On the morning of day 10 of our Japan travels, we arrived in Tokyo after an overnight bus ride from Nagoya. This day, we checked out popular joints including Ichiran Ramen (一蘭) and Kamiya Pub (神谷バー) in Tokyo!
We arrived at Tokyo Station at around 6:30am in the morning and took the subway to Ueno station. From there, it’s just a short 2 minutes walk to our hotel at Ueno Touganeya Hotel. We left our bags at the hotel and headed over to check out the opening hour of Ueno Museum and Zoo. To our dismay, we realised that both Ueno Museum and Ueno Zoo are closed on Mondays! Do take note and don’t do a “repeat telecast” of what we did! Given that it was raining and not many other food joints were opened yet, we went to a local Udon/Don store at Ueno Station
This store is unmistakable. Once you exit Ueno Station reach the crossings at the main level, you’ll see a store with a “dipping noodle machine” outside, where you’ll see noodles moving up and down that represents the chopsticks movements. There, we had curry udon and ebi rice that costs about 500 yen each. Not very tasty but fills you up.
After the meal, we headed back to Ueno Touganeya Hotel and waited before our check-in time at 3pm. Around lunch time, we took a short walk from the hotel to the best tonkotsu ramen in all of Japan – Ichiran Ramen (一蘭)!
The location of Ueno Ichiran Ramen is just next to Ueno station, directly opposite Ueno Museum. When we reached there for early lunch, there were only 4 people in front of us. The queue moved relatively fast and before long we were in front of the ordering machine inside the store. The most popular order at Ichiran ramen is the “all-in” version. At 1490 yen, it includes eggs, additional chashu and seaweed. This time, we decided to use the approximate same amount and go for the tonkotsu ramen (890 yen), plate of chashu (490 yen) and kadaema (additional noodles 150 yen) which came up to about the same price but with more delicious chashu!
Once you’ve ordered, you’ll be waiting for your individual seat to be available. Once there is a vacancy, the staff will lift the curtain to the eating area and show you your seat…
One of the reasons why Ichiran Ramen offers individual seating is so that you can fully concentrate on enjoying the goodness of the food. Of course, in reality, the reason is because of the faster turnover. If you are only focused on eating and not chatting with your friends, you’ll finish your food faster and more customers can fill the store each day! Smart!
Once seated, your ticket(s) (from the ordering machine) will be taken and you’ll be given a preference sheet for you to indicate how you would want your individualised ramen to be. In the past, there used to be a Japanese and an English preference sheet. Today, it is combined into the same preference sheet as shown above. On the preference sheet, you can choose the seasoning, richness, garlic, green onion, chashu (sliced pork), spicy red sauce and noodle texture. This was what we placed for our preference and it was AMAZING!!
Richness: Extra Rich (Highest)
Garlic: 1 Clove (Highest)
Green Onion: With Green Onion
Chashu (Sliced Pork): With
Spicy Red Sauce: Mild
Noodle Texture: Medium
If you’re unsure, just follow the dotted lines for the “recommended” Ichiran Ramen.
After handing over your preference sheet, you’ll just wait. While waiting, we placed Tom in a position such that we can observe the “happenings” behind the scenes…
If you’re kay poh (Singlish for busybody) like us, you’ll find the clockwork precision that is happening behind that curtain to bring to you the amazing (and probably best) tonkotsu ramen…
Once you’ve been served, the curtain comes down and it’s time to enjoy your piping hot bowl of tonkotsu ramen! Although we knew choosing the “extra rich” flavour would be really sinful, it was well worth the calories! The broth was super duper rich with fatty bits floating on the surface of the soup. Each slurp of the broth was an enjoyment in itself. The chashu on the other hand was tender and the portion was really big as well. Definitely recommend having this combination of ramen at Ichiran. The “medium” noodle texture provided the slight firmness that ramen should have. Once “coated” with the broth, the ramen became irresistible! Within a short time, we finished the ramen with some broth remaining – this is when the kadaema (additional portion of ramen) comes in handy. To have kadaema at Ichiran Ramen, you can either then press the button and pass the coins over the counter or you can can pre-order like we did and the staff will collect your ticket and serve your kadaema in return.
