer options that cause flop sweat three bites into the meal. So let’s go ahead and search Hiroshima prefecture for restaurants that bring the heat!

Ramen and Yakisoba: Akazō

The exterior of the building seems innocent enough: The lovely dark red signage that tends to accompany the local ramen chains and standalone is placed in front, and the inside conforms to the norms expected of a trip to one of Japan’s most famous noodle dishes. Everything desired from a ramen shop greets you from the restaurant menu except for a particularly interesting page with quite a bit of peppers.

The staff here are proud of their “Red Demon Miso” ramen (赤鬼味噌ラーメン) and have spicy levels ranging from 0 to “God of Death” (死神). Level 0 will simply have flakes of paprika while the other levels will see peppers like habaneros, Trinidad Moruga scorpions, and the Carolina Reaper dance inside your broth. 

A small detail that your eyes may miss is that you will be requested to sign a written oath should you decide to take on level 7 or higher. However, many eyes will instantly be drawn up to the God of Death level because…wow, that’s a lot of peppers on the spice ranking. It is important to note that you may need to make one or two extra trips to this shop before you can take on Death itself as the owner has noted that he will only prepare a God of Death-level bowl (which uses an entire Carolina Reaper) to someone who has previously ordered and completed a level 9 bowl. 

Ramen and Yakisoba: Akazo

Address JPN: 東広島市高屋町桧山44-6

Address ENG: 44-6 Hiyama, Takaya-cho, Higashi Hiroshima

Telephone: 082-430-7255

Business Hours: 11:00 to 14:00 (Lunch), 17:00 to 21:00 (Dinner) *Closed on Wednesdays

Tsukemen: Mita Seimen

You may know of Mita Seimen as a noodle shop that can be found in the food courts of major shopping malls like Aeon, but did you know they have a special spicy tsukemen challenge that runs during the summers? Since 2011, they have offered a 灼熱つけ麺極限 (Roughly translated to the “Utmost Limit of Scorching Hot Tsukemen”) bowl during the summer season. From 2019, the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper has been included to make sure the bowl lives up to the dish’s name. In 2021, Mita Seimen introduced a 無限 (limitless) level designed to increase the heat levels.

For those wanting to tackle the challenge, Mita Seimen is fairly common in the food courts of major shopping areas, so please consult your local shopping mall websites for details.

Japanese Curry and Rice: Jiwa Jiwa Curry

While the spiciness may not approach the above two, this place deserves mention for its unique approach to naming their spicy curries. As anyone who has climbed the CoCoIchiban spice ranks knows, curry can get quite spicy in Japan. Jiwa Jiwa Curry offers a fun pun on their Aigake-styled Japanese curry (While Aigake curry refers to having a Japanese curry with a topping of sorts, the ai is a homonym of 愛 which means love) and offers a “Lovers Spice” (恋人辛, koibito kara) for an addition 100 yen. Those whose love of spice is strong enough to survive this can proceed to order the “Abnormal Spice” (変態辛, hentai kara) for an extra dose of spiciness from their next store visit onwards.

Jiwa Jiwa Curry

Address JPN: 広島県広島市佐伯区八幡2丁目24−40 田村ビル 1F

Address ENG: Tamura Biru 1F, Yahata 2−24−40, Saeki Ward, Hiroshima

Telephone: There is no telephone number listed online.

Business Hours: 11:00 to 15:00 (Lunch) *Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Did this list make you sweat? Or did it only make you hungrier? If you tried these dishes or have your own spicy dish recommendation, let us know in the comments!

Image via Dale Thurber, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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