Ramen is so well-liked in Japan and even by people abroad. For travelers with an upcoming trip to Tokyo, you really cannot miss these ramen shops along the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, one of the busiest metro lines bringing you to major stations in the city. This article covers everything from the good old savory ramen, Michelin Star ramen, and even Italian-fusion ramen. Already hungry and curious to find out more? Read on!
1. Ogikubo station - Harukiya
Ogikubo is commonly referred to as a “ramen town” since it has dozens of ramen stores in its vicinity. Harukiya is one particular store distinctly popular in this place. First opened in 1949, this eatery has served old-school ramen for more than 60 years, and the flavor of its noodles has not changed the entire time. The Chuka soba provides a good blend of chicken and fish stock and soy sauce, giving the broth a light and refreshing taste. The wontonmen is also another dish worth trying. The wonton skin is smooth and silky in the soup, adding additional impact when eaten together with the piping-hot ramen.
It’s not hard to spot Harukiya as there will be a snaking queue at the shop even in the early hours. Most people like to bring their family along to savor the taste of this traditional chuka soba. Certainly worth giving it a try!
Address: 1-4-6 Kamiogi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Access: 2 minute’s walk from Ogikubo station
2. Shinjuku station - Menya Musashi Main Shop
You cannot miss the Menya Musashi Main Shop when you are in Shinjuku! This popular chain outlet has several branches across Tokyo (and even overseas), but nothing beats the deep flavored ramen served right at the original main outlet. Menya Musashi’s delicious seafood broth and meat-based broth are rich, flavorful and of course, deeply satisfying. Also, the noodles here are thick and chewy, and the ajitama is prepared to perfection. The tsukemen (dipping style noodles) is another dish not to be missed! The chunks of pork just melt in your mouth upon first bite, and the taste is made even better when you slurp up come chewy noodles dipped in the savory sauce. Gentle caution: Menya Musashi’s ramen servings are rather huge so do make sure you have enough room in your stomach!
If you’re wondering why there are Japanese warrior characters at Menya Musashi’s storefront, that’s because the word “Musashi” from the store’s name is derived from a well-known sword warrior, Miyamoto Musashi. Living up to its “warrior legend” ramen concept, the kitchen staff crew also presents “entertaining cooking movements” almost similar to martial arts as they cook and prepare the ramen!
Menya Musashi Main Shop
Address: K1 Bldg. 1F, 7-2-6, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward
Access: 7 minute’s walk from Shinjuku station
Website: Menya Musashi (in Japanese)
3. Yotsuya station - Due Italian
Japanese ramen with Italian fusion - most of us would never imagine this. Due Italian, located near the Yotsuya station, serves one of the most exclusive ramens by far. Its signature Fromage ramen is served with cheese, parma ham (replacing char siu), thin and fine noodles (very similar to spaghetti or pasta) and other toppings. The soup broth is thin and light, fragrant and yet not too overpowering. It carries a tinge of cheese flavor as well. After slurping up the deliciously exquisite Fromage ramen, it is recommended to add some rice in the soup to create a “risotto”.
Due Italian has been awarded the Michelin Bib gourmand and is widely featured in many ramen guides, and the man behind Due Italian’s success is none other than Chef Ishizuka. Having worked overseas, he decided to use his skills in Italian cuisine to create a speciality Japanese ramen. A novel and unique ramen definitely worth trying!
Address: 2-9-6 Higashishinbashi, Minato, Tokyo
Access: 10 minute’s walk from Yotsuya station
Website: Due Italian (in Japanese)
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4. Tokyo station - Rokurinsha
Tokyo station is always bustling with people throughout the day. There are an abundance of foods at the station’s basement area, but nothing stands out more prominently than Rokurinsha, better known as “Tokyo’s best tsukemen”. It is said that the founder of Rokurinsha studied under the original creator of tsukemen to produce his own version of the noodles.
Rokurinsha’s tsukemen is simply mind blowing - the hot dipping soup has a really, deep, refine taste, and it perfectly complements the lukewarm noodles served. The specialty hot dipping soup is made using quality ingredients such as pork bones, chicken bones, dried baby sardines, vegetables and more. To get a taste of the tsukemen is pretty challenging, however. The queue to get into the restaurant takes typically from 30 mins to an hour (close to lunch and dinner time), but definitely worth the wait!
