Japanese regard Ginza as the pinnacle of sophistication.
As the heart of Japan's business community since the 17th century, rows of shops line the town's streets and even now in the 21st century they bustle with people. Connoisseurs of Japan enjoy reveling in the Japanese nostalgia of Ginza with its many well-established shops that have been in business since long ago. In addition to shopping, one can enjoy Japanese culture with a visit to the kabuki theater in Yon-chome.
Ginza ramen has also continued to evolve from times past while still preserving traditional tastes. Non-Japanese tourists have been increasingly heading over to Ginza in recent years, and in order for these foreign customers to enjoy the local ramen, many restaurants have come to provide English and Chinese menus.
Here we will introduce some of Ginza's best ramen shops that have been carefully selected for their popularity among foreigners, matching Japanese hospitality with Ginza's rich history.
1. Jikaseimen Ito
Taste the depth of natural ingredients in a simple “Chinese soba”
Tucked away in the 1st floor underground of a Ginza building, Jikaseimen Ito is a home-style ramen shop that is very particular about their soup which is prepared using only the very finest ingredients.
The soup's delicious taste is guaranteed, as evidenced by the fact that there is even an “extra soup" food ticket available for purchase. Their homemade ramen noodles match well with the soup, and their use of niboshi (small dried sardines) – an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine – helps maximize the overall taste. We're happy about the fact that the shop is open from 11 am, making it an easy place to pop in and visit when one is feeling a little hungry. The soup is lightly flavored, making it is easy to consume in an instant. “Tamago-kake gohan" is a popular side menu that involves pouring a raw egg over hot steaming rice, then topping it with diced chashu (roasted pork fillet).
These dishes and more are described on English and Chinese menus, making it easy for tourists from foreign countries to visit the store.
■Address:Tokyo, Chuo-ku Ginza 6-12-2 Tokyo Ginza Building B1
■Business hours:Saturday, Sunday, Holidays 11:00-20:00、Monday-Friday 11:00-23:00
2. Ippudo Ginza Branch
A restaurant famous for tonkotsu that boasts locations from Hokkaido to Kyushu
Born in Kyushu's Fukuoka in 1985, this famous ramen chain conquered Japan and set up the Ippudo Ginza Branch as their Tokyo base. Ippudo is famous for tonkotsu (a salty pork broth) and the restaurant's strong passion is evident in all aspects of its business, including its cooking, creation of restaurants, or display of hospitality towards customers. The restaurant chain prepared English and Chinese menus and has even ventured overseas.
Ippudo's standard menu features its signature tonkotsu soup ramen “shiromaru genmi ", “akamaru shinmi " ramen in which flavored oil and spicy miso have been added to its popular soup, and “mentaiko gohan on-tama nose" (spicy cod roe and rice topped with a soft boiled egg), but there are other options as well as special limited period menus to keep repeaters from getting tired of the menu. After finishing the noodles, try ordering “kae-dama" to add additional ramen noodles. This tonkotsu ramen is sure to have you hooked.
■Address:Tokyo, Chuo-ku Ginza 4-10-3 Central Building 1F
■Business hours:Monday-Thursday 11:00am-2:00am (next day) (Last order is the same), Friday, Saturday, Days preceding holidays 11:00am～3:00am (next day), Sunday, Holidays 11:00am-1:00 am (next day)
2. Ippudo Ginza Branch
3. GinzaNoodle Mugi To Ori-bu
An authentic ramen house with a new, healthy approach
One can understand why there is a line of people waiting outside GinzaNoodle Mugi To Ori-bu when you consider the restaurant's attention to detail and dedication to taste, down to the wheat used to make the noodles and the dashi (seasoning) taken from chicken and clams. This authentic ramen restaurant that opened in February 2014 carefully selects each and every one of its ingredients.
Olive oil has recently been attracting attention from the health-conscious and this inspired the owner of GinzaNoodle Mugi To Ori-bu, a chef who also prepares western-style foods, to produce a new take on ramen by accenting the taste with olive oil. So how does the collaboration between olive oil and ramen taste? If you're interested, head to this shop! You'll be able to taste Ginza ramen with a new, healthy approach that will even surprise ramen connoisseurs. English and Chinese menus are also available to make ordering simple and easy.
■Address:Tokyo, Chuo-ku Ginza 6-12-12 Ginza Stellar Building 1F
■Business hours:Monday-Friday lunch, dinner 11:30-22:00 (Last order 21:45), Saturday lunch, dinner 11:30-21:00 (Last order 20:45)
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.