Tokyo Station is used by many tourists on a daily basis. While walking along the station's Ichiban-gai, you will be greeted by a delicious smell wafting through the air! This is Tokyo Ramen Street. In this article, we will take you through the gourmet street that plays host to world-famous ramen shops. Let us introduce you to the magic of Tokyo Ramen Street, a place that garners much attention even from overseas visitors.
Tokyo's Leading Ramen Shop Collective! Tokyo Ramen Street
The gourmet food hub, Tokyo Ramen Street, is a hotspot for tasting the delicious and filling Japanese ramen. Located within the premises of Tokyo Station, it is a gourmet area that will have you falling in love with Japanese ramen before you know it! When it comes to holidays, this narrow strip is heaving with people day by day.
In fact, there are many different varieties of ramen. Even if you spent a week frequenting the various shops, you would still be spoilt for choice. There are 8 popular stores that command much attention within the city.
Soranoiro NIPPON: Healthy Ramen that Attracts Media Attention
We introduce to you to Soranoiro NIPPON - a delightful ramen shop that will no doubt tickle your fancy.
In 2011 Soranoiro opened up its first shop in Kojimachi, Tokyo. Packed full of vegetables, this healthy gourmet ramen dish became the talk of the town. It attracted such attention that it was included in the 2015 edition of the Michelin Guide. Nowadays, this shop continues to pull in customers from overseas, as well as the locals. What is the secret behind this shop's success? Let's go through the reasons why you should drop by.
Reason No. 1: The Healthy and Delicious Vegetable Soba
Vegetable soba is on Soranoiro NIPPON's recommended menu. It is a healthy ramen dish that uses a vegetable-based soup, noodles and topping. The vivid colors of the vegetables are a treat for the eye and it tastes absolutely delicious. This dish contains no animal ingredients, getting a big thumbs up from both vegetarians and vegans alike. For an extra 150 yen, you can go gluten free. You can also change the standard pepper noodles for whole-wheat noodles.
Vegetable soba is packed with umami (a savoury taste that is unique to Japanese cuisine) and full of vegetables. It is also a first-rate dish packed with a fresh ideas! The bell pepper is kneaded into the noodles, and carrot glacé is used in the soup. Despite its healthy status, this attractive vegetable soba dish is addictive! It's highly recommended for those who are calorie-conscious, or those looking to increase their vegetable intake.
An average of six different vegetables are used for the topping. These include: tomato, broccoli, lotus root, cabbage, rolled barley and carrot. You can enjoy a change in taste by adding garlic chips, and red yuzukosho (a spicy paste seasoning made from chilli and yuzu) to your meal. This dish provides a kaleidoscope of taste sensations in just one one mouthful. Every morsel is magical!
Reason No. 2: Menus are Provided in Various Languages
Menus are provided in English, Chinese and Korean, so people who are not proficient with Japanese language can kick back and enjoy a stress free dining experience. Incidentally, there is also a special vegan menu, where you can order an assortment of dishes, including vegan tantanmen (a Chinese noodle dish originating from the Szechuan area), and vegan ice cream (made from tofu).
The wide range of noodles, ingredients and seasoning methods are thoroughly explained in English on the Noodle menu. This works well for people with food allergies, or those with special food requirements.
Reason No. 3: Sample the Authentic Taste of Japan
The interior of the shop is both bright and spotless, with Japanese-inspired motifs dotted here and there. The atmosphere is both comfortable and inviting - perfect for those dining alone.
If you look closely, you can pick out the faint vision of Mt. Fuji.
You can see famous ukiyo-e images (Japanese prints, popular from the start of the 17th century to the 19th century) on the chairs, created by one of the most famous Japanese painters, Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849). If you have a chance to come by, don't forget to check out these playful designs.
There are a multitude of reasons why you should visit Soranoiro NIPPON. For example, the shop also offers you the chance to recharge your smartphones and electronic devices. Tokyo Station Ichiban-gai also offers free Wi-Fi which you can use to your heart's content.
Reason No. 4: Every Bowl of Ramen is Made With Care
We had the chance to go on a special guided tour of the kitchen. Here at Soranoiro NIPPON, the ramen is made by the staff, in a speedy and graceful manner.
The noodles are drained, and presto! They are then arranged onto the plate, ready in less than one minute. Your hot bowl of tasty ramen will be presented before your very eyes in just seconds.
Get Your Food Ticket BEFORE You Enter the Shop
At Soranoiro NIPPON you need to purchase a food ticket before you order your bowl of noodles. Please take a look at the menu first, and then buy your ticket.
This is a food ticket machine. Here, you can order various things, such as healthy side dishes, vegetable smoothies, 100% carrot juice, as well as ramen.
The ticket dispensing machine is easy to use. All you have to do is insert money, and order by pushing the button of your selected dish! You can pay using both coins and notes, and you can also use your IC card.
There are countless top ramen shops that congregate in Tokyo Station Ichiban-gai, aside from Soranoiro NIPPON. If you want to recover your strength after a hard day's travel, or if you enjoy comparing the tastes of various ramen shops, please drop by the next time you're in Tokyo!