It is winter! Outside in the cold, I feel like eating something warm. And there is the perfect dish: Ramen – a Japanese noodle soup with origins in China. Winter is Ramen season!
To satisfy my appetite for the delicious broth with its long noodles, I visited “Shinatatsu” near the Shinagawa Station underneath the railway viaduct of the Keihin Kyuko Line. There is a collection of famous noodle soup restaurants that thrill Ramen fans from all over Tokyo.
The entrance is hard to find at first. Only when you get closer, you’ll discover the staircase that leads to a labyrinth of restaurants.
“Shinatatsu” has 12 restaurants. The choice is not easy. I chose “Shinsen”, a restaurant with Tonkotsu Ramen (ramen in a thick pork broth). The famous restaurant has its roots in Kanazawa.
Before you go inside, you have to buy a ticket at the vending machine in front of the entrance. In most small restaurants (especially those with ticket machines at the entrance) you can’t use your credit card. That’s why I strongly recommend bringing cash with you.
The restaurant is full of explanations about the ingredients and the motto of the restaurant. Ramen is Japanese soul food. Everyone has very specific ideas about how their soup should taste. You can even choose if you like your noodles soft or al dente. In Japan, you have the opportunity to try all sorts of combinations and discover your preferences.
By the way, for women and men with long hair, there are hair ties, so that your hair won’t get in your way while enjoying your soup. What a nice service!
I ordered “Goka Noko Tonkotsu Ramen” (豪華濃厚豚骨らーめん) for ¥ 1,080 because the image of the soup on the menu board looked super delicious.
And the taste is wonderful too! Although the soup is very thick, it doesn’t feel heavy in your stomach. The meat topping was excellent, too!
Eating Ramen is a challenge for those who are not used to chopsticks. Please try it! If you eat with chopsticks, the hot noodles cool off easily and get just the right temperature. Many people also slurp their noodles so that they will cool down even further. So do not be surprised about the sounds!
The noodle soup from “Shinsen” was perfect. But the other restaurants looked delicious. In my opinion, since there are so many types of ramen, you should actually visit “Shinatatsu” more than once! Have fun and good luck slurping your noodles!!
3-26-20 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
A 1-minute walk from the Takanawa Exit of the Shinagawa station