Am I hearing the cheers of those ramen lovers? Yes, I think I am. Now you're gonna read my experience with those ramen shops in Japan, which was quite an extraordinary for me. Why is that? Because ramen actually is not something that I do crave for. I like how it taste, the richness of the soup, but I just don't like the after eating effect of this tasty bowl (sorry, ramen-addict out there!). But well, I was having a 12-day-trip in Japan and ramen is one of Japan's specialties,so having ramen is a must! Surprisingly I did try 7 ramens and enjoyed those moments. Without any further babbling, let's dig in the best 5 broth!
1. Ichiran Ramen
Might be too mainstream, but I think having Ichiran delivered a whole new experience for me. A vending machine ramen to order, a private experience with you ramen (even the instruction said you have to enjoy every slurp of it!), and the probability that you might ask for another additional noodle inside. The broth was quite tasty, the meat was thin and juicy, while the noodle is soft. It was not the best I ever had, but Ichiran is quite a signature dish of Japan to try!
Ps: they have lotsa branches, but still have some queue in front of it.
Find them here:
Harajuku: Japan, 〒150-0001 東京都渋谷区Jingūmae, 6 Chome−5, 神宮前６丁目５−６, サンポウ綜合ビル2F
Opening hours: 10am-10.45pm
Shinjuku: ピースビル, 3 Chome-34-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0022, Japan
Open 24 hours
Shibuya: 1 Chome-22-7 Jinnan, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0041, Japan
Open 24 hours
2. Mutekiya Ramen
Best ramen in my life, I would dare to say that. The noodle was chewy, a thing that could make you keep eating. The broth was quite thick ( I asked for the lighter version with collagen, and it was great!) and the pork meat was very thick. The bowl was very enjoyable, and they have spicy version for their ramen. The only setback was the meat that was too thick for me, but my company loves them. Make sure you have the gyoza, it's so juicy inside! Be ready for a long queue, because apparently 9-11 pm is their peak hour. Remember that they have no branches anywhere, so make sure you have the original one at Ikebukuro. The fact that the staff is very friendly, make me love Mutekiya even more!
Find them here: 1 Chome-17-1 Minamiikebukuro, 豊島区 Toshima-ku, Tōkyō-to 171-0022, Japan
Opening hours: 10.30 am-4am
Why Fuunji? Because it's my first tsukemen experience, and I think I did it right. Fu-unji is located in Shinjuku, and it's not hard to find them with the long queue. You might be happy when you reach the vending machine, but apparently you still have to queue some more. I ordered tsukemen style of ramen (when you have to dip it to separated soup), and did not regret it at all! The chewy ramen dipped in a very flavorful broth was memorable to my palate. They do have 2 sizes, comes in medium or large. Hint for you, medium was perfectly fine for me. If you're not into tsukemen, they have the soupy kind of ramen too!
Find them here: 北斗第一ビル, 2 Chome-14-３ Yoyogi, 渋谷区 Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0053, Japan
Opening hours: 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm, closed on Sunday.
4. Zundoya Ramen
A cold night in Osaka was calling for a warm bowl of ramen and we did a good choice. Located in the heart of Shinsaibashi, Zundoya has something scrumptious to offer. The noodle was thin and soft, with thick heavy broth, although that might too heavy for me. The pork was fine, and they do have additional beansprout to add on. Zundoya could be your choice when you're in Shinsaibashi area.
Find them here: セーナビル, 1 Chome-5-7 Shinsaibashisuji, Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 542-0085, Japan
Open 24 hours.
This might not fit with everyone's palate, but burnt ramen really brought a whole new experience for me. The burnt taste made it more flavorful, and the broth was just fine. They are quite popular with the long queue, but I found the staff was not maximizing the whole place effectively ( I found 2 empty seats while so many people were queueing outside, freezing in Kyoto weather!). However I did not like the way they charged their appetizer, 400 yen for a small bowl of tofu, each person. I could say I was surprise when the bill came, 7000 yen for 4 people was quite a money.
Find them here: Japan, 〒604-0000 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Jūmonjichō, 柳馬場通蛸薬師下る十文字町452番地
Opening hours: 11.30am-4pm, 5pm-11pm
I know it was not many, but all of it was my best 5 during my last trip to Japan. Many of you also recommend Afuri ramen, but we did not make it. Apparently 11 days was not enough to try those delicous meals. For more information about food and travel in Japan, you could look for #jechristyJAPAN on instagram.You're welcome ;)
Jessica Christy Limanjaya