Kyoto is home to some of the best ramen stalls, and hidden in the north of Kyoto is Kyoto’s best-kept ramen secret - Ichijoji Ramen Street! Touted as the largest ramen district in the Kansai region, Ichijoji is home to a collection of ramen stalls that sell a large variety of ramen. Fondly known as the "battleground of ramen," upon stepping into the vicinity, you’ll be greeted by many ramen shops lining the streets, all competing with each other in a bid to be the best and most popular ramen store!
Although our list focuses on the most popular ramen stalls around Ichijoji, you should take the time to try out different ramen stalls to find your favorite! From lighter broths to heavier-bodied bowls of ramen, there’s something in Ichijoji Ramen Street to bring out the ramen fanatic even in the harshest of critics!
And if you’re in downtown Kyoto looking for the best ramen in Kyoto, check out our article on the Best Ramen in Kyoto!
Here’s an overview of a few of the top ramen shops in Ichijoji Ramen Street to check out in your exploration of Kyoto's food culture.
If you’re in Ichijoji Ramen Street, you cannot leave without giving Gokkei a try. Long queues are the norm at Gokkei, with a typical wait time of an hour. The reason behind Gokkei’s popularity? Its thick, rich chicken soup!
Gokkei’s soup base is so thick, it has a texture similar to a creamy potage. Their soup base is incredibly thick because of the large amount of chicken that goes into its production. The noodles were also cooked just a few seconds short of al dente, ensuring that there’s a good firm bite to them, enhancing the overall texture of each strand, to allow the thick broth to coat the strands generously.
Try sticking a spoon right into the soup once you are served, you’ll see that the soup is so thick the spoon sticks right up! Take note that Gokkei closes as soon as their soup stock runs out, so head there early to ensure you don’t miss it.
Tsukemen Enaku specializes in tsukemen, and their dipping broths are exceptionally thick. Broths at Enaku are made from seafood and tonkotsu, but the overall dominant umami flavor is laced with a sweet tang that prevents dip after dip from being too overwhelming. Each bowl is also paired with dense, chewy noodles that are considered thick, even by conventional tsukemen standards.
For those who are visiting Enaku with a large appetite, you’ll be glad to know that their small, regular, and medium sizes are all priced at 780 yen! While many happily take advantage of Enaku's competitive pricing, a regular-sized ramen here can be incredibly filling, and will have you at bursting-point within minutes if you are typically a small eater.
Enaku offers three flavors of tsukemen for you to try - original, spicy and curry. The most popular is, of course, its original tsukemen!
It’s hard to miss Bishiya as it sits on a corner at one of the main intersections in the district. Bishiya serves up various types of ramen, one of which is Maze Soba, a dry ramen mixed with spoonfuls of rich shoyu and pork lard. Bishiya’s Maze Soba is also topped with a selection of toppings, but chunks of pork meat, nori, vegetables, fried shallots, green onions, and menma are the usual suspects that make up a typical Maze Soba at Bishiya.
Once you are done slurping down your bowl of dry noodles, ask for a scoop of rice to soak up the oily remains! It’s terribly sinful, and multiple meals here would probably take you a couple of steps down the heart attack lane, but it would be so incredibly #worthit.
Bishiya also does a fantastic regular tonkotsu ramen which features a heavy-bodied seafood and pork broth that goes extremely well with the thicker noodles strands that Bishiya favors.
Tentenyu is one of the oldest ramen shops in Ichijoji Ramen Street, and have been serving their original Chuka Soba since 1971. Like typical bowls of Chuka Soba, the noodles served are fine and straight, and pair nicely with Tentenyu’s chicken-based broth. Tentenyu is particularly known for their broth, made from hours of simmering quality chicken and vegetables. Their rich and sweet chicken broth has garnered legions of fans for decades. Toppings include chashu, green onions and menma, all locally sourced from Kyoto to ensure quality. If you’re looking for a ramen that’s not too heavy, but still full of umami, Tentenyu is sure to please!
At Tsurukame, bonito is the star of its soup bases. Tsurukame’s broths also feature saikyo miso, a Kyoto miso that is milder, sweeter, and less salty than most traditional miso. Considered a premium-grade miso, saikyo miso is made by doubling the amount of rice typically used in fermenting miso. The extremely high ratio of rice to soybean is what gives saikyo miso a mild and sweet flavor, making it incredibly versatile in cooking.
Tsurukame expertly employs the use of saikyo ramen in its broths, and that is what gives its tsukemen a flavorful rich dipping broth. Tsurukame’s dipping broth is rich and thick, but not overwhelmingly so, ensuring that it’s a bowl of ramen you devour over and over.
If you’re more partial towards shoyu broths, try Tsurukame’s shoyu ramen’s broth, a tasty medium-bodied base, just thick enough to retain a delightfully smooth texture.
If you’re craving miso tonkotsu, Arajin is the place to go! Famous for their special blend of tonkotsu and miso, a rare genre of ramen, Arajin is favored by many who prefer a heavy-bodied ramen that is hearty and comforting. The pork broth and miso soup is said to be extremely well-balanced, and makes for a truly unique ramen that is hard to find elsewhere along Ichijoji.
Arajin is also known to have great value-for-money, and a regular bowl of ramen is priced affordably at 690 yen.
Don’t forget to order their mochimochi gyoza when you’re there too! These delicious gyoza balls go extremely well with their rich and robust bowls of ramen!
Address: Japan, 〒612-0085 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Fushimi Ward, Shumokumachi, １１５３−９
Google Maps URL: https://goo.gl/maps/Rgd1puFe61nQoG3A8
Nearest Station: Ichijoji Station (on the Eizan Line)
With so many ramen stalls in Ichijoji Ramen Street, it truly is a ramen haven. From filling tsukemen to umami broths, every bowl of ramen brings to the table its own unique flavor and style. Go forth and find the most ramen-tic bowl of noodles!