Check out this video of our tonkotsu ramen at Ichiran 一蘭[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zrR8PovfnU&w=600&h=480]
Of course, we slurped up every single morsel of our bowl of ramen to reveal the words beneath…
Anyone knows what it says? Tell us in the comments section below!
Many people have said that Ippudo ramen is one of the best ramen. However, having tried both. Trust us. If you like rich tonkotsu ramen, Ichiran Ramen wins Ippudo Ramen HANDS DOWN. After the meal, we headed back to Ueno Touganeya Hotel for our check in.
Due to the overnight bus ride from Nagoya to Tokyo, we were a little tired. So we slept in for the afternoon (the flexibility that comes with free & easy travels) before heading to Asakusa Station to visit Kamiya Pub – established since 1880…
Once inside, you’ll order your food and drinks at the cashier and receive receipts or tickets for your orders. You’ll then take the tickets to your desired seats (free seating) and another staff will take your tickets and serve them promptly.
Kamiya Pub is one of the oldest pub in Japan. Established since 1880, Kamiya has been popular with the masses, especially for its home-made concoction of brandy and herbs (260 yen) called Denki Bran. Definitely one of the “must-trys” while you’re hre at Kamiya Pub.
The atmosphere within was relaxed, casual and unpretentious. Next to us sat a couple who were doing their work on the laptop and dining at the same time. At another table, aunties and uncles were taking shot after shot of the Denki Bran. At some point, we were wondering why their brandy shots were always full, only to realise that they do not sip. They finish the entire shot at one go!
As we wondered along the streets of Asakusa, we finally got to try out Taiyaki – a Japanese fish-shaped pastry that is usually filled with red bean paste. Not fantastic but a nice dessert to try out. We then headed to our favourite souvenir shop in Japan – Don Quijote. There, we blew another 80USD on Kit Kat and Pocky. 😛
To wind down the evening, we headed up Ekisme at Ueno station. The roof top has a viewing area that allows you to see the Tokyo Skytree. Unfortunately, it was quite cloudy that evening so we were only able to see the silhouette of Tokyo Skytree. We also tried to head closer to see but to no avail. The closer we got, the “further” it seemed to be. Reminded us of the elusive Mount Hood in Oregon 🙁
We then bought some KFC back for supper before turning in at 10pm.
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We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of Ichiran Ramen and Kamiya Pub on day 10 of our Japan Travels. In our next post, we’ll also visit another Tokyo attraction – Tsukiji Fish Market!
If you have just completed a post from our 12 days of travels in Japan. Find out more about this trip to Japan in the following posts below.
15 Travel Experiences and Things to do in Tokyo Japan!
Top 9 Things to do in Mount Fuji and Kawaguchiko Area!
Top 5 Things to do in Hida Takayama (高山)!
Top 6 Things to do in Nagoya (and food to eat)!
12 Days of Japan Travels: Tokyo Jimbocho and Imperial Palace Gardens Day 1
12 Days of Japan Travels: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Shinjuku Pablo and Shibuya Day 2
12 Days of Japan Travels: Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi, Sanrokuen and Fujizakura Inn Reviews Day 3
12 Days of Japan Travels: Lake Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center & Sightseeing Bus Tour Day 4
Konansou Mount Fuji Hotel Review (湖南庄) : In-Room Onsen and Meals with views of Mount Fuji!
12 Days of Japan Travels: Lake Saiko Wind Cave, Ide Brewery Mount Fuji and Bus Ride to Takayama Day 5
12 Days of Japan Travels: Takayama Morning Markets Jinya-Mae, Miyagawa and Takayama Hidagyu Day 6
12 Days of Japan Travels: Takayama Hidagyu (Hida Beef) and Bus Ride to Nagoya Day 7
Takayama Hidagyu Beef: All You Need To Know!
12 Days of Japan Travels: Eating our way through Nagoya Day 8
12 Days of Japan Travels: Visit Nagoya Castle and Overnight Bus Ride from Nagoya to Tokyo Day 9
12 Days of Japan Travels: Ichiran Ramen & Kamiya Pub Reviews Day 10
12 days of Japan Travels: Tsukiji Fish Market, Ippudo Ramen & Akihabara Tokyo Day 11
12 days of Japan Travels: Ueno Zoo, Ameyoko Shopping Street & Giga Butadon Day 12
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