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Must be good ramen

48 Comments

People line up outside a popular but tiny ramen shop in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Lines form up to an hour before opening and are constant throughout the day.

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48 Comments
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or just perhaps tv celebs visited the place ,,,and like magic big lines!!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Must be good ramen

or hangaku - at half the price :)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I waited over 30 minutes to eat at Ivan Ramen, and it was worth it!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

you see this type of queue outside plenty of small ramen places and other eateries. somehow they get the reputation for being good and people are prepared to wait.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If that's what you want to do, go ahead. But I'm not one for waiting that long when I'm hungry. The longest line I ever saw was when the Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop opened at Tachikawa Station. The line went on for miles, and had several security guards.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Serrano - I envy you. I traveled from Omiya to Ivan Ramen, only to find out that they close on the 4th Tuesday of every month. What a disappointment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

this place has line daily for the last 8 year at the very least... I wonder what they put in that soup

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ramen is way overrated. Its the soup thats good. That makes the difference. Cause all noodles are basically the same. I'd wait in line for something else, not Ramen.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

People waited in line for Taco Bell. so this could be anything.....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Oh that place is awesome! Will give you garlic breath for a week though :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

this place has line daily for the last 8 year at the very least...

I know right? I ride past it almost everyday, and I've never seen it without a line. It's funny cause there's another ramen shop right next to it, always without a line.

Cause all noodles are basically the same.

You haven't eaten enough ramen, because they are definitely not the same. I agree, the soup is important but it needs the right noodle to go with it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I've waited a few times for Ramen, never longer than 5-10 minutes though. Mostly at the old Kyushu Jangara Ramen in Harajuku

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Television personalities told the people that this place was "ooiiiiishiiii" so people are falling all over themselves to go, if you trust them, go for it.

There is a ramen place near where I work that is overrun with tourists nearly everyday now. Some idol from Taiwan went there with a camera crew and now it is so busy locals can't get in to eat.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Plenty of wonderful ramen places without the long lines. I never could see the point of queuing up for this sort of thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I would never wait for a ramen line ever again after Ivan's place. That guy charges extra for even a few pieces of corn.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While i do agree that some lines exist purely because of the japanese pastime of lining up, in general you can trust ramen places that have lines. Perhaps for a completely casual once a year ramen eater they all seem the same, but when you start going 3-4 times a week in search for the ultimate ramen, the not so great places soon start standing out. And with so many to choose from i would rather not waste any stomach space on mediocre noodles or bland soup (and yes noodles are paramount! poor noodles/cooking can ruin a ramen for me)

Only exception to the lineup rule is Ramen Jiro, which has lines because of the fame, but each store is independent and hence isnt guaranteed to have great ramen.

Mutekiya (the photo) is famous for having a great balance of all of the elements of a good ramen. I havent been there, but from the reviews it looks pretty good. Mind you it doesnt rank all that highly on the online ramen databases but still something i would line up for at least 30 minutes to try.

Have lined up for MUCH longer at Disneyland to get on an attraction!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I guess if people get that much pleasure out of their bowl of noodles, why not line up? We have to take our joy where we can find it.

As for Ivan's, it should be renamed "Ivan's Noodle House" as I don't think we can call it ramen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

These lines form as much through marketing as by quality/experience.

I mean, I went to Miura Kaigan the other week, a place famous for its tuna dishes. Though we initially checked out the more popular places (very busy, very long lines), we ended up going somewhere nearby that had a 0 minute wait.

There, we were served a delicious tuna moriawase dish with the nature/special feature of each item explained to us by the waitress. We also got to eat in a spacious and quiet area, without any pressure to finish quickly and leave. When I go out to eat, that is the kind of experience I like to have.

I really don't get the Japanese obsession with lining up for stuff like this. I also simply don't believe that most people could (in a blind taste test for instance), detect a difference in quality between long-wait and no-wait places. Maybe a ramen connoisseur like 'afanofjapan' could do, but I doubt mos of the people lining up in the dead of winter could do the same.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Only exception to the lineup rule is Ramen Jiro, which has lines because of the fame

The type of guys that line up at Jiro are not the type that would line up just because it's famous. Their portions are generous and their ramen has a particularly rich and heavy taste that can be addictive to certain people. It's not for everyone, but it really hits the spot every once in a while. Just make sure you're hungry and maybe skip the "pork back fat" when you go.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't understand how people a) have the time b) are willing to queue like this for food. It's like something from wartime Britain.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Ramen is way overrated.

Seems you're eating in the wrong establishments.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Mutekiya's really good, in fact it's one of the few ramenya I would - and have - queue(d) for.

