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Japan Dreams of Ramen

Where to taste the best ramen in Japan, in 2022.

by Nanban

“What makes it interesting is that we can offer a delicious meal starting from just a few bucks. Highly priced meals are supposed to be great, but our goal is to create an amazing experience for just a fistful of yen”.

These words - pronounced by Tomita Osamu, a ramen chef whose restaurant has been awarded for four consecutive years as the best Ramen in Japan - perfectly epitomize the meaning of ramen, that is to say an inexpensive and daily dish, almost always consumed quickly, in a bunch of minutes, yet deeply satisfying, in which every nuance of taste is perfectly balanced to offer a delicious meal, which can be enjoyed regularly, not just every now and then.

While sushi and tempura - not even mentioning the kaiseki cuisine - may be loved as well, they are far too sophisticated and pricey to compare with ramen, which is one of the main staples of many Japanese every single day.

This combination of quality and affordability, makes those who worship ramen travel all over the country to find and taste the best, testing how much flavour can be expressed in just one bowl.

Ai Tominaga at Ramenya Shima

And, on the other side of the counter, has its creators work tirelessly to further enhance their recipes to reach their ideal of perfection, where all ingredients come together to achieve the ideal combination.

In the Tokyo area alone, there are more than 5,700 ramen restaurants, but even considering that it is phisically impossible for a jury to really test them all, every year TRY magazine, Ramen Walker magazine and the restaurant review site Tabelog, list the best ramen in Japan. 

And there are the results, absolutely to try for those who have the opportunity to visit Japan:

Chukasoba Ginza Hachigo (銀座八五) is the best for Ramen Walker
Address: 3 Chome-14-2 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061

Ramenya Shima (らぁ麺や 嶋) is the best for Tabelog (and received the New Face award from TRY as well)
Address: 3 Chome-41-11 Honmachi, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0071

Finally, Ramen Toy Box (ラーメン屋 トイ・ボックス) is the best for TRY magazine
Address: 1 Chome−1−3 1, Arakawa City, Higashinippori, 116-0014 Tokyo

These are just a reference, of course: it is difficult to taste a really bad ramen in Japan in general, and in Tokyo in particular (considering that that's where all three are), so if the queue is too long and the time is too short, don't worry and try another one nearby!