After years of eating ramen back home (both the 10 cent kind and the awesome Izakaya kind), we were both excited to try Ramen in Japan. There are several types of Ramen here - different types of broth, thickness of noodles, topping options, and some with the noodles in the soup, others where you dip the noodles in the broth before eating (Tsukemen Ramen).
For our first Ramen, we weren't so concerned with which type - we just wanted an authentic Japanese Ramen experience, and boy did we get one! Although every Ramen shop does not operate this way, there is a trend of ticket shops. You buy a Ramen ticket from a vending machine outside the shop, paying for the size you want, extra noodles, extra garlic, seaweed sheets, etc. And of course there is a button for beer. Not a size or brand of beer…just beer.So you pay the machine, get your tickets, and then go inside the shop and find your seat. At this particular Ramen shop we tried, Ichiran, there were no tables inside. Each seat was at what looked like a study carrel in a library, with an opening in the wall in front. We sat down and gave our tickets to a man behind the opening (whose face we never saw!) and then beer appeared, then a big steaming bowl of Ramen! Then the curtain quickly shut and we were left to slurp our noodles in peace.
|My little Ramen haven - we were able to open our divider a little so we could have lunch together!
|All the Ramen carrels at Ichiran
|The final delicious product
All in all, quite the experience! Plus, Cory hit is head on the ceiling on his way out, so a true Japanese experience for us :)