Most people are in and out pretty quickly, as the staff take orders from the line. The greatest crime in any popular ramen shop is to hang around after you've eaten. Enjoy your food, then get outta there and give the hungry people waiting a chance!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

(Seinfeld) Soup Nazi: "No soup for you!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVqBzP0xdKk

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Television personalities told the people that this place was "ooiiiiishiiii" so people are falling all over themselves to go

Except that this place hasn't appeared on TV. They are famous for "shuzai kyohi," or saying no to the media and TV programs.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I don,t think I have never walk up to a ramen bar and been served straight up. last june I was at Tokyo Station. I could not believe this line 2 deep of people. I ask my girlfriend what are they lining up for. She told me that they were buying popcorn. Popcorn !!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So lining up to get into a restaurant or even a popular bakery is a pure Japanese thing. That's right never ever happens in New York.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I used to pass that ramen shop when I went to teach French in Ikebukuro some years ago... Never had the time to line up there but was very curious to find out why there were so many people waiting ! Now I know !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's interesting because this will have a constant line for hours (often over 20min.), and another ramen plan 100 m away will be half full.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

divine intervention

So lining up to get into a restaurant or even a popular bakery is a pure Japanese thing. That's right never ever happens in New York.

Who is saying it's a 'purely' Japanese thing? That lining up can be called a 'Japanese pastime' doesn't mean no-one else in the world ever does it. It just seems oddly common here.

frontandcentre

The greatest crime in any popular ramen shop is to hang around after you've eaten. Enjoy your food, then get outta there and give the hungry people waiting a chance!

This is what I was touching upon earlier. Why would you queue up for so long just to eat quickly and get out? When people queue for things like popcorn or crepes or whatever, at least those can be taken away and eaten at leisure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Except that this place hasn't appeared on TV. They are famous for "shuzai kyohi," or saying no to the media and TV programs.

Do you know that even that WAS on TV? More than one program has showed the outside of their establishment on TV and have sent celebrities into the place to request being able to bring cameras into the rest. and by telling them NO they are giving the places free advertising.

The celebrities then ate in the place, came out and told the world of Japan....oooiiiishiii!

Hence the long lines.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sorry to chime in, Yubaru, but there were lines long before the camera crews got there. I used to work in Ikebukuro and I was always eyeing an opportunity to eat there. Never did. Heard good things about the place, though.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sorry to chime in, Yubaru, but there were lines long before the camera crews got there.

I don't doubt this, but sustaining the lines came from TV.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

or perhaps these people are just lemmings.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To each his own as far as it go for what ramen you like. I have been to some of these long line ramen places and the ramen was nowhere as tasty as the local ramen shop around the corner where I can just walk in and grab a seat anytime.

Here's a question, what type of ramen do y'all like? For me, tonkotsu hands down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I waited over 30 minutes to eat at Ivan Ramen, and it was worth it! and im sure your one of those that bolt for the stairs when the train doors open? heres an idea why not have a bit of patients and come back in a week or so after all the hype has dies down. im sure the food will taste the same, maybe even better since you waited. Or are you one of those that doesnt really have anything else exciting to do but wait in line for Ramen!?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Been to that place a couple of times. I live nearby, and usually the line is far too long to bother with. If I walk past and there are only a few people waiting outside, I sometimes hit it. It is good; it isn't worth queuing for an hour for!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone coming to Fukuoka? I can take you to the real Tonkotsu Ramen! Tonkotsu ramen is something like, at the beginning you hate the smell but when you get used to it, you are already addicted.

But as a Japanese grown in Tokyo, I also miss Tokyo shoyu ramen, and korokke soba.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Us Kansai people native and non queue a lot less than those in Tokyo in my experience....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jj1067

Fukuoka? I think you need to look a little bit further south, about 40km, for the true home of tonkotsu ramen.

We did it first!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry, but I prefer rosół.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good ramen can be quite personal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@lucabrasi

40km south of Fukuoka, was that Taiho Ramen of Kurume that you had?

Oh you are already consecrationed my master!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@jj1067

Yes! Absolutely....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Haha the line the McDonalds in the Moscow in 97 was so long we gave up.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

40km south of Fukuoka, was that Taiho Ramen of Kurume that you had?

Oh you are already consecrationed my master!

What are you guys talking about? You need to go either to the heart of Hakata or Kumamoto t! o taste true heaven. Taiho is good, but.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@bass

The absolute best is here in Kurume. Can't remember the name. It's dark and dirty, near the city hall and delicious. Hakata's okay, Kumamoto too... But Kurume rules...,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kurume is really one of the best place to enjoy the real Japanese food. It's not just ramen.

Don't go to restaurants there but just visit temple or shrine or whatever and join the ceremony, and you will be served Shojin Ryori, the real beauty of Japanese food. Nothing fancy, but truly real traditional Japanese food that comes from the nature of Chikugo river and the four seasons that comes to that area develop the food on the ground. Kurume and Saga Pref. is really the hidden place where you can enjoy the richest of Japanese cuisine.

「海の幸、山の幸」 in Japanese, meaning "happiness of sea, happiness of ground" is still there in Kurume.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My office is in Ogori, so I guess, I'll have to seriously give it a try and see and see what I have been missing. Although, I Wonder what makes Kurume ramen so much better?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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