Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ramen Street

Two weekends ago I was headed down Fillmore Street from Pacific Heights, intending to visit the J-Pop Festival in Japantown. I expected to see people in great costumes, check out the street vendors & eat a quick lunch. Blocks away from Post Street, the sidewalks were unexpectedly jammed.

When I got to Post Street, I was in the biggest crowd I'd ever seen for a Japantown street fair. I had no idea what was going on. After walking up one and a half blocks, I couldn't get any farther, & the street felt dangerously overcrowded.

It turned out that this year the J-Pop Festival was held in conjunction with Ramen Street, a traveling show of 6 ramen vendors from the US & Japan. The attendees were all young people. I was too scared to stick around, & people around me who had come specifically for the ramen were also making alternate plans, hence the overflow into the surrounding neighborhood.

I passed through the neighborhood again the next morning around 10:30a, half an hour before the official opening time. Volunteers corralled people into orderly lines that were already over a block long.

A volunteer told me that the expected wait was 3 to 4 hours.

I got a better view of the action by walking behind the booths.

Cooks were preparing everything on site in small batches, so it's no surprise that fulfilling orders takes a long time. I did not spot any customers with the product in hand during either of my visits.

§ Ramen Street (Ramen Yokocho)
J-POP Summit Festival
2014/7/19 (Sat) & 7/20 (Sun)
San Francisco Japantown

No comments: