Noodles are so hot you have to get a special permission ticket before ordering them.

For the most part, Japanese food isn’t at all spicy, especially when compared to certain other Asian cuisines such as Thai, Korean, or Szechwan. But if you’re determined to get your spice fix, Marugame Udon, one of Japan’s most popular noodle restaurant chains, has something for you.

Right now, Marugame is offering a special menu item called the Uma Kara Kara Kara Kara Kara Tantan Udon, and no, it wasn’t named by a stuttering marketing executive. Tantan refers to a spicy broth, and kara is the Japanese word for “spicy” (uma, in this instance, means “delicious”).

Calling your dish “Spicy Spicy Spicy Spicy Spicy Noodles” might seem a little excessive, but if anything, Marugame is practicing restrained understatement, since the Uma Kara Kara Kara Kara Kara Tantan Udon is actually 100 times spicier than the normal version, and it definitely looks the part.

But despite the noodles’ intimidating appearance and name, our Japanese-language reporter Go Hatori wasn’t scared. After all, he’s the reigning champion of the SoraNews24 Intra-office Wrestling Federation, so it’s not like he’s going to back down from a bowl of udon.

When his lunch break rolled around, Go rolled out of the office and into our local Marugame branch. Plopping himself down in a booth, he confidently ordered the Uma Kara Kara Kara Kara Kara Tantan Udon, and after a few moments, the waitress returned and placed what we can only describe as a bowl of hellfire in front of him.

Just looking at the fiery red broth seared our eyes and terrified our colons, but Go boldly grabbed his chopsticks and began shoveling noodles into his mouth.

He silently chewed, as we watched and waited for him to scream in pain, or at least for steam to come shooting out of his ears. His actual reaction, though, was even more shocking.

He smiled. It wasn’t the sort of pure-hearted smile you’d see, for instance, on the face of Go’s coworker Mr. Sato as he ate a giant sakura sweet bean bun. It was the wicked expression of a man realizing that he’s stronger than the fires of hell perhaps because he’s a devil himself.

“This isn’t spicy at all,” Go declared, causing our jaws to hit the floor as he continued working his and eating more of the spicy-spicy-spicy-spicy-spicy noodles. In retrospect, maybe we should have expected this. Looking back, it was only a month ago that Go enjoyed a lunch of instant noodles so spicy that they were the only thing people in Hokkaido weren’t buying after a large earthquake cleared out stocks of other pre-packaged food.

Seeing Go happily making a meal of something the rest of us were too scared to even taste seemed to produce a superhuman aura around him. The aura got so intense that he became a literally shining example of how we can overcome any challenge with enough courage, as gleaming light began to radiate from him.

Oh, wait. That’s not mystical energy. It’s just plain old sweat.

“Wait, didn’t you just say it’s not spicy at all?” we asked Go suddenly suspicious of his claims of piquancy perseverance.

“It’s NOT spicy,” he insisted. “It…just…really, really promotes sweating.”

Honestly, we thought Go was splitting hairs here, since he was dripping with sweat at this point. We’re not saying that as a figure of speech, either. His perspiration had formed waterfalls flowing from his forehead down his nose and chin, with droplets falling down to the tray his noodle bowl was placed on.

But even though we think Go was exaggerating when he said the Uma Kara Kara Kara Kara Kara Tantan Udon isn’t spicy, he’s definitely telling the truth when he says it tastes good, since he finished the whole thing.

▼ A high-speed video replay of Go’s meal

Marugame is offering the Uma Kara Kara Kara Kara Kara Tantan Udon (which is priced at 1,650 yen [US$14.70]) until November 12. Because of the small niche of courageous diners it appeals to, you’ll need to show an e-ticket (which can be obtained from Marugame’s website here) to be able to order it, so don’t forget to take a screen capture or print the ticket out to show your server.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring a towel either.

Related: Marugame Udon location finder, Uma Kara Kara Kara Kara Kara Tantan Udon e-ticket
Photos ©SoraNews24
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