Uses bear meat sourced from Kyoto and Aomori, said to have more refined taste than foreign varieties.

Japanese ramen chain Menya Musashi has come up with some extremely unique noodle creations in its 20 years of existence. Last March, we stopped by one of its locations to try white chocolate strawberry ramen, the follow-up to the chain’s stand-alone chocolate and strawberry ramen offerings, which were themselves preceded by green tea ramen.

In other words, Menya Musashi isn’t afraid of experimentation. Something else the chain apparently isn’t afraid of? Bears.

As part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Menya Musashi’s founding, each month during 2016 a different branch has been offering a special flavor. The chain saved a doozy for the last one, as right now the restaurant in Tokyo’s Ueno neighborhood is offering bear ramen.

Sitting in the middle of the bowl of noodles is 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of bear meat, specifically Asiatic black bear sourced from Kyoto and Aomori Prefecture. Ursine ingredients are also extensively featured in the broth, which is made with bear stock seasoned with miso and garlic. Ironically, honey is also added to the broth during cooking, meaning that one of the stereotypical favorite foods of bears is used to flavor the ramen made with the animal’s meat.

Some claim that Japanese-sourced Asiatic black bear meat has a less gamey and more refined flavor than other varieties, though that sort of declaration is common among Japanese gourmands regarding domestic foodstuffs. That aside, this is an extremely rare opportunity to try something you’re not likely to find on the menu at any other ramen restaurant. That novelty no doubt factors into the bear ramen’s 2,000-yen (US$17) price, and if you’re game, it’ll be available at the Menya Musashi branch listed below from December 28-31.

Restaurant information
Menya Musashi Bukotsu (Okachimacih branch)/ 麺屋武蔵 武骨(御徒町店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Ueno 6-7-3
東京都台東区上野6-7-3
Open 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Closed second Sunday of February, April, June August, October, and December
Website

Sources: Entabe, Ramen Database, Nifty News,
Featured image: Twitter/@rawota