Translated by Sandy Lau
Three Of Ikebukuro’s Popular Miso Ramen Shops
Here are three of Ikebukuro’s miso ramen shops, each with their own unique characteristics. Foreign language menus are available at all three shops, so if you haven’t tried miso ramen before, why not use this article as a reference to plan your trip?
Written by Inubushi Yoshiyuki
Miso (*1) is a traditional Japanese seasoning.
Miso is a health food with so many benefits that there is a saying that goes “miso keeps the doctor away.” According to another account, miso is also said to be a product that holds 1300 years of history. Japanese miso goes very well together with ramen, a dish that is extremely popular among visitors in Japan.
We will be introducing well-known and popular miso ramen shops in Ikebukuro – the holy land of ramen. We have picked out three shops for you to choose from based on your tastes: from traditional to slightly unusual miso ramen.
*1 Miso: fermented soybean seasoning that has been produced ever since ancient times in Japan.
Misoya Seibee: Super Rich Miso!
The first shop is Misoya Seibee. It is located three minutes from the west exit of Ikebukuro Station and has flashy signboards to act as a guide to the shop.
The menu is available in English and Chinese. There are also photos printed on the menu.
Pictured on Seibee’s menu board is the rich miso ramen (750 yen). Standard toppings include a mountain of neatly served bean sprouts and cabbage. The taste of fresh vegetables and the flavor of miso go perfectly well together! The broth is made with super rich miso that brings out the savory taste of the tonkotsu as well as moderately suppresses the pork-like smell. You can adjust how strong the flavor is when you order. Those not used to strong flavors are recommended to order a diluted version of the dish.
The shop staff recommends customers to first mix the toppings with the broth so that the flavor of the vegetables is added to the miso broth. The crisp texture of the vegetables goes well with the broth to make it even more delicious. Please try testing this out the next time you eat miso ramen.
Seibee also serves rice for free. The miso broth not only goes well with noodles, but rice as well.
Moukotanmen Nakamoto: Want a Thrill? Come Here!
The next miso ramen shop is Moukotanmen Nakamoto. When one thinks of Moukotanmen Nakamoto, their red signboards that stand out even in the midst of a busy town and their famous and extremely spicy ramen comes to mind. This shop is recommended to those who are tired of ordinary ramen and to spicy-food lovers.
The miso flavored tanmen, a mild and slightly salty broth, is the base for ten levels of spiciness available on the menu from one to ten. Pictured is the Moukotanmen (800 yen) advertised on the menu board at level five spiciness. It is topped with a special spicy mabo-dofu (a tofu based dish) that, when combined with the red chili pepper flavored broth, you can enjoy at an even more intense spiciness.
The addictive spiciness of mabo-dofu has garnered passionate fans even in Japan. Another highlight of the dish is the taste of the pork and vegetables which shine in flavor just as much as the spiciness of the broth.
If you love spicy foods, try challenging your spice level limits!
Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo: An Addictive Spicy Numbness?!
Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo is a shop where you can not only experience spiciness, but also a pleasant numbing of your tongue. It is located nearby Moukotanmen Nakamoto and is characterized by the large iron club at the storefront.
At Kikanbo, you are given a choice of five levels of KARA, indicating the level of spiciness from the red chili peppers, and SHIBI, indicating the numbing power of the Sichuan peppers, for a total of 25 combinations that can be customized to your own taste buds. Staff recommends first-time customers to try 'sukuname' which is a less spicy and less numbing version of the broth.
This is the Karashibi Miso Ramen (800 yen). The numbing sensation from the Sichuan peppers is very unique, making your tongue feel like it’s tingling and losing sensation. There are regular customers who have become addicted to this sensation.
Sichuan peppers aren’t the only ingredients in the broth. The ramen is also characterized by noodles of differing thickness called 3-Type Noodles and thick, delicious pieces of char siu that are cooked to tenderness.
The shop also serves ramen with plenty of coriander on top, which is great for coriander lovers.
There are several kinds of miso ramen that we discussed despite it being a type of ramen itself. If any of these ramen shops have sparked your interest, please do try and visit them.
Misoya Seibee Ikebukuro West Exit Shop
Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-34-4
Hours: 11:00 – 7:00 next morning (last order at 6:30)
Credit Cards: -
Languages: Chinese-speaking staff are available (non-permanent)
Other Menu Languages: Available in English and Chinese
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station (JR Yamanote Line, JR Saikyo Line, JR Narita Express, JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line, Tobu Tojo Line, Seibu Ikebukuro Line)
Access: A 3-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station North Gate
Price: - 999 yen
Website: Misoya Seibee Ikebukuro West Gate Shop (Japanese)
Moukotanmen Nakamoto Higashi-Ikebukuro
Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-12-15 Kindai Group Building Two 1F
Hours: 10:00 – 2:00 next morning
Credit Cards: Not Available
Other Menu Languages: -
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station (JR, Tokyo Metro, Tobu Tojo Line, Nishi-Ikebukuro Line)
Access: 5-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station East Gate
Price: - 1000 yen
Website: Moukotanmen Nakamoto Higashi-Ikebukuro (Japanese)
Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo Ikebukuro
Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-13-14
Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
Credit Cards: -
Other Languages: English, Chinese (No permanent staff)
Other Menu Languages: Available (English, Chinese)
Nearest Station: Ikebukuro Station (JR Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Fukutoshin Line, Tobu Tojo Line, Nishi-Ikebukuro Line)
Access: A 6-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station East Exit
Price: - 1250 yen
Website: Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo Ikebukuro