Where To Eat Ramen In Tokyo Along North Side Of Yamanote Line?

Where To Eat Ramen In Tokyo Along North Side Of Yamanote Line?
Rachel
Rachel 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 4 min read

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is a well-known food paradise that attracts foodies from all over the world. But a visit to the vibrant capital may not be complete if you miss out tasting the king of Japanese cuisine, which is none other than Japanese ramen (Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth). In this article, you will be introduced to the best places to enjoy a delightful bowl of ramen along Tokyo’s Yamanote Line, which will connect you to major stations and attractions in the city.

1. Ueno/ Uguisudani: best ramen in the Iriya neighbourhood

Mendokoro Ishikawa Shio Ramen
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Famicon used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Iriya is hardly a familiar name on the tourist guidebook, but mention the beautiful Ueno Park and the area should ring a bell to many. Nestled in the unassuming Iriya neighbourhood within a short walk from Ueno Park is Mendokoroharu (麺処 晴). It may be a small ramen shop with only 8 counter seats, but long queues are often seen outside the shop. Be patient to wait in line, for you will not regret queuing for it after you get to sink your teeth into the special shio (salt) ramen.

The bowl of noodles is flavourful, filled with rich umami essence. It is also good to see generous toppings of spring onions, chashu (smoked pork) and bamboo shoots over the tasty ramen. Despite limited choices on the menu, it does not stop customers from returning to the shop repeatedly because of the excellent quality in its ramen. That shows how good Mendokoroharu is!

Mendokoroharu (麺処 晴)

Address: 1-11-7 Shitaya, Taito Ward

Price: around 1,000 JPY (9 USD).

Opening Hours: 11am - 3pm and 6pm - 10pm. Irregular shop holidays.

Access: 5-minute walk from Uguisudani Station.

Contact: +81-3-3847-8553.

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2. Uguisudani: savour a traditional bowl of goodness

The area around Uguisudani Station, just one stop away from Ueno, is a haven for Japanese ramen lovers. Besides Mendokoroharu which is popular for its shio ramen, Edomae Niboshi Chuka Soba Kimihan (江戸前煮干中華そば きみはん 総本店), part of the Tetsu chain of restaurants, can be found here too. This shop in the quiet Iriya neighbourhood offers traditional Edo-style Chinese noodles in thick broth prepared from meat and seafood stock. Unlike Mendokoroharu that serves thin noodles, Edomae Niboshi Chuka Soba Kimihan’s noodles are a little thicker with a springy texture. The small 10-seater shop is furnished in wood, creating an Edo-style atmosphere that matches perfectly with the wholesome bowl of traditional ramen you are sinking your teeth into!

Edomae Niboshi Chuka Soba Kimihan (江戸前煮干中華そば きみはん 総本店)

Address: 3-3-18 Negishi, Taito Ward

Price: around 1,000 JPY (9 USD).

Opening Hours: 11am - 3pm and 6pm - 11pm. Closed on Tuesdays.

Access: 3-minute walk from Uguisudani Station.

Contact: +81-3-3874-8433.

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3. Komagome: have a taste of the infamous Jiro-style noodles

Fujiyama 55 Jiro Taste Ramen 20170422
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 円周率3パーセント used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tucked away inconspicuously at the back of a building with no clear signage is Menyaakatsuki (麺や あかつき), offering customers a taste of the infamous Jiro-style noodles. Unlike the usual thin Japanese ramen that we are familiar with, Jiro-style ramen is almost as thick as udon, topped with a pile of bean sprouts and chunky chashu, and garlic if you like. Jiro-style ramen broth is also unusually thick and fatty compared to the typical ramen. While the health-conscious will likely shun away from such ramen, why not give it a try since you are already in Tokyo? Furthermore, the ramen dishes served at Menyaakatsuki start from a reasonable 680 JPY (6.20 USD), giving you more reason to have a taste of this unique ramen!

Menyaakatsuki (麺や あかつき)

Address: Roux Bil 1F, 1-16-10 Komagome, Toshima Ward

Price: from 680 JPY (6.20 USD).

Opening Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm and 5pm - 9pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 11.30am - 3pm on Sundays. Closed on Mondays.

