Classic Tonkotsu ramen (Photo: Tom Roseveare)

ICHIRAN Ramen in Asakusa

Tonkotsu ramen direct from Fukuoka

Classic Tonkotsu ramen (Photo: Tom Roseveare)
Tom Roseveare   - 3分鐘閱讀時間

At just 1 minute walk from Asakusa station, ICHIRAN Asakusa represents the newest addition to ICHIRAN's fleet of tonkotsu ramen restaurants, originally from Fukuoka.

ICHIRAN prides itself on doing things a little differently – getting ramen right and better than most. You won't have to ponder over the menu for long, as here they focus on just tonkotsu ramen. Tonkotsu implies pork bone broth, typically a deeply flavoured and creamy soup offering.

Orders are made at the ticket machine by the entrance, with a ticket for a classic bowl of their tonkotsu ramen setting you back just ¥790. You can also order numerous toppings (half-boiled salted egg, green onions, extra sliced char siu pork), side dishes and even extra noodles (or kae-dama). Noodle refills are a Hakata (the home of tonkotsu) ramen culture trademark, and can also be ordered from your table. For peace of mind, the ticket machine has English, Korean and Chinese too, and a paper version of the menu is also available on request.

Once you have bought your meal tickets you can just proceed to any spare seat – shown on the Vacant Seat Information Panel, where a lit blue kanji symbol (空) signifies an empty seat. The Asakusa branch also has yatai-style tables (like traditional Hakata food stalls) for larger groups. Otherwise, counter booths are what ICHIRAN is well-known for – with (albeit optional) partitions providing each diner the perfect setting to focus on and appreciate their tonkotsu ramen.

Finding your seat, you'll notice a small paper form provided with numerous options to choose from – also available in English, Chinese and Korean. Fill in each category to customise the strength of flavour, the oil content, garlic, green onions, pork, spicyness and noodle texture. This order sheet is an integral and fun part of the ICHIRAN experience and allows you to completely customise your ramen to your preferred taste.

Spicyness is provided thanks to ICHIRAN's original red sauce. Whilst we would recommend '1' or regular, the spice scale goes all the way up to 10 if you dare, but customers are free to customise to the exact level they want. Once your ramen arrives, they'll lower the small Japanese curtain in front of you, allowing you to appreciate the flavour of ICHIRAN tonkotsu ramen with minimal distractions.

Whilst deeply flavoured, their tonkotsu soup is neither overpowering, nor has the strong aroma associated with traditional tonkotsu ramen. They use only carefully selected and purified water, making it a better soup experience, well balanced with their home-made thin noodles made of their own blend of flour. Don't miss it!

Tom Roseveare

Tom Roseveare @tom.roseveare

Creative Director at Japan Travel, based in Tokyo. Feel free to reach out about living, working or travelling in Japan – just book a time.