Ichiran Ramen review — What is Ichiran Ramen & how to order Ichiran Ramen in Tokyo?

To return to the topic of visiting Japan, Focus Asia Travel will accompany you on an exploration of the traditional culinary world of the Land of the Rising Sun. Can you guess what dish is currently on the plate? Sushi, curry rice, tempura, or sashimi are all options. They are incorrect! The traditional Ramen noodles with the Ichiran brand are the most unique dish to try when visiting Japan. So, what exactly is Ichiran Ramen, and how do you order it? Check out our Ichiran Ramen review to learn more about one of the world’s most unique ways to eat noodles! Have you heard of this well-known brand? Let us investigate!

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Inside Ichiran Ramen shop in Tokyo | ichiran ramen review

 

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Ichiran Shibuya, Tokyo

 

A set of Ramen noodles at Ichiran
A set of Ramen noodles at Ichiran
| ichiran ramen review

What is Ichiran Ramen and Why try Ichiran Ramen when you go to Japan?

Aside from Sushi and Sashimi, which are synonymous with Japanese cuisine, Soba, Ramen, Udon, and Somen are the names of well-known noodles from the Land of the Rising Sun. You must not miss out on one of the most popular dishes among both locals and tourists from all over the world: National Ramen noodles. Eating Ramen noodles without visiting Ichiran Ramen chain restaurants, on the other hand, is a waste of a trip abroad!

The famous Ichiran Ramen of Japan
The famous Ichiran Ramen of Japan | ichiran ramen review

Ichiran Ramen (一蘭) is the name referred to as the “landing zone” that makes perfect sense for lonely lives, who hate the whole world and do not like to communicate with people (!?!) Anyone who wants to find a quiet place, avoid being disturbed and bothered in order to enjoy their favorite food, Ichiran is the best choice. If you have ever been to a Japanese restaurant, surely you will be impressed by the professionalism and friendliness of the service staff. You will receive warmly greeting right at the entrance with the familiar greeting from the staff: “いらっしゃい ませ” (Irasshai mase), then a little by little dedicated and caring guide for customers. For anyone who are picky or hard to please, they will cannot disregard when coming to Ichiran Ramen, everything seems to be turned upside down! Japan has a lot of weird things, so this eatery is definitely not the same to any other eating places.

| what is ichiran ramen

Ichiran Ramen review: How to get to an Ichiran Ramen restaurant?

Ichiran is from Fukuoka, which is located in Kyushu, south of Tokyo. It was founded in 1966 with broth made from 100% natural Hakata pork bone and now has nearly 100 chain restaurants throughout Japan and around the world. And, of course, it’s not difficult to find an Ichiran restaurant in Tokyo.

Outside of an Ichiran Ramen Restaurant
Outside of an Ichiran Ramen Restaurant | what is ichiran ramen

The easiest way is go to a train station, you can find an Ichiran branch full of people in and out. These restaurants are open 24/24 so you can come anytime. We used to go to an Ichiran restaurant which is located right at the entrance of Ueno station.

However, one big disadvantage is that the restaurants are usually very crowded, people line up a long queue, sometimes you have to wait for more than 30 minutes to make your order. The scene is not so different from the holy milktea shops in many Asian country. Also, don’t expect to jump the queue, because you are in Japan and Japanese people love politeness. The way that customers willing to take time queuing for just eating ramen proves the strong attraction of this traditional noodles. For that reason, you definitely have to try it.

Long queue in Ichiran Osaka ramen
Long queue in Ichiran Osaka ramen

 

Long queue in Ichiran Hiroshima ramen
Long queue in Ichiran Hiroshima ramen | what is ichiran ramen

Transport: The best way is to prepare yourself a holy JR Pass All Japan, one kind of ticket that is economical and convenient for tourists coming to Japan. With this ticket in hand, not only can you eat Ramen, but also travel across Japan by Shinkansen, tram or bus. Buy tickets here: JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days).

If you still don’t how to use JR Pass All Japan, refer to this link: JR Pass — Top 11 things about Japan Rail Pass you need to know.