Access: 5-minute walk from Komagome Station

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4. Sugamo: the first ramen shop in Tokyo to be awarded a Michelin star

Tsuta
Source: Photo by Flickr user othree used under CC BY 2.0

Michelin starred restaurants are often deemed to be luxuriously expensive, but not at Tsuta (ジャパニーズソバヌードル 蔦). It is Tokyo’s first ramen shop to be awarded a Michelin star in December 2015. Its winning dish, the Shoyu Soba (Soy Sauce noodles) costs just 1,250 JPY (11.30 USD) a bowl. The broth is a combination of chicken and seafood stock base, and three types of uniquely flavoured soy sauce are added into the broth to enhance its flavour. Add in the stone-milled noodles with an appetising slice of pork, topped with its signature black truffle oil, and you get a divine bowl of Shoyu Soba!

The ramen shop is small with only 9 seats, so get a ticket from the ticket machine outside the shop first. You will be allocated a time slot to return to join the queue of ticket holders waiting to enter for a hearty ramen meal. While queuing, choose the ramen you like from the vending machine: hot or cold ramen or tsukemen served in either shio or shoyu broth. Thereafter, just be patient before you lay your hands on the best value Michelin Star meal! Get there early to avoid disappointment, as the famous ramen sells out really fast.

For your info, Tsuta opened its the first overseas branch in Singapore last year.

Tsuta (ジャパニーズソバヌードル 蔦)

Address: 1-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima Ward

Price: from 1,000 JPY (9 USD).

Opening Hours: 11am - 8pm. Closed on Wednesdays.

Access: 2-minute walk from Sugamo Station.

Contact: +81 3-3943-1007

Tsuta (ジャパニーズソバヌードル 蔦)

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Hello! I am Ayano, a local host in Tokyo. I have been living in Tokyo for over 10 years, so I know a wide range of restaurants, bars, cafes, and tourist spots! Leave your Tokyo sightseeing to me. I have traveled to various countries and had unforgettable experiences. Being passionate about traveling, I really want to take you to the captivating places in Tokyo. As photography is my hobby, I wi... Read more

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5. Otsuka: spicy noodle lovers can enjoy a Michelin star treat too!


Just one train stop away from Sugamo, you will be able to find Nakiryu (鳴龍), just a short walk from Otsuka Station. Nakiryu is the second ramen shop in Tokyo to be awarded a Michelin star, one year after Tsuta received its coveted title. Just like many other ramen shops, a bowl of ramen at Nakiryu is affordable priced at under 1,000 JPY (9 USD). Besides the usual menu offerings such as shio and shoyu ramen, the signature dish here is Tantan-men, which is ultra-thin noodles served in a spicy sesame broth.

Spicy noodle lovers will be delighted to know that you can choose between two levels of spiciness for the broth: normal or extra spicy. Made with just a little water and no eggs, the noodles have a springy yet firm texture, with a distinctive sesame flavour that goes well with the minced meat toppings. The Tantan-men is a refreshing twist to the usual ramen that certainly whets your appetite!

Nakiryu (鳴龍)

Address: SKY Minami Otsuka 1F, 2-34-4 Minami Otsuka, Toshima Ward

Price: from 800 JPY (7.25 USD).

Opening Hours: 11.30am - 3pm and 6pm - 9pm. Lunch only on Mondays. Closed on Tuesdays.

Access: 5-minute walk from Otsuka Station.

Contact: +81 3-6304-1811.

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6. Ikebukuro: Tsukemen lovers should not miss this


Tsukemen is a cousin of the famous ramen, with the only difference being the noodles are put in a separate bowl from the soup so that you can dip them in when you are ready to eat. Around Ikebukuro Station, there are many tsukemen noodle shops. Make a trip down to Mamiana (馳走麺 狸穴) on the east side of the station if you can’t resist a bowl of tsukemen. Try the Noukou Tsukemen (濃厚つけ麺) for a hearty meal you will not forget. Its Tsukejiru soup is prepared from a mixture of animal bones and seafood stock, which gives it an intense flavour that can be quite addictive after your first dip of the thick noodles!

Mamiana (馳走麺 狸穴)

Address: Ogawa Building 1F, 1-32-2, Higashi Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward

Price: from 780 JPY (7.10 USD).

Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm daily.

Access: 5-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station east exit.

Contact: +81-3-6304-1811

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Chomp on your favourite ramen with a convenient train ride

Being able to chomp your way through the best local cuisines when on a holiday makes the trip much more memorable. Now that you have been introduced to the best ramen along the north side of Tokyo’s most important Yamanote Line, I bet you can’t wait to taste them all. Get to these popular ramen shops with a convenient train ride. Enjoy your exciting culinary journey to feast on the number 1 Japanese cuisine!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Rachel has forgotten when and exactly how she caught the travel bug. What she does remember is the triumphant feeling she enjoys when she sees the fascinating world out there with her own eyes. She...Read more

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