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    Jan 29, 2016

    I Ate At The Spiciest Ramen Shop In Tokyo And Actually Turned Red

    But trust me, it's totally worth the gastronomical distress.

    Ask anyone in Tokyo where the spiciest ramen in the city is and they'll probably tell you it's Moko Tanmen Nakamoto ramen, or "Nakamoto" for short.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    A little history on the place: It was originally started in the ’60s as a Chinese food restaurant by a chef named Nakamoto. The shop closed in the ’90s due to Nakamoto's health. Makoto Shirane, the current owner, started out as a customer who was obsessed with Nakamoto's ramen. One story goes that Shirane visited Nakamoto's house every day for a year begging to learn the recipe. Nakamoto finally caved, let Shirane study under him, and then Shirane reopened the shop, and another 10 locations, all dedicated to Nakamoto's fiery noodles.

    I got the spiciest dish. It's bright red. As I ordered, a group of young men came out of the restaurant completely pink and I think one of them was crying. Always a good sign!

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    Inside the restaurant, the waiters and the chefs wear red towels around their heads — probably to remind you that you're about to consume molten ramen.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    And, just to really knock it into you, the ramen bowls have 🔥 ratings. The bowl I ordered had a 🔥 rating of 10. Great.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    Also, they give you a bib.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    This is what the 10 🔥 ramen looks like.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    If some ramen shops in Tokyo are described as a "religion," the best way to describe Moko Tanmen Nakamoto's ramen is probably "sports" — it's a full-out gastronomical workout from start, to finish, to, uh, digestion.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    After enough staring and contemplating what effect this might have on me eight hours down the road, I went in and slurped my first noodle.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    "I have made a huge mistake."

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    Here's a close-up shot of what's going on with the noodles. They're soaking in a warm broth that's coating them in pepper flakes. After one drag of noodle, my sinuses open up.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    Like slurping up a million red ants.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    It's not so bad going down, but the immediate breath after I swallow is insane.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    Around the fourth or fifth slurp, my neck and ears were getting red.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    Also, it's important to point out, the portions are pretty huge.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    By the time I finished the noodles, my whole head was a nice sweaty burgundy.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    Then it was time for the broth. I was determined to finish this thing. Cleaning my bowl, however, meant literally drinking a pile of spices that had been collecting at the bottom.

    Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

    I did the damn thing and downed my broth.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    Although, it definitely took a few attempts.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    Moko Tanmen Nakamoto ramen is spicy, but it's also probably my favorite ramen I've had in Tokyo. Just don't eat it if you have anything to do afterwards. I walked around the rest of the day feeling like a water balloon full of lava.

    Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

    And in case you're curious, it is just as spicy going out as it is going in. 😐😐😐