shibuya ichiran ramen

Finding the Best Ramen in Shibuya

Finding the Best Ramen in Shibuya

Shibuya is home to dozens, if not hundreds of ramen shops. There are global chains, hole-in-the-wall favorites, and 24-hour locals for a late night or an early morning.  With so many places to choose from, how can you maximize your noodle consumption while in the heart of Tokyo?  We’ll be updating our Shibuya ramen guide with our favorite places and hidden finds to make sure you don’t go hungry!

ramen in shibuya

1) Ichiran Ramen in Shibuya — A Can’t Go Wrong Classic

Ichiran Ramen has been a pioneer of the tonkatsu ramen scene since they started as a single shop in Hakata, Fukuoka in 1960.  Famous for their red spicy sauce, Ichiran began its march across Japan beginning in 1993 and now has dozens of locations.  In addition to Japan, the company expanded to the United States with several locations in New York City.

Their 24-hour (when Japan isn’t subject to COVID-related restrictions) location in Shibuya is perfect if you’ve had a long night in the entertainment district.  However, wherever you are in Tokyo you’re likely to find an Ichiran nearby.

 

Ichiran Ramen in Shibuya
one of two ichiran in shibuya
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Ichiran has two locations in Shibuya and one is conveniently located right up the street from the station.  However, it is located in a basement so it can be a bit hard to catch.  Be on the look out for the iconic red sign or check out the map below.

15-Second Rule Ramen

There’s typically a line to enter Ichiran, but once you make it to the entrance of the store you’ll be greeted with a vending-machine style ordering system.  There are visual and English-language steps available in most locations, but it’s very easy to use.  First, put in your money and select your base ramen.  Then you can select any additional toppings you want and the machine will spit out tickets with your order.  It may be complicated for first-timers, but the staff is well-equipped to support international ramen lovers.

After receiving your tickets, the staff will provide you with a questionnaire about how you want your ramen prepared.  It asks about spicy level, noodle consistency, and amount of toppings.  Unless you really want extra spice, I say go with the “recommended” option for all items — they’re the pros!

Once this is done, the staff will tell you which numbered booth to go sit at.  Unlike many ramen restaurants, there are no group tables.  All of the seats at Ichiran are single booths that open into the staff area.  The rationale here is that Ichiran aims to have every seat within 15-seconds of the kitchen for optimal ramen delivery.  Whether it’s marketing or science, I’m not sure, but their noodles are delicious so they’re doing something right!

 

Seconds Please! Extra Ramen!

Personally, Ichiran is one of my favorite places to enjoy ramen because it offers a comfortable experience for the solo diner.  Additionally, the ramen is incredible and the noodles are the perfect consistency, a little harder than average. With each order at Ichiran, you get a small tray that you can use to order “kae-dama”, or more noodles!  So don’t finish all your soup in the first go because you’ll want to save some for the second serving.  In the video below you can see how Ichiran delivers the ramen right to your privacy booth!

https://youtu.be/NFyyhR-kPag

More Ramen in Shibuya

We’ll keep adding to this article overtime with the best Shibuya ramen places we discover.  If there are any you want us to check out, message us on Instagram. If you spent the morning visiting nearby Tomigaya, warming up with a bowl of ramen in Shibuya is a great way to spend lunch.  Enjoy!

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