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Ramen Recommendation! Slurp-worthy stops: Savoring 3 standout spots


In the sprawling tapestry of Japanese cuisine, where every dish is a masterpiece, one particular delight stands out among my favorites:RAMEN. As I’ve delved into the rich variety of Japanese culinary offerings, I’ve found in this humble bowl of noodles and broth a treasure worth sharing.

In this article, I’m excited to take you on a gastronomic journey through the vibrant area of Asakusa, highlighting 3 culinary treasures in the form of ramen restaurants. Each of these establishments not only embodies the essence and excellence of the iconic Japanese specialty but also offers unique experiences that are easily accessible from our hostel’s doorstep.

As we explore these culinary destinations in the heart of Asakusa, we’ll uncover the mastery behind each bowl of ramen and immerse ourselves in the distinctive atmosphere of this historic neighborhood. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that not only showcases really good ramen but also celebrates the local flavors and traditions of Asakusa. Join me as we discover the secrets held by these nearby locales and savor the authentic essence of ramen right at our fingertips!


Ramen Watanabe

Nestled within the charming alleyways near Nakamise-dori in Asakusa, Japan, Ramen Watanabe awaits, promising a culinary experience like no other. This quaint establishment specializes in crafting exquisite ramen dishes, each one a testament to meticulous attention to detail and a dedication to flavor perfection.

Personally, as someone who isn’t particularly a fan of shoyu ramen, I found Ramen Watanabe to be a delightful surprise. Although shoyu ramen isn’t typically my top choice, here I enjoyed it like never before. The subtlety of flavors and the perfection in ingredient combination made each bite a palate-pleasing experience, leading me to appreciate this style of ramen in an entirely new light.

Is pretty easy to buy a ticket, as many ramen restaurants in Japan, there is an automatic machine in the entrance with an English option.


Broth: Crafted to Perfection

At the heart of Ramen Watanabe’s allure lies its meticulously crafted broth. Utilizing a chicken-based broth as their foundation, the chefs at Watanabe have perfected the art of achieving a delicate balance of flavors. Through a careful emulsion process, the broth achieves a rich, yet harmonious profile that tantalizes the taste buds without overwhelming them. The result is a bowl of ramen that is deeply satisfying, comforting, and utterly delicious.



  • Noodles: Straight and Sublime

Complementing the exquisite broth are the noodles, an essential component of any exceptional ramen dish. At Ramen Watanabe, these noodles are a work of art in themselves. Straight and medium-thick, they intertwine gracefully with the broth, providing the perfect texture and mouthfeel with every slurp. Their consistency and chewiness add to the overall sensory experience, elevating each bowl of ramen to new heights of culinary delight.


  • Toppings: Perfectly Paired Perfection

No bowl of ramen is complete without its toppings, and at Ramen Watanabe, every element is carefully selected to enhance the overall flavor profile. From the tender chashu, or roasted pork, which varies depending on the type of broth chosen, to the meticulously crafted garnishes that adorn each bowl, every topping is a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to excellence. Each ingredient is thoughtfully paired to create a harmonious symphony of flavors that dance on the palate with every bite.


  • Specialty Offerings: Unique Delights

In addition to their exceptional ramen offerings, Ramen Watanabe also boasts a selection of specialty dishes that are sure to delight even the most discerning of palates. One such offering is the “white chicken broth rice,” a creation born out of a desire for a garlic-free option to accompany the ramen. This delectable dish features rice cooked in the chicken broth, garnished with fried garlic and fat, and finished with a few drops of special soy sauce. It’s a simple yet satisfying accompaniment that perfectly complements the flavors of the ramen.


  • Ambiance

Beyond the culinary delights that await within each bowl, Ramen Watanabe also offers a feast for the senses in its charming ambiance. From the welcoming atmosphere of the dining area to the meticulous presentation of each dish, every aspect of the restaurant is designed to enhance the overall dining experience. Whether dining solo or with company, guests are sure to feel transported to a culinary paradise with every visit to Ramen Watanabe.

