6 Trending Ramen Places in Japan That Prove Tonkotsu Isn't Everything!

Tonkotsu ramen is popular nationwide, but there are plenty of other kinds of ramen worth trying. Each region of Japan has their own ramen variety, and they're constantly evolving. So, here are 7 recommended ramen shops from major regions of Japan! Each offers something unique and special that you can't find elsewhere.

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1. Kokumin Shokudo [Sapporo City, Hokkaido]

If you would like to give Sapporo ramen a go, Kokumin Shokudo is one of the best ramen shops in Sapporo City. Their Nama Shoyu Ramen (800 yen) has soup that is beautifully clear! The umami of the soy sauce is rich, yet not too heavy, while their noodles are medium-thick and wavy, and the toppings, like the roast pork, green onions, and eggs, are all amazing.

The White Shoyu Ramen (750 yen) is also highly recommended. The soup is also beautifully clear like the Nama Shoyu Ramen, but instead you can savor the unique umami flavor of the white soy sauce. Overall, the well-rounded taste is mild and even slightly sweet.


[About Kokumin Shokudo]

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Closed: Wednesdays

Accepted Credit Cards: Credit cards are not accepted

Access: Around a 7-minute walk from Taihei Station

Address: 1F, North River Bldg., 3-3-3, Taihei 4-jo, Kita-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
北海道札幌市北区太平4条3丁目3-3 ノースリバービル1F (Google Map)

Tabelog: https://tabelog.com/en/hokkaido/A0101/A010201/1041032/ (English)

Tabelog: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010201/1041032/ (Japanese)

2. Shimadaya [Sano City, Tochigi]

Shimadaya is a ramen shop located in Sano, Tochigi. They use handmade noodles made the “Aodake-uchi" way, which is a traditional technique for making Sano ramen involving the use of a long bamboo to make noodles. Their specialty Ramen (600 yen) is a soy sauce based ramen with mild and clear soup. The chicken bone broth creates a rich flavor so that you can enjoy the high-quality taste in every sip you take.

Their noodles are medium-thick, slightly wavy, and very satisfying. And please order the Dumplings (450 yen) with your ramen! Each dumpling is pretty large and filling, and you will be impressed by the texture too, as the skin is soft and chewy.


[About Shimadaya]

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Closed: Mondays

Accepted Credit Cards: Credit cards are not accepted

Access: Around a 4-minute taxi ride from Sanoshi Station

Address: 757, Asanuma-cho, Sano-shi, Tochigi
栃木県佐野市浅沼町757 (Google Map)

HP: www.simadaya.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)

3. Suehiroya [Yokohama City, Kanagawa]

Suehiroya is located 6 minutes on foot from Hakuraku Station in Kanagawa. Be prepared to be surprised by their Roast Pork Ramen (800 yen) because each piece of roast pork is so big that they stick out from the bowl! The dried seaweed on top is also very big! Together with the other toppings such as spinach and egg, it is enough to cover the noodles underneath.

The soup is unique as it is made from pork bone broth and soy sauce. The balance of each flavor is absolutely perfect, so much so that even the chewy texture of noodles goes well with the refreshing soup.


[About Suehiroya]

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM (or while the soup lasts)

Closed: Sundays

Accepted Credit Cards: Credit cards are not accepted

Access: Around a 6-minute walk from Hakuraku Station

Address: 1-14-7, Rokkakubashi, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
神奈川県横浜市神奈川区六角橋1-14-7 (Google Map)

Twitter: twitter.com/2525_2929 (Japanese Only)

4. Ramen Birdman [Gobo City, Wakayama]

Ramen Birdman is a ramen shop located in Wakayama. Their signature ramen Chicken Soba Shoyu Soy Sauce (750 yen) is made from chicken broth which gives the soup a richness that will surely leave an impression. Choose from either soy sauce or salt for its flavor.

You can choose the type of noodles as well, from either flat or thin. The flat noodles are chewy to a point where you can feel and taste the noodles. Their Kishu Umedori Chicken Karaage is also recommended to go with the ramen. The crispy outside contrasts sublimely with the soft inside, and of course, the taste is absolutely delicious.


[About Ramen Birdman]

Opening Hours: (Monday - Wednesday, Sunday) 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
(Friday, Saturday, Day before National Holidays) 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Closed: Open all year

Accepted Credit Cards: Credit cards are not accepted

Access: Around a 1 minute walk from Shiyakushomae Station

Address: 350-22, Sono, Gobo-shi, Wakayama
和歌山県御坊市薗350-22 (Google Map)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Ramen-Birdman-710982775603748/ (Japanese Only)

5. Amanojyaku [Kyotanabe City, Kyoto]

Amanojyaku is located in Kyotanabe, which is about halfway between Kyoto and Nara. Although it is a popular ramen shop, you can still get in without waiting too long since customers come and go pretty quickly.

Their Light Shio Salt Ramen (780 yen) is highly recommended! The soup uses a chicken broth base with a hint of seafood extract. Also, yuzu (a kind of Japanese citrus) is added as seasoning to give it a bit of a kick. Their medium-thin noodles are chewy and perfectly match the flavor of the soup. Don't forget the roasted pork slices! It is so soft and rich in umami that it is addictive.


[About Amanojyaku]

Opening Hours: 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM - 1:00 AM

Closed: Beginning and end of the year, Obon

Accepted Credit Cards: Credit cards are not accepted

Access: About a 1 minute walk from Kyotanabe Station and Shin-Tanabe Station

Address: 1-5-3, Tanabe-chuo, Kyotanabe-shi, Kyoto
京都府京田辺市田辺中央1-5-3 (Google Map)

HP: www.menya-amanojaku.com/ (Japanese Only)

6. Ariyoshi Shoten [Fukuoka City, Fukuoka]

Ariyoshi Shoten in Fukuoka is popular for their dan dan ramen. The Hakata Tantan Ramen (740 yen) looks so thick and rich that everyone gets excited just from looking at it! The soup is well balanced and the noodles are medium-thick so you can even enjoy the way they slide down your throat. Their minced pork and soup go together wonderfully as well. Overall, it is one of the best, most well-balanced ramen out there.

Their traditional ramen Showa Shoyu Soba is also highly recommended. It is a light soy sauce based soup designed for you to enjoy the thin noodles with the umami-filled soup.


[About Ariyoshi Shoten]

Opening Hours: 11:30 AM - 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM - 3:00 AM

Closed: Sundays

Accepted Credit Cards: Credit cards are not accepted

Access: About a 3-minute walk from Watanabe-dori Station

Address: 1-8-18, Watanabe-dori, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
福岡県福岡市中央区渡辺通1-8-18 (Google Map)

HP: www.ariyoshi-syouten.com/ (Japanese Only)


Now that you know about the other kinds of ramen out there, the next time you visit a ramen store, try ordering something other than tonkotsu ramen! We guarantee that it'll be equally as delicious, if not more so. (That said, we still have a special place in our hearts for tonkotsu ramen, and that's unlikely to ever change...)


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Title Image: Artit Wongpradu / Shutterstock

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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