Eating at Mutsumiya is like taking a trip to Hokkaido, an island in northern Japan. They serve the classic Hokkaido miso-based ramen, created with water brought over from Hokkaido. The shop is located on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection of ramen restaurants in a basement hallway of Tokyo station. It’s a great place to taste a traditional Hokkaido style ramen without leaving Tokyo.
Tokyo Ichiban-gai B1, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku.
The Best Noodle Shops in Tokyo
Ivan Orkin, the American who shocked Japan with his outrageously good Tokyo noodle shop, Ivan Ramen, is opening a New York City outpost. He spent years navigating the hundreds of ramen restaurants in Tokyo. He says he tells newbies looking for a deep dive into ramen to do a crawl through the basement of Tokyo Station in the Marunouchi district. Here you’ll find Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection of solid ramen shops such as Rokurinsha and Shichisai, run by some of the better operators in Japan.
Rokurinsha’s original shop was in the suburbs of Tokyo, a considerable hike from the nearest train station, and patrons still waited for over three hours for a bowl of soup. Neighbors complained, and when the store was given a chance to open up on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection ramen shops in Japan in the basement of Tokyo Station, Rokurinsha closed their suburban location and moved in. Customers still brave massive lines to taste their tsukemen style ramen, where the noodles are served separately from the soup. The thick, saucelike broth has deep pork and roasted fish flavors, and the noodles are thick and chewy—perfect for soaking up the soup.
Tokyo Ichiban-gai B1, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Photo by Hirotomo/Flickr.
Junk-Garage’s outpost on the Tokyo Ramen Street in the basement of Tokyo Station is a great place to taste the shop’s gut-busting, messy creations. The owners of Junk-Garage invented “junk”style ramen—soup-less noodles piled high with well, junk: stewed pork, cheese, spicy shrimp mayonnaise, and seabura (rendered pork fat).
Photo by Daroldhiga/Flickr. Tokyo Ichiban-gai B1, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
The soup at Ikaruga is so thick and creamy that you might believe it contains milk or butter. In reality, the wonderful texture of the tonkotsu broth is the result of pork bones simmered for hours upon hours. Among the restaurants on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a collection of ramen shops in the basement of Tokyo Station, Ikaruga is the most upscale. The staff are dressed in sharp uniforms and speak in (relatively) gentle tones.
Photo by Shibainu/Flickr. Tokyo Ichiban-gai B1, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
This shop on the Tokyo Ramen Street, a set of ramen shops in the basement of Tokyo Station, is one of the best in the stretch, and the short lines outside make it a great stop before you catch a train. Shichisai serves a clean delicious shoyu, or clear, soy-based soup, made with organic ingredients and topped with some of the best chashu, or pork, in Tokyo.
Photo by Darin Dines/Flickr. Tokyo Ichiban-gai B1, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
This restaurant is part of the Setagaya group, which has locations worldwide. They serve a light, briny shio, or salt broth, made from dried sardines and scallops. Although the original spot is lunchtime only, the location at the Tokyo Ramen Street, a set of Ramen shops in the basement of Tokyo station, is open all day.
Photo by Fuyuhiko/Flickr. Tokyo Ichiban-gai B1, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku.