One of the best things about Swarthmore is its great location and its proximity to the bustling hub of Philadelphia. The Swarthmore train station, conveniently located at the foot of Magill Walk on campus, provides an easy and fast way to get into the city whenever you want. Whether you’re looking for a fun adventure or just a break from Sharples food, Philadelphia has it all, and it’s all just a twenty-minute train ride away.
Luckily for me, my Japanese film project for my Second-Year Japanese class gave me the opportunity to go into the city for both an awesome adventure and delicious food. Last semester, we were assigned a project in which we had to make a short video in Japanese about a location, to which we gave directions and explained general information about the location. Some groups chose locations on campus, like the Lang Performing Arts Center, but other groups chose locations in Philly, such as the Franklin Institute. My group decided to go into Philadelphia to film our video as well, and we settled on Terakawa Ramen for our location because it was the perfect excuse to go try out the ramen shop that I had heard everyone raving about—and besides, what more quintessentially defines the college experience than ramen? (After trying to make homemade ramen with Kizuna, Swarthmore’s Japanese cultural group, with homemade soup stock and all, and failing hard? I can honestly say that the answer is nothing. Ramen truly defines college and all the hardships you will face during it.)
So, after we borrowed a video camera from Swarthmore (which you can do for free, by the way!), my group and I boarded the train and headed out to Philadelphia in the pursuit of some delicious ramen. After wandering around the city, goofing off in Chinatown, and recording meticulous video clips of our route, we finally made it to what we had all been looking forward to all day: Terakawa Ramen!
I had the shoyu ramen, and I have to say, it was pretty good. I come from the DC area, and it’s pretty difficult to find decent ramen there. So, after tasting so many different ramen shops in the DC area and not being satisfied, I didn’t have very high expectations for Terakawa Ramen. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to find ramen of decent quality in Philadelphia. If you’re looking for a step up from your average dorm room ramen, this is the place you should go. I know that I certainly will be back again for more!
Sure, sometimes Swarthmore might feel a bit small, and sometimes you may get tired of eating at Sharples everyday. But thanks to Philadelphia being only twenty minutes away, your options are never limited, and your Swarthmore experience doesn’t feel so trapped and enclosed in the Swat Bubble. Swarthmore provides the perfect combination of a small, tight-knit college community on a serene campus and the endless opportunities of the vibrant and sprawling city of Philadelphia. Finding the opportunity to break your normal Swat routine and mix things up a little bit by going into Philadelphia provides a great chance to take a break from the rigorous academics of Swarthmore and just have fun! It’s the best way to give yourself an outside perspective on things at Swarthmore, and a good way to remind yourself that no matter what happens in class, you deserve to treat yourself once in a while and enjoy life as much as possible. It is always worth it.