Furthermore, if you have a passion for the Metro lines, want to eat noodles, and experience Tokyo’s superior Metro system, Focus Asia Travel offers all-day Metro tickets for foreign tourists. It traverses a large area via 13 Metro lines and 250 stations, providing easy access to popular destinations such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ueno (this station sells Ichiran Ramen). Purchasing a Tokyo Subway Ticket (24, 48, or 72 Hours).

JR Pass All Japan
Japan Rail Pass | what is ichiran ramen

Ichiran Ramen review: What is so special about Ichiran Ramen?

You’ve arrived to read the most exciting part! Once again, Ichiran’s service style is unique in Japan, particularly for those who are lonely. The restaurant’s motto is “the least amount of interaction between people, the better!” You can never see or speak to a member of the staff! You are unable to summon a staff member to come out and assist you from the moment you enter the restaurant until you leave it. Those who visit for the first time may feel disoriented as a result of feeling “abandoned.”

Ichiran ramen
The mysterious waiter is serving Ichiran ramen to you | how to order ichiran ramen

All of the chiefs and waiters are hidden behind the sedge curtain in front of your seat, which is large enough to cover them and leaves only their hands free to bring you the noodle bowl. Don’t worry, the ordering and payment processes have all been clearly and thoroughly planned, ensuring that tourists can understand how to order noodles and that most waiters do not need to speak up.

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One of the strange spaces in Ichiran Ramen | how to order ichiran ramen

The layout and arrangement of the restaurant’s seating space is the next unique feature. Following its operating motto, the restaurant sets up a long table and divides it into small compartments with curtains, each of which is only large enough for one person! Even two very thin people travelling together will not be able to fit into a single compartment. This ensures that you can enjoy your delicious hot noodle bowl without interruption. Isn’t it simple but true? You go to a ramen restaurant to eat ramen; you don’t need to worry about anything else. And we believe that this seating arrangement is ideal for those who have recently broken up with someone, want a quiet place, and are looking for food to comfort them.

Sitting compartment Ichiran ramen
Sitting compartment Ichiran ramen | how to order ichiran ramen

 

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Separated sitting compartment for each customer to enjoy their noodle bowl

By the way, because of this one-of-a-kind feature, you should definitely prepare a 4G sim card so that you can check in at the lonely noodle bowl and post it on social media. Not to mention that you can surf the web while you wait for your food.

A set of Ramen noodles at Ichiran
A set of Ramen noodles at Ichiran | ichiran ramen tokyo

By clicking on this link, you can register to purchase a 3G sim card. When you get off the plane, you get the sim card and insert it into your phone to use it. Furthermore, if you are traveling in a group, renting a portable wifi transmitter is a good idea.

If you want to do a virtual living check-in on Facebook, you should rent a colorful Kimono, dress up, and go to an Ichiran Ramen restaurant. This Land of the Rising Sun national costume will create an extremely ideal atmosphere for you to fully enjoy the delicious fragrant bowl of traditional noodles. As a result, everyone will know you’re going to Japan.

A small tip is that finding the right Kimono for your size can be difficult, and the prices are also very varied; if you want more information on this, you can refer to how to choose your best Kimono here.

Tourist wear Kimono eating ramen
Tourist wear Kimono eating ramen | ichiran ramen tokyo

Ichiran Ramen review: How to order Ichiran Ramen?

As previously stated, the ordering and payment processes at Ichiran restaurants have been specified in order to minimize communication. If the restaurant isn’t too crowded, you’re in luck because you can order as soon as you walk in; however, if you’re unlucky, you’ll have to wait more than 30 minutes. But the wait is worthwhile; be patient.

System guide to order noodles at Ichiran ramen
System guide to order noodles at Ichiran ramen | ichiran ramen tokyo

You can order food from an automatic machine, similar to a drink vending machine. The screen will display images and names of each type of noodle and topping, such as meat, seaweed, plain rice, and so on. If you are of legal drinking age, you should order a draft beer. Draft beer complements ramen noodles and is always the best combination! After placing your order, you can pay at the vending machine and receive a printed meal receipt. You can pay in cash or with e-cards (such as Suica or Pasmo). Remember, if you are confused, simply ask a nearby person how to use it; do not shout for assistance; there is no staff to assist you here.

