Indulge in the taste of authentic ramen! 10 restaurants famous all over Japan

Ramen is not only a representative dish of the food culture of Japan, but it has also become a boom all over the world. Many different restaurants use their distinctive flavors to compete ruthlessly. Here you will find 10 recommended restaurants to have ramen in Japan, its home country.

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Ichiran Honsha Sohonten (Fukuoka)

Ichiran is a restaurant specializing in natural tonkotsu ramen, a specialty born in Hakata (Fukuoka prefecture,) one of the sacred places for ramen. Their head restaurant is still located in Fukuoka, but since it has now become a chain, anybody can enjoy the flavor of their original dishes anywhere in Japan. Ichiran restaurants are characterized by each seat at the counter being separated by a partition. This is because the restaurant's stance is to provide an environment in which guests can focus on the flavor of the ramen. Orders are served through the shop curtain in front of each seat. The price for a bowl of "Natural Tonkotsu Ramen" is 790 JPY (tax included.)

*The picture shown is a concept image, and not the actual main restaurant.

*The picture shown is a concept image, and not the actual main restaurant.

Ichiran Honsha Sohonten (Fukuoka)

Ippudo (Fukuoka)

Together with Ichiran, Ippudo is a tonkotsu ramen restaurant representative of Hakata. Ippudo has restaurants all over the country too, so you can enjoy the flavor of its dishes anywhere in Japan. It is also proactively expanding abroad, where it enjoys a great reputation thanks to its restaurant in New York becoming very popular. It remains highly popular in Japan as well, where it has many fans. Customers can choose their ramen according to their taste from the many varieties available, including the "shiromaru motoaji" standard tonkotsu ramen, and the "akamaru shinaji" which features a homemade seasoning oil and spicy miso. Prices start at 700 JPY (tax included.)

Sumire (Hokkaido)

Sumire's main restaurant is located in Sapporo, in the center of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Founded in 1960, this is a long-established historical restaurant, and its selling point is its miso ramen, a type of ramen representative of Sapporo. The flavor of the miso mixes with the pepper blended with the soup for an exquisite result. Another characteristic of Sumire is their mellow soup. A bowl of their "miso ramen" costs 850 JPY (tax included.)

Tenkaippin (Kyoto)

Tenkaippin is a ramen restaurant located in Ichijoji, Kyoto, a prominent area known for the competition between the ramen restaurants that it houses. Customers can choose between two types of ramen: a lighter and a heavier version, but this restaurant is specially well-known for its heavier (kotteri) ramen, in which the potage-like thick and rich soup mingle with the noodles in a most attractive manner. The restaurant has branches all over the country, so you can enjoy this taste anywhere. A regular size serving of their "kotteri ramen" starts at 680 JPY (tax included.)

Shikairou (Nagasaki)

Shikairou, located in Nagasaki, is the restaurant that created the "champon-men," a dish characterized by its thick noodles (thicker than regular ramen noodles,) and by the fact that it comes topped with plenty of vegetables. Strictly speaking, "champon-men" is not really ramen, but the gentle flavor resulting from using plenty of vegetables and the fact that it is highly satisfying makes it an attractive noodle dish that Japan is proud of. The "champon-men" served at Shikairo come decorated with "kinshitamago" (fine slices of a very thin omelets) on top, and it looks really gorgeous. The "Champon" is 972 JPY (tax included.)

Ideshoten (Wakayama)

Among all kinds of Japanese ramen, connoisseurs seem to be especially fond of Wakayama ramen. Ideshoten is a small restaurant representative of this kind of ramen. Wakayama ramen is characterized by a rich flavor resulting from the combination of soy sauce and tonkotsu (pork bones,) and Ideshoten's soup is especially strong-flavored. A refined air drifts about in this restaurant, which is more of a traditional canteen. Their "chuka soba" costs 700 JPY (tax included.)

Bannai Shokudo (Fukushima)

Bannai Shokudo, in Fukushima prefecture, is famous for its so called "Kitakata ramen." The most prominent characteristic of this ramen is the thoroughly cooked chashu (roasted pork fillet) that tops it off. It is melt-in-the-mouth delicious to the point that many customers come here just to eat this. The clear soup blends the flavors of seafood and chicken perfectly, resulting in a light and attractive taste. The price for their "nikusoba (chashu-men)" is 950 JPY (tax included.)

Bannai Shokudo (Fukushima)

Nishichotaiki (Toyama)

Nishichotaiki is a representative restaurant for Toyama ramen. Toyama ramen, also known as "Toyama black," is characterized by the black color of the soup. The flavor was originally created to go together with steamed white rice, so the resulting ramen, thoroughly flavored with the soy sauce based soup, is rather salty. The price for a regular size serving of their "chuka soba" is 750 JPY (tax included.)

Ramen Jiro (Tokyo)

"Ramen Jiro" is a ramen chain representative of Tokyo. It is popular for having really enthusiastic fans, to the point that many ramen restaurants across the country have been created inspired by the concept of Ramen Jiro. Their main restaurant is near Tamachi station on the Yamanote line, but they have many restaurants near other stations in Tokyo. Their ramen is characterized by the unbelievable amounts of vegetables and meat that they serve on top of the noodles, and by its oily soup. This is the perfect restaurant for those wanting to have a hearty meal. Their "ramen" bowl costs 600 JPY (tax included.)

Menya warito (Tokyo)

Usually, when one thinks of ramen, the general idea is that the noodles are served already in the soup, but this restaurant is popular for their "tsukemen," in which the noodles and the soup are served separately. The soup concentrates the delicious flavor of tonkotsu (pork bones) and seafood, and it matches the resilient and full-bodied medium thick noodles outstandingly. This is a restaurant where you can always find people waiting in line outside. It is also interesting to note that, since the soup becomes cold while you eat, they offer a service to put a heated stone in your soup to warm it up. The price for the "tsukemen" is 800 JPY (tax included.)

Menya warito (Tokyo)

There are many different types of ramen in Japan. Enjoy trying all the different types!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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