Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, is covered by an extensive public transport network of buses and trains. Amongst the many train lines, the JR Yamanote Line is the most important train line that connects prime city centres in Tokyo in a circle. Not only does it bring you to major tourist attractions conveniently, you will also be able to find plenty of delicious Japanese cuisine around stations along Yamanote Line. The king of Japanese cuisine is none other than the Japanese ramen (Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat or fish-based broth). For the top 6 ramen not to miss along Yamanote Line in Tokyo’s southeast region, read this guide for a wonderful gastronomic journey starting from the Shinjuku district!
1. Takadanobaba: ramen in thick chicken broth
Takadanobaba is a vibrant college town located near to the prime Shinjuku district. As with all other student-centric towns, there are many cheap dining, shopping and entertainment options to cater to the young crowd, including tons of little ramen restaurants. Sampoichi Ramen (鶏そば 三歩一) is amongst the top 3 restaurants where you can grab an affordable yet tasty ramen treat. As its Japanese name suggests, all ramen dishes served here use chicken instead of pork. The chicken broth looks clear but is surprisingly thick and fragrant. Word of caution: you may be so addicted to the soup that it will be gone within minutes of tasting the dish. Get there early before 12pm to avoid long wait for the delicious ramen!
Sampoichi Ramen (鶏そば 三歩一)
Address: 2-14-9 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 730 JPY (6.50 USD).
Opening Hours: 11am - 3pm and 6pm - 11.30pm or till sold out. Irregular shop holidays.
Access: 5-minute walk from Takadanobaba Station.
Contact: +81 3-5155-8255
2. Shinjuku: savoury fish-based ramen worth queueing for
The area around Shinjuku Station is always bustling with activity because there is simply so much you can see and do in the district. Fuuunji Ramen (風雲児) is not to be missed if you are craving savoury fish-based ramen topped with mouth-watering smoked fish powder. Tucked in a quiet street near the police station, it is amazing that there is a perennial long queue waiting patiently outside the small 15-seat restaurant at any time of the day. Fuuunji’s bestseller is the Tsukemen in a fish-based soup, which has no fishy smell at all. In fact, it is a rich unique flavour combining the best of chicken broth and smoky fish powder. Try it for yourself and you will know why the exquisite bowl of ramen is so popular!
Fuuunji Ramen (風雲児)
Address: 2-14-3 Yoyogi, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 750 JPY (6.65 USD).
Opening Hours: 11am - 3pm and 5pm - 9pm from Mondays to Saturdays or till sold out.
Access: 6-minute walk from Shinjuku Station south exit.
Contact: +81 3-6413-8480
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
3. Shibuya: no. 1 ramen in the popular shopping and entertainment district
There are numerous dining options in the famous Shibuya district, but if you only have time for one, you cannot miss Hayashi (はやし). Consistently ranked as the number 1 ramen restaurant in Shibuya, Hayashi offers only three types of ramen - standard ramen, Ajitama (boiled egg) ramen, and Yakibuta (pork meat) ramen. Despite the limited choices on the menu, there is always a constant stream of customers waiting to enjoy a hearty bowl of ramen at the tiny 10-seater restaurant.
Hayashi’s popularity definitely proves that one doesn’t need an extensive menu to attract customers and keep them coming back. This is because their ramen dishes are done so well. The soup stock is a rich blend of pork and seafood and the noodles are thick and springy. Be warned: head to Hayashi for an early lunch as the mind-blowing ramen sells out pretty fast!
Address: 1-14-9 Dogenzaka, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Price: about 1,000 JPY (8.90 USD) per person.
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 3.30pm or till sold out. Close on Sundays and national holidays.
Access: 6-minute walk from Shibuya Station south exit.
Contact: +81 3-3770-9029
4. Shinagawa: winning shio ramen that will change your attitude towards fish broth
It is not only small family-run ramen shops that serve great-tasting ramen not to be missed. Setagaya Ramen (せたが屋 品川店) near Shinagawa Station is a multi-outlet Japanese ramen chain where you can enjoy a flavourful bowl of shoyu (soy sauce) or shio (salt) based ramen comfortably with your friends. The most popular dish on the menu is its Setagaya Ramen, medium-thick noodles in a rich shoyu broth made from fish and meat stock, topped with generous portions of tender pork chasiu, aosa seaweed and soft-boiled egg. With its strategic location near Shinagawa Station, get your perfect ramen fix before boarding the train to your next destination.
Setagaya Ramen (せたが屋 品川店)
Address: 3-26-20 Takanawa, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 720 JPY (6.40 USD).
Opening Hours: 11am - 10.30pm daily.
Access: 4-minute walk from Shinagawa Station.
Contact: +81 3-3446-0831
5. Hamamatsucho: chicken ramen in creamy broth
Are you a chicken fan who prefers to have chicken in all your food? Then make your way to Toripotaramensanku (鶏ポタ ラーメン THANK), a casual ramen restaurant located in a quiet lane near Hamamatsucho Station. A variety of 7 vegetables and fresh chicken meat are used to prepare the creamy rich chicken broth. If you love the Italian-style carbonara, you will love the chicken potato ramen here as well for the melt-in-the-mouth cheesy texture in your soup! Or you can also order the equally delicious chicken tsukemen for a change. Enjoy the taste of unique fusion ramen cuisine in the stylish Toripotaramensanku.
Toripotaramensanku (鶏ポタ ラーメン THANK)
Address: 2-1-13 Shibadaimon, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Price: from 700 JPY (6.25 USD).
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday: 11.30am - 3pm & 6pm - 10pm; Saturday, Sunday and national holidays: 11.30am - 3pm.
Access: 7-minute walk from Hamamatsucho Station north exit.
Contact: +81 3-5400-1350
6. Shimbashi: palatable ramen with a twist
Ginza is famous for being home to luxury boutiques and fine dining restaurants. However, there are noteworthy local restaurants that will not burn a big hole in your wallet. Ginzasa (銀笹), opened by a Japanese chef with 18 years of culinary experience, is certainly one that is worth your attention. Most ramen dishes out there are served with slices of tender pork chasiu in a greasy meat or seafood broth. At Ginzasa, the ramen is topped with springy fish balls made of sea bream too. The light fish-based broth is simmered for hours so that the flavours of ingredients such as kelp and dried seafood are subtly extracted. Add fragrant rice into the remaining broth after finishing the thin chewy noodles. Carb lovers will enjoy this special way of eating your ramen!
Address: Fuji Building 1st floor, 8-15-2, Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Price: about 1,000 JPY (8.90 USD) per person.
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 3pm & 5.30pm - 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays. Restaurant will close early if they run out of soup. Close on Sundays and national holidays.
Access: 10-minute walk from Shimbashi Station Ginza exit.
Contact: +81 3-3543-0280
Enjoy the hunt for the king of Japanese cuisine
You can’t say you have been to Japan if you have never tasted ramen, the number 1 Japanese cuisine loved by everyone. Access prime districts in the city easily with the circle Yamanote Line to shop and dine to your heart’s content. Most importantly, don’t forget to check out the above 6 wonderful ramen joints located along the Yamanote Line for a fabulous ramen hunt you won’t regret!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
Create an account to bookmark our articles, like local expert tips, receive great stories in your inbox, and follow writers and topics that you love.Log in with Google ×