Monday, January 6, 2014

Best Ramen in Tokyo

Looking for Best Ramen in Tokyo?
The following selections of Ramen restaurants are based on my personal preferences as well as some general consensus from Japanese version of Yelp and local magazines.
Ramen. Tokyo Consult, TokyoConsult.
Ramen. Shinagawa Shinatatsu Ramen Alley. Tokyo

- To read about my recommendations of affordable, Reasonable, Convenient hotels in Tokyo, visit: Affordable Cheap Reasonable Hotels in Tokyo
- To read about my recommendations of affordable and reasonable hotels in OSAKA, visit: Osaka Reasonable Affordable Hotels
- To read about my recommendations of reasonable, affordable, and convenient hotels in KYOTO, visit: Kyoto reasonable, affordable, and convenient Hotels
- To read about the most famous ramen franchise in the world, visit: The origin of Ippudo Ramen: Quest for world's first Hakata Ippudo restaurant
- To read about my recommendations of best food in Tokyo, visit Best food in Tokyo Japan
- To read about Kobe beef in Kobe, visit Kobe Beef in Kobe: My Kobe Beef experiences

Gourmet Ramen has become a global food trend in many major cities through out the world. I'd like to use this blog post to introduce some of the best Ramen in the Tokyo area. Having tens of thousands of Ramen restaurants in Tokyo, picking good restaurants become a difficult task for any visitors.

Ramen Food Courts
There are few Ramen food courts that have some of the most famous Ramen restaurants congregated together in one location. These Ramen food courts usually consist of 5 to 10 Ramen branch restaurants in an indoor mall/building or next to a train station. This makes it easy for travelers to access them. Good selections of Ramen restaurants have also been picked out, therefore visitors will be assured that they are getting some of the best selections of Ramen.

Shin-Yokohama Ramen (Raumen) Museum. THE ORIGINAL Ramen theme park.
Ramen Museum homepage with their ramen selection and access map
Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum. Best Ramen Tokyo. Tokyo Consult. TokyoConsult.
The original themed Ramen food court, Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum
Located in the Yokohama area, which is about 35 minutes from Tokyo by train.
This place is perhaps the most original Ramen themed facility.  The décor in the Ramen theme park is based on the bygone era of the 1950's Japan to create the nostalgic feeling for the local customers. Part of the facility is dedicated to the history of Ramen along with souvenir shops. Most of the restaurants have automated meal ticket machine that facilitates the ordering process. Just pick the Ramen that looks good to you based on the photographs, insert your money and press the button for the meal ticket. Then present the meal ticket to the waiter/waitress after you are seated, you will soon to be served with one of the best Ramen in Japan. They charge a 300 yen entrance fee for the Ramen museum and the entrance fee does not include Ramen meal.

The facility is located near Shin-Yokohama Museum, about 5 minute walk from the JR Shin Yokohama train station. The easiest way to get to the station is try to get to JR Yokohama station, then take the local train/subway to Shin-Yokohama station. If you are traveling with Japan Railway Pass, you can take the bullet train from JR Shinagawa station to JR Shin-Yokohama station directly.

Shinatatsu Ramen Alley, Shinagawa JR Station
Shinatatsu Ramen Alley. Tokyo Consult, TokyoConsult.

Shinatatsu Ramen Alley. Tokyo

Consists of an open area of several Ramen restaurants next to one of the major JR train station (30-second walk from Shinagawa JR station) in Tokyo. JR Shinagawa station is also where many major hotel facilities are located at.  Easy access with NO entrance fee, which makes it a very popular location for ramen.

Tokyo Ramen Street, Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station Ramen Street; ikaruga; Tokyo Consult; TokyoConsult
Eight of the best ramen restaurants at Tokyo Ramen Street Tokyo Station.
One of the newly developed attraction area. Located at the basement of newly renovated Tokyo JR station building, the most important train station in the capital city. No entrance fee involved. Be prepared to wait in line for a long time for some of the most popular Ramen branch restaurants.
Tokyo Station Ramen Street; Tokyo Consult; TokyoConsult.
Tokyo Station Ramen Street
Tokyo Station Ramen Street; Tokyo Consult; TokyoConsult.
Tokyo Station Ramen Street
Tokyo Station Ramen Street; ikaruga; Tokyo Consult; TokyoConsult
Always busy at Ikaruga Ramen
Tokyo Station Ramen Street; ikaruga; Tokyo Consult; TokyoConsult
Ikaruga Ramen at Tokyo Station Ramen Street

Ramen Kokugikan (Ramen Matsuri), Odaiba Aqua City
Located on the 5th floor of Odaiba Aqua City shopping mall. Easy access with no entrance fee. The access requires taking the Yurikamome across the beautiful Rainbow bridge. Why not take a Ramen break after long hours of shopping.

Stand-alone Ramen restaurants

There are also a few famous stand-alone ramen restaurants through out the city. They are generally slightly more difficult to find, but if time is not constraint, these restaurants are worth your time for a visit.

Ichiran Ramen, Shibuya store.
Ichiran ramen, Tokyo Consult, TokyoConsult.
Ichiran Ramen, Tokyo
Private booth, Ichiran Ramen. Tokyo Consult, TokyoConsult
Private booth at Ichiran Ramen, Tokyo
Fukuoka based, it has become one of the most popular Ramen restaurant in Japan. The only oversea franchise is located in Hong Kong city, and is not available anywhere outside of Japan and Hong Kong city. Many franchise through out the city of Tokyo, one of the easiest location is located at JR Ueno train station on the famous JR Yamanote line.

Santouka Ramen, Shinjuku store.
Santouka Ramen, Tokyo Consult, TokyoConsult.
Santouka Ramen, Tokyo
Originated in Hokkaido, northern island of Japan, has opened many locations in through out the world, including USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. Many locations in the Tokyo area.

Ippudo Ramen
World famous Ippudo Ramen
Perhaps the most famous Ramen restaurant franchise that has become well known in the US thanks to its Manhattan locations in New York city. Overseas location include Singapore, Sydney and Hong Kong city. More than 15 restaurants in the Tokyo area. Consider visiting one of the locations near Roppongi subway station on Tokyo Metro system.

Ajisen Ramen (TripAdvisor page)
Kumamoto based. More than 600 shops outside of Japan, including USA, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, etc. Only one location in the greater Tokyo area, located near JR Ikebukuro on the famous JR Yamanote line.

Ikaruga Ramen (TripAdvisor page)
Originated in Tokyo, it has been one of the most popular Tokyo based Ramen for many years. The Ramen shop opened its second location at the Tokyo Ramen Street at Tokyo Station. The original store might be a bit more difficult to find for beginners but with the help of smart phone map application, it should be an achievable task. Nearest station is Kudanshita station on the Tokyo Metro subway system.

Menya Musashi Ramen (TripAdvisor page)
Menya Musashi Ramen. Tokyo Consult, TokyoConsult.
Menya Musashi Ramen, Tokyo
Long line at Menya Musashi Ramen. Tokyo Consult, TokyoConsult.
Long line at Menya Musashi Ramen, Tokyo
One of the 10+ Musashi subsidiary Tokyo-based Ramen shops. The most popular subsidiary Ramen shop is located near the west exit of JR Shinjuku station with easy access near the most popular train station in Japan. Most of the subsidiary Ramen shops are located in the Tokyo area near major metro stations
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