Note: Rokurinsha has three other outlets at Haneda Airport, next to Skytree and another at Osaki.
Address: Tokyo Station Ichibangai Basement 1, Tokyo Ramen Street, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0005
Access: 2 minute’s walk from Tokyo Station
Website: Rokurinsha (in Japanese)
5. Kōrakuen station - Mensho Tokyo
Fancy lamb broth ramen? You can find this right at Mensho Tokyo, just next to Kōrakuen station!
Founded by Tomoharu Shono, Mensho Tokyo prides itself as a “ramen laboratory” that provides customers a unique dining experience by “modernizing” the ramen making process and the way it is enjoyed. Its speciality is the lamb broth ramen, prepared nice and thick. The accompanying noodles are smooth and thin, and handmade entirely in the in-house laboratory. For those who are rather sensitive to the gamey smell of lamb, the lime provided can neutralize it and adds a refreshing zest to your ramen. You can also add more flavor to your ramen with ground pepper and ginger-cardamom. If you are up for more, do try the tsukemen and the mazemen (no-broth ramen that requires “mixing” of the noodles) as well!
Address: 1-15-9 Kasuga, Bunkyo, Tokyo
Access: 2 minute’s walk from Kōrakuen station, Exit 6
Website: Mensho Tokyo
6. Shin-Ōtsuka station - Nakiryu
Nakiryu at Shin-Otsuka station is a must-go for all ramen lovers. No exceptions.
Nakiryu is famed for its signature dish, Tantanmen, and it is the second ramen restaurant to be awarded a Michelin Star in 2017. The noodles are specially prepared to be “low-water noodles” - firm, yet thin and smooth. The soup carries a fragrant sesame taste and a good mix of spiciness. The slurpy noodles mixed together with the spicy and nutty broth is just so wildly addictive! In addition, the other toppings like the char siu, soft marinated eggs and spring onions add another burst of flavor in your mouth. This one-Michelin star is definitely a great bargain. Other than the tantanmen, Nakiryu’s Shoyu ramen is another spectacular feast!
Just like all other famed restaurants, the queue at Nakiryu is always long. The queue starts even before its official opening hours (the queue is broken into two at the other side of the road sometimes for better management purposes), so do be mentally prepared to wait some time. The standard of ramen served at Nakiryu, nonetheless, is unrivalled.
Address: 2-34-4 Minamiotsuka, Toshima, Tokyo
Access: 15 minute’s walk from Shin-Ōtsuka station
7. Ikebukuro station - Mutekiya
Mutekiya is a highly popular ramen outlet near Ikebukuro station serving “Kyushu style” ramen. This ramen store is extremely detailed in only using the freshest produce for their food, with their noodles made 100% from Hokkaido wheat and its spring onions directly imported from Aomori prefecture.
The highly recommended dish here is none other than Honmaru Men - the medium-thick noodles are cooked chewy and springy, and are topped with other ingredients such as ajitama, thick slices of char siu, seaweed, and others. The rich, awesome flavor of the soup just makes you crave for more with every bite, and it is also greatly satisfying on the stomach! Mutekiya also provides fresh, raw garlic for you to squeeze over your ramen, spicy takana (made from pickled mustard leaf), and bonito powder for extra punch and flavor.
Apart from the Honmaru Men, Mutekiya also serves tsuekemen and rice bowls. There are almost 15 types of ramen and more than 10 types of toppings for you to select! In addition, you can also order gyoza for an appetizer!
Amazing food, great price, nice ambience - make sure you drop by Mutekiya!
Address: 1F Sakimoto Building, 1-17-1 Minami Ikebukuro
Access: 5 minute’s walk from Ikebukuro station, East Exit
Enjoy true authentic ramen
Which ramen outlet along the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line has caught your eye? The scrumptious ramen would surely be a good treat for all Japanese food lovers out there. Make your travel experience more complete with these ramen feasts, just with one train ride!
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