In addition to excelling in traditional ramen, Ramen Watanabe offers an ideal option for those who prefer to steer clear of pork in their diet. Its focus on white chicken broth makes it a tempting choice for those seeking a pork-free ramen experience, while still delivering all the flavor and satisfaction one would expect from this iconic dish.

Yokohama Ie Kei

I typically enjoy exploring new ramen restaurants, discovering some gems along the way. However, when I simply crave a truly excellent bowl of ramen without the need for experimentation, my go-to choice is always Yokohama Ie Kei.

Yokohama Iekei ramen stands as a culinary icon in Japan, blending the best of two ramen styles: Hakata’s tonkotsu and Tokyo’s chicken shoyu. This dish, which has conquered both local and international palates, is a reflection of the rich gastronomic diversity that characterizes the Japanese culinary scene. In this article, we will explore the origins, unique characteristics, and challenges faced by this cherished delicacy, providing a deeper insight into what makes Yokohama Iekei ramen so special.

Origins and evolution

Yokohama Iekei ramen traces its roots back to 1974 when former truck driver Yoshimura Minoru embarked on a culinary journey that would change the ramen landscape forever. Inspired by his travels across Japan and tasting hundreds of regional ramen bowls, Yoshimura combined the creamy pork broth of Hakata-style tonkotsu with the clean chicken shoyu soup of Tokyo-style ramen. This innovative fusion took shape in Yokohama, where Yoshimura opened his legendary shop, Yoshimura-ya, near Shin-Sugita station.

From its humble beginnings, Yokohama Iekei ramen rapidly gained popularity, attracting long queues and earning the moniker “Iekei,” symbolizing the start of a ramen phenomenon. Over the years, the dish has evolved and spread throughout Japan, becoming a staple in ramen shops nationwide. Despite its widespread popularity, the essence of Yokohama Iekei ramen continues to captivate enthusiasts with its unique blend of flavors and textures, showcasing the innovation and passion of its creator.


  • Broth

Ohhh, OMG, it’s essentially a palate pleasure. Yokohama Iekei ramen is distinguished by its meticulously crafted components, each contributing to its unparalleled taste and texture. At its heart lies the broth, a harmonious marriage of Hakata-style tonkotsu and Tokyo-style chicken shoyu. This broth, meticulously simmered to perfection, boasts a rich, creamy consistency that envelops the palate with layers of umami goodness. It’s a testament to the careful balance struck between the pork and chicken flavors, resulting in a broth that is simultaneously hearty and refreshing.


  • Noodles

Complementing the luscious broth are the noodles, meticulously crafted to enhance the ramen experience. These noodles, short and straight semi thick profile, are designed to absorb the essence of the broth while offering a satisfying chewiness with every bite. Their texture serves as the perfect canvas for the rich flavors of the broth, creating a harmonious symphony of taste and texture in every mouthful.


  • Toppings

Beyond the broth and noodles, Yokohama Iekei ramen offers a plethora of toppings and condiments to customize the dining experience. From tender slices of smoked pork chashu to crisp spinach and savory dried seaweed, each topping adds its own unique dimension to the dish. Additionally, diners are encouraged to personalize their bowls further by adjusting the levels of oil, tare, and noodle firmness to suit their preferences.


  • Extra

This dedication to customization extends to the condiments provided at the table, which allow diners to tailor their ramen to their individual tastes. From grated garlic and ginger to sesame seeds and chili paste, each condiment offers a new layer of flavor to explore. It’s this attention to detail and commitment to personalization that elevates Yokohama Iekei ramen from a simple bowl of noodles to a culinary masterpiece, offering a truly immersive and customizable dining experience for ramen enthusiasts around the world.

Challenges and Dilution

Despite its entrenched popularity, Yokohama Iekei ramen faces several challenges in the present day, many of which are related to mass commercialization and the dilution of its authenticity.

The expansion of Yokohama Iekei ramen throughout Japan has led to a proliferation of shops seeking to capitalize on its fame. However, this rampant growth has resulted in a dilution of the quality and authenticity of the dish. Many of these new shops, driven by demand and competition, may sacrifice ingredient quality or attention to detail in ramen preparation, resulting in a less satisfying experience for customers.

