Food Travel
Eating abroad: Getting great ramen in Tokyo
January 9, 2015
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Eating great food is one of the main reasons that I love traveling. Often, you need to travel to a food’s home country to get the really good stuff.

I’ve eaten a lot of ramen in Los Angeles, but I just had ramen in Tokyo that was so amazingly delicious, I had to write a blog post about it!

The restaurant – Ramen Yamaguchi:

ramen-tokyo-exterior

Welcome to Ramen Yamaguchi (らぁ麺やまぐち)!

Open 11:30-15:00, 17:30-21:00
Sundays 11:30-17:00
Closed Mondays

Here’s the location on Google Maps. The restaurant is Michelin-rated, along with a group of other ramen locations here in Tokyo.

It is common to see a few people (or more) waiting outside of the location, since seating is limited inside. As patrons leave, the server will ask how many are in your party. When space is available, you will be motioned inside.

There isn’t much conversation going on, aside from the greeting of customers and the near-constant slurping of ramen noodles.

You step into the unassuming restaurant, which has just enough space to house a little over a dozen stools, the vending machine you order from, and a small space in the middle for the server to take your ticket and bring your food. Ice water is self-serve and the table is stocked with chopsticks, spoons and napkins.

There isn’t much conversation going on, aside from the greeting of customers and the near-constant slurping of ramen noodles. The slurping, I’ll add, is perfectly fine here in Japan – everyone does it. It’s just the way that the dish is eaten in this country, so feel free to be noisy. When in Rome, as they say.

Ordering your food:

Like many ramen restaurants here in Tokyo, ordering is easily done through a vending machine near the front of the location. However, the various options are not in English, nor do they have photos. Here are a couple photos that show exactly what to order to have the same experience as me. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The ramen:

I ordered the charshu (pork) and chicken ramen, which has a chicken-based broth with (according to this site) soy sauce and other flavors mixed in. The broth was oily and delicious. I’d never tasted another ramen broth like it.

The pork was equally amazing, so much so that I had to order more for 200 additional yen (that’s the 2nd photo above). The least interesting part was a piece of bland white-meat chicken that accompanied the pork. It didn’t really do anything for me. I’d rather just have more pork!

The broth was oily and delicious. I’d never tasted another ramen broth like it.

ramen-tokyo-pork-rice-detailMy 1000 yen order also came with rice topped with more pork. The peppery pork sitting on top of the slightly salty rice was just heavenly. My mouth is watering just writing about this meal. Luckily it is right near my gym here in Tokyo, so I have an excuse to go often.

If you’re in the neighborhood of Waseda University in the northern reaches of Tokyo, check it out.

If you are a ramen fanatic already living in Tokyo…why haven’t you already been here?

About author

Zachary Strebeck

I'm a solo practice lawyer and full-time digital nomad. I run my law practice at www.strebecklaw.com, representing Internet, mobile software and gaming entrepreneurs. I also blog about digital nomad travel at A Lawyer Abroad.

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