During our trip to Japan, we ate a lot of ramen, and one of our favorite bowls was from Ichiran Ramen, which many say is the best. This famous chain has many locations and is conveniently open 24 hours.
When you enter, you’re first greeted with the familiar sight of a vending machine to place your order. Ichiran Ramen specializes in tonkotsu ramen, which features a rich and creamy pork-based broth achieved through multiple hours of cooking. They don’t serve any other type of ramen so the options on the vending machine are really quite limited to just selecting the ramen itself, along with other side items and toppings.
Once inside, you’re greeted to an interesting set-up of individual booth seating. The dividers between the booths can be removed if you are dining with friends.
Once seated, you really get to customize your ramen experience.
Each booth also has its own water dispenser. According to their website, they take great pride in their water, which goes through a special system of pipes and purifies. They use this water to cook their noodles as well.
Our bowls pretty much looked the same, so I only took a photo of mine.
The broth was very rich, almost a little too heavy for me. I did like the addition of their signature spicy red sauce, which heightened the flavor of their broth. The noodles were still firm, just as I requested, and soaked up the broth quite nicely. The egg I ordered in addition to my ramen had a perfectly still-soft yolk center.
I really enjoyed my ramen but was surprised by the small amount of noodles. I usually can’t even finish all my noodles, but I finished all of these and ended up wanting more.
For a little extra, you can add more noodles to your broth. We both had a lot of our broth left, so we each got another order of noodles. The noodles came out steaming and we quickly added them to the broth and enjoyed another round.
Overall, we enjoyed our ramen experience at Ichiran Ramen. I can’ say it’s the best in Japan since I haven’t tried them all, but it was really good. I also love how convenient it is with their hours and many locations.