Ichiran Ramen: How to Enjoy Tokyo’s Most Popular Ramen
How to skip the line at Ichiran Ramen Shibuya
Ichiran Ramen (一蘭) is one of the most famous Tonkotsu (pork-based broth) ramen restaurants in Japan. Ichiran has pursued the ultimate Tonkotsu ramen since it was founded over half a century ago in Fukuoka Prefecture, home to Tonkotsu ramen. Its ramen tastes milky and sweet, mixed with smooth-thin noodles and topped with sliced pork and their original spicy red sauce.
Secret tips to skip the line at Ichiran Shibuya
Ichiran Ramen is one of the most popular Japanese ramen brands, and especially, lots of visitors stand in long queues in front of the restaurant. Can you stand patiently in the queues for around an hour? Here are two tips to avoid queuing for a long time at Ichiran Shibuya.
1. Visiting Ichiran Shibuya early in the morning or late at night.
If you go there during busy hours such as lunch and dinner time, you may need to wait for more than an hour. However, you can have Ichiran ramen early in the day (for instance, 6:00–9:00 a.m.) or late in the night (for instance, 0:00–2:00 a.m.) since Ichiran Shibuya is open 24 hours everyday!
2. Change your destination from the Ichiran Shibuya to Ichiran Shibuya Spain-zaka: another branch which is very close to the branch but less-known.
Ichiran Shibuya Spain-zaka is located within 3 mins walking distance from Ichiran Shibuya, where you can enjoy the same ramen as that of Ichiran Shibuya. You always don’t need to wait for more than 5 mins since the hidden branch is less known by foreign tourists. Of course, Ichiran Shibuya Spain-zaka is also open 24 hours everyday.
Route Map from Ichiran Shibuya to Ichiran Shibuya Spain-zaka: https://goo.gl/2EHGZa
Personally, I choose the second option: visiting the branch of Shibuya Spain-zaka, and I haven’t queued for more than 5 mins ever. To fully enjoy Ichiran Ramen, it’s not still enough to get to know those tips above to skip the line. The order system of Ichiran is a little different from that of other ramen restaurants. Let’s check how to process your order, personalize your ramen and buy Ichiran ramen as a souvenir.
How to Order and Enjoy Ichiran Ramen
1. Buy a ramen ticket with a vending machine
At first, you need to buy a ramen ticket with a ticket-vending machine instead of placing an order with waitstaff. Ichiran offers two major menu: the special “Ichiran Select 5″ (1,490 yen) and the regular “Ramen” (890 yen). The “Ichiran Select 5” is based on the regular ramen including additional toppings such as a boiled egg, kikurage (wood ear mushrooms), sheets of dried laver seaweed and Char-siu pork.
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2. Personalize your ramen
A staff guides your to an individual seat which is partitioned by table dividers (if you are groups, the dividers can be opened). An order sheet is given when you have a seat, which you can personalize your ramen with: from richness of broth and noodle texture to the amount of garlic and spicy red sauce. Circle your choice in each point. My favorite customization is below↓
3. Press the little button on the table to hand in your sheet to staff after filling the sheet
4. Help yourself to a glass of water
Each individual booth has water tap and some glasses.
5. Enjoy Ichiran Ramen
All you need is to enjoy eating your Ichiran ramen after it is served. If you order the Ichiran Select 5, the ramen and toppings are served separately. Let’s add the toppings to the bawl of ramen (peel the shell of the boiled egg). Don’t forget to take a nice picture of your completed ramen!
6. Order extra items
If you want additional toppings and side dishes, order with the other side of the order sheet, which is for extra item orders. Circle the point on the sheet and press the little button as your first order.
7. Bring back Ichiran Ramen to your home
The ramen restaurants sell a package of instant Ichiran ramen as souvenirs.
Did you master the tips to enjoy Ichiran Ramen at Shibuya? Shibuya is one of the most recommended tourist town since there are numerous things to do and top-rated restaurants including eating ramen at Ichiran Shibuya/Ichiran Shibuya Spain-zaka. For more info about Shibuya, check these articles below!
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