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  • The Ultimate Klook Guide on How to Order Ichiran Ramen

    Last updated 17 Nov 2023
    The Ultimate Klook Guide on How to Order Ichiran Ramen banner

    Photo Credits: (M) weerasu thanadechakul on Flickr & (R) a Bean fan on Flickr

    Enjoy Japan’s most popular ramen like a pro

    Japan’s Ichiran Ramen is a unique — and delicious — eating experience. It can also be a bit daunting if you’re not used to it, but never fear, Klook is here! Read on for expert tips on how to go about slurping up bowls of noodle-y deliciousness.
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    So, what is Ichiran Ramen?

    A bowl of ramen
    Photo Credit: weerasu thanadechakul on Flickr
    Forget about all the instant ramen you had in the past — this ramen is next level. Beginning as a food stall in Fukuoka in 1960, Ichiran Ramen opened its first shop in 1993 and is now one of Japan’s most popular restaurant chains. Its most famous element? Their signature pork-based broth, called tonkotsu, is just packed with layers and layers of flavors.
    Having perfected their ramen recipes over the years, it’s no surprise that Ichiran Ramen is now at heavenly levels of deliciousness. Bowls of rich pork broth are topped with handmade noodles created from a unique flour blend, and the original “spicy red sauce” is aged for days to develop its distinct flavor profile. The broth is constantly monitored, simmered, and skimmed to create the richest possible taste.
    These ramen experts apply sky-high standards to every stage of the process, including making sure the food goes from the kitchen to your table in just 15 seconds. This tight time limit ensures the sensitive, fresh noodles reach you in the exact texture you ordered. That’s why all seats in the restaurant are within arm’s length of the kitchen.
    If we’ve whet your appetite for delicious Japanese cuisine, check out Klook’s recommendations for Kyoto's best eats to plan your culinary adventure.
    For other activities before or after your delicious Ichiran Ramen meal, you can try out a traditional tea ceremony at Komaba Warakuan.

    How to order Ichiran Ramen

    Red Ichiran Ramen banner hanging
    Photo Credit: a Bean Fan on Flickr
    Step 1: Buy a ticket for your ramen from the vending machine. You pick the ramen base, plus any additional items like pork, egg, mushrooms, and seaweed, then drinks, like tea or beer.
    Step 2: You’ll be guided to an individual booth with dividers that separate you from your neighbors, as the Ichiran Ramen experience is all about helping you focus on your food with as little disturbance as possible. Mindful eating: Japanese style! Not to mention great for introverts!
    Klook Tip: Traveling with a group and want to have a chat as you feast on delicious Ichiran Ramen? Fret not — the dividers can be lowered.
    Step 3: Next, you’ll be given a piece of paper to personalize your order to your heart’s content. Want enough garlic to ward off a vampire? Like your spice hot hot, or not spicy at all? You’ve got it! You'll press a button on your table when you're ready for staff to take your order — all to ensure you can enjoy your tasty noodles in peace.
    Step 4: Help yourself to water from your booth’s own tap.
    Step 5: Wait for your ramen to be delivered to your booth before you dive into your feast!
    Step 6: Let us introduce you to a special word: kae-dama. Use this magic spell in Ichiran Ramen, and you'll be brought an extra bowl of noodles to dip in your leftover broth.
    Klook Tip: Order kae-dama when you’re halfway through your original bowl so that your new noodles arrive just as you finish the first serving. Boom! Next level Ichiran Ramen experience unlocked.
    Need an activity before your Ichiran Ramen meal? Go local bar hopping in Tokyo with Klook!

    Where are Ichiran Ramen outlets located?

    So how can you find this culinary delight? With 80 outlets in total, there are oodles of opportunities to try it out across Japan.
    Ichiran Ramen outlets come in different sizes and styles, from smaller spaces with just a few counter seats to larger restaurants with private dining rooms (some branches even offer their own special variations on the classic bowl.) Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, Ichiran Ramen has you covered — many branches are open 24 hours a day, and most others are open until late night or morning, so you can get your ramen fix whenever the craving strikes.
    By the way, some branches also let you book tables online while others are queueing-only. Ichiran Ramen’s popularity means there can be a very long wait to get in, especially if you're visiting at peak lunch and dinner times. A good tip is to check out the Ichiran Ramen website, which tells you which times and days are busiest at each outlet to save yourself some hassle.
    Here’s where you can find Ichiran Ramen:
    • Kyushu – 19 outlets
    • Tokyo – 19 outlets
    • Kanto – 13 outlets
    • Kinki – 18 outlets
    • Chubu – 10 outlets
    • Chugoku – 2 outlets
    • Hokkaido – 1 outlet
    Ichiran Ramen outlet entrance
    For the full list of Ichiran Ramen outlets, visit the chain’s website. After your mouth-watering bowl, how about some sake to round things off? One of Tokyo’s most popular evening experiences is a 6-hour sake tasting that you usually have to book a month in advance. Luckily, Klook has got your back. Book a spot and try as many different sakes as you like from a selection of over 100. Let the tasting commence!

    Where else can you get Ichiran Ramen?

    Let us introduce you to one of the wonders of Japan — the convenience store, or konbini. It might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of tasty food, but you’d be seriously missing out if you overlooked these shops.
    Konbinis, like 7-Eleven, are a great option for travelers on a budget who still want a delicious meal or just those who want to mix things up and try out an authentic Japanese experience. The range of food on offer is impressive and includes the famous Ichiran Ramen in instant form. Whether you don’t have the time or patience to queue up at the restaurant, or — more likely — you just can’t get enough of that noodle broth goodness, you can grab the ramen in an instant cup.
    Other 7-Eleven treats we recommend checking out include Mochifuwa Pancakes, little pancake parcels filled with syrup and butter that ooze out when you bite, or onigiri (rice parcels) wrapped in seaweed. Look out for different fillings like tuna or egg. You can also get warm food like sticks of karaage — Japanese fried chicken — which is the perfect snack for a chilly day.
    For more budget food inspiration, check out Klook’s list of the 10 best snacks to buy at a 7-Eleven in Japan.
    Two girls lining up at the cashier inside a 7-Eleven convenient store in Japan

    Expand your palate

    We could slurp ramen noodles all day, every day, but Japan's tantalizing cuisine offers so much more to make your mouth water. Check out Klook’s dedicated Japan page to plan your travels around this foodie heaven.
    You can also try out other Japanese specialties by making your own sushi!
    Updated by: Nina Marable

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