Japanese people are well-known for being attentive and meticulous in all aspects of their lives, and the ordering process is no exception. You will enter the restaurant and look for a “sitting compartment” after paying and receiving an invoice. A sheet of paper similar to a supermarket survey will be placed in each compartment. The purpose of this sheet is for the chef to get a better understanding of your preferences so that he or she can create the perfect noodle bowl for you. Do you consume onion? Is it better to eat something mildly spicy or something hotly spicy? Soft or medium noodles are preferred… This sheet of paper will assist you with all of these minor details. Alternatively, you can use this sheet to order drinks, desserts, or other dishes. Or, you can order drinks or desserts or add other dishes by using this sheet. Because this sheet of paper is written in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean, so don’t worry!

Preference taste survey at Ichiran Ramen
Preference taste survey at Ichiran Ramen | ichiran ramen review

After completing all of the order items, you simply need to ring the bell, hand out your invoice and the taste survey paper through a small gap next to the curtain right where you sit, a staff waiting behind the curtain will receive your order, and after a few minutes, your order will be served through this gap in accordance with the requirements of customers. After that, the staff will cruelly lower the curtain, leaving you alone with your noodle bowl! As a result, if you come to Ichiran expecting a fun atmosphere to relax, you’ve come to the wrong place! Come here solely for the purpose of eating!

Ichiran Ramen, bell
Bell to call staff at Ichiran Ramen | how to order ichiran ramen

 

Extra item order sheet, Ichiran Ramen
Extra item order sheet, Ichiran Ramen | how to order ichiran ramen

Ichiran Ramen review: The unique flavor in Japan

Ichiran only sells a single type of Ramen named Tonkotsu ramen – which is Ramen noodle with broth made from pork bones. Each bowl of noodle are fragrant without being greasy. Just like the characteristics of Japanese people, each bowl of noodles served to customers will be decorated thoroughly, making it simple but eye-catching. It is a mix of yellow color of noodles, green color of spring onions, white color of eggs, red color of typical sauces, all mix together with the fragrant smell of broth. Only mention this but already mouth-watering!

Ichiran ramen
Traditional ramen with pork slides, spring onion, garlic and red sauces | ichiran ramen review

We’ve learned that the temperature of the broth, as well as the time to skim the foam off, must adhere to an extremely strict and precise procedure. Only if one of these requirements is not met must chefs discard the broth and prepare new portions.

And, just like the fame of these unique traditional noodles, no matter where you eat at any Ichiran chain restaurant throughout Japan, one thing is certain: the taste is identical. Because only three Ichiran key employers have the receipt for this broth. The receipt is completely confidential, so don’t worry about eating “fake ramen.”

After eating, if you do like it a lot, you can buy some instant Ramen packs to save for the day back to your home or give it as a gift to your friends. But of course, they cannot have the experience of eating ramen alone like us ^^

Instant ramen at Ichiran Ramen
Instant ramen at Ichiran Ramen | ichiran ramen review

One last thing, you can try Ichiran Ramen at some restaurants in Tokyo such as these two locations:

Ichiran Ramen Shinjuku

Address: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−34−11 B1F・6F ピースビル
Opening hours: 24/24
Phone: +81 3-3225-5518
Website: https://ichiran.com/shop/tokyo/shinjuku/

Outside Shinjuku Ichiran Ramen
Outside Shinjuku Ichiran Ramen

Ichiran Ramen Shibuya

Address: Japan, 〒150-0041 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jinnan, 1 Chome−22−7 岩本ビル B1F
Opening hours: 24/24
Phone: +81 3-3463-3667
Website: https://ichiran.com/shop/tokyo/shibuya/

Outside Shibuya Ichiran Ramen
Outside Shibuya Ichiran Ramen | ichiran ramen review

Note the Ichiran Ramen chain restaurants right into your Japan travel must-do List ^^.

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