“Tonkotsu Ramen”, in Shibuya

“Tonkotsu Ramen”, in Shibuya“Tou Soba (唐そば)”, in Shibuya

One of the best parts of visiting Japan is sampling any of its 35,000 ramen shops. Tokyo alone is host to 3,700 shops, and new ones open as often as someone thinks they’ve found a taste others will love. With so much competition, standards are high and finding your favorite can take some time.

Ramen begins with the broth, such as gyokai (seafood), torigara (chicken bone), or tonkotsu (pork bone). Tonkotsu is popular for those who like a rich and heavy taste, and it goes well with char siu (Chinese-style barbecued pork) as an ingredient.

tonkotsu ramentonkotsu ramen

“Tou Soba (唐