I love ramen. And since I’m in Japan pretty much once a week I probably consume more of these delicious noodles than the average person. I’ve tried a variety of types at numerous establishments but my favorite by far is Ichiran Ramen.
When you first enter Ichiran Ramen you will find yourself faced with an ordering machine. There aren’t many choices to make since they offer only one basic tonkotsu broth and one size of noodle serving (790 yen) but here you’re able to add a few other items like egg, seaweed and extra pork. If you’re really hungry you can get additional noodles (kae-dame) to add to your broth later on. And yes . . . they sell beer, as well. You pay at the machine and you’ll receive tickets for each of the items you ordered.
Then you wait for a spot to become available. In the meantime, you’re handed a ‘preference sheet”. Here’s where things get a little more interesting. This sheet allows you to customize your ramen in terms of flavor strength, richness, garlic, green onions, pork, spicy red sauce and noodle texture . . . all at no extra charge.
When you enter the eating area you’ll notice something a little bit different than you’re used to. Everyone sits in their own partitioned- off cubicle. However, the dividers can be folded back half-way to allow you to interact with the person next to you.
Now it’s time to get your bowl of ramen. You place your ‘preference sheet’ and all of your tickets (except for kae-dama unless you want it immediately) in front of you. The staff will collect everything and deliver your perfect bowl of ramen pretty instantly. The great thing is that if you change your mind and would like to get anything extra including more noodles you can order it even after being seated.
Ichiran Ramen is so good that I often travel at least 30-40 minutes by train just to satisfy my craving. The tonkotsu broth is so delicious that it takes a lot of effort on my part not to just drink it directly . . . although I do see many who do. However, what I like best are the noodles. I’m not sure what makes it so different from other places but their thin flour-based noodles just appeals to the carb-loving person in me. The perfect bowl of ramen.
Owner of An Island Life. A flight attendant and mother to 3 beautiful girls. . . living a blessed life in Hawaii.