Furthermore, the increasing popularity of Yokohama Iekei ramen has attracted the attention of restaurant chains and food companies looking to capitalize on the dish’s success through mass production and large-scale marketing. While this may increase the accessibility of Iekei ramen nationally and internationally, it may also result in a loss of authenticity and quality as efficiency and profitability are prioritized over craftsmanship and attention to detail.



In the gastronomic universe of ramen, few names resonate as strongly as Ichiran’s. Its prestige extends worldwide, but behind the fame lies an undeniable quality. From my perspective, both Ichiran and Ippudo are outstanding examples, each with its own virtues. However, the experience at Ichiran, especially for an outsider, offers a unique atmosphere that highlights its culinary excellence.From its humble beginnings in 1960 in Fukuoka, Japan, to its current status as one of the most revered brands in the world of ramen, Ichiran Ramen has captivated the hearts and palates of food lovers worldwide. Its unique focus on tonkotsu ramen and its innovative “eating alone” concept in individual booths have redefined the experience of enjoying this traditional Japanese dish.At the heart of the Ichiran experience lies its exclusive focus on tonkotsu ramen. While they offer other types of ramen, such as shoyu, salt, and miso, their true passion and dedication are centered on perfecting tonkotsu ramen. A team of over 40 artisans works tirelessly, day and night, to study and continuously improve this iconic dish.

  • Tonkotsu Broth: A Mastery in Flavor

Ichiran’s tonkotsu broth is the heart of its ramen, and its excellence is owed to meticulous attention to every detail of the preparation process. Natural ingredients are carefully selected and prepared, without the inclusion of instant pork bone extracts or other artificial additives. This broth is simmered to perfection to extract all the flavor from the pork meat, thereby creating a rich and satisfying base for the ramen.


  • Noodles: A Touch of Distinction

Ichiran’s noodles are a masterpiece in themselves. Crafted with a unique blend of high-quality, carefully selected flours, these noodles perfectly complement the tonkotsu broth, absorbing its flavor and texture impeccably. Every detail, from the temperature and humidity of the room to the protein content of the flour, is meticulously controlled to ensure the quality and consistency of the fresh noodles prepared daily in-house.

  • Original Spicy Sauce: A Touch of Heat

Ichiran pioneered the incorporation of spicy sauce directly into ramen. Its exclusive “Original Red Spicy Sauce” is a blend of 30 different ingredients and spices, aged for days and nights to develop a richer and more complex flavor. This sauce adds a touch of heat and depth to the ramen, further elevating its unique flavor profile.


  • Dashi Secret: The Cornerstone of the Recipe

Dashi is the foundation of all ramen, and Ichiran’s secret dashi is a key part of its success. Only four people within the company know the recipe for this unique broth, and extreme measures are taken to protect its integrity. Any even minor change in water content due to evaporation could alter the flavor of the ramen, so meticulous attention is paid to dashi preparation to ensure consistent quality in every bowl.


  • Natural Collagen: Additional Benefits

Ichiran’s tonkotsu broth is infused with natural collagen, an added benefit that not only enhances the flavor of the broth but is also believed to promote health and youthfulness. This addition reflects Ichiran’s commitment to excellence and the well-being of its customers.


In addition to its exceptional ramen, Ichiran offers its customers a unique dining experience. Its restaurants are designed with individual booths, separated by partitions, allowing diners to enjoy their meal in privacy and focus on the flavor of the ramen without distractions. This innovative approach has been one of Ichiran’s distinctive features and has contributed to its popularity among both locals and international visitors.

In conclusion, it’s essential to clarify that while I highly recommend the Watanabe, Yokohama Iekei Ramen and Ichiran restaurants I’ve experienced in Asakusa, I’m not claiming they are the absolute best in the city. These recommendations are based solely on my personal experiences, and there may be other fantastic ramen establishments in Asakusa  that I have yet to explore. However, from my own encounters, I can confidently say that the Yokohama Iekei Ramen, Watanabe Ramen and Ichiran restaurants in Asakusa stand out as excellent choices for anyone craving a satisfying and authentic ramen experience.