Ramen in Ikebukuro

It’s April and it’s still cold…  Yoko helps warm us up with her blog about ramen!

Ramen is one of  iconic foods in Japan, which has different types of flavor and taste depending on the area.  Sapporo ramen is a miso based ramen in Hokkaido (北海道), while Hakata ramen is a pork-based, tonkotsu ramen originating in Kyushu (九州).

In the past 5 years, tsukemen has become popular in Tokyo.  Tsukemen is ramen served with soup on the side. How do you eat it? – Dip some noodles in the broth and eat!  After you finish the noodles, add soba-yu (water you used to boil soba) into the soup and drink.

Although Tokyo-style ramen is actually a soy sauce based soup, people from all prefectures in Japan gather in Tokyo so many different flavors are available to its residents. If you want to try various regional specialty ramen in Tokyo, ikebukuro is the right place to go.

2. Ramen Map
Some ramen restaurants from west exit in Ikebukuro station.

ikebukuro (池袋) is a commercial and gourmet district which is sometimes referred to as the ‘ramen battleground’ in Tokyo. ikebukuro station is one of the main commuter hubs and second busiest station in Japan. Both the west and east exits of the station are home to famous ramen shops. People are always standing in long lines in front of these famous ramen restaurants which exceed even the most famous ramen restaurants in the US such as  ippudo in New York.

Some ramen noodle restaurants have automated ticket dispenser that entertain tourists.

This dispenser stands in front of the entrance of restaurants and customers can customize ramen by buying tickets for toppings as well as for soup bases such as miso-based, pork-based soup (tonkotu), salt-based, or  soy sauce based. You also can see this dispenser is in curry or soba/udon restaurants.

Do you feel like visiting ikebukuro now? I know it’s hard to make a trip just for ramen, so what can you do?  – Our ramen bowls bring you there!

ramen bowl

From the left: J3021A, J3021B, J3021C, and J3021D.
Size: 6.75″ x 3.5″

Have ramen at home.  Feel Japan.

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image source:

1. Tsukemen: http://tsukemen-sharin.com/
2. Ramen Map: http://antidote.sakura.ne.jp/ike_ra-men_nishi.html
3. Ramen Dispenser: http://ikemen.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2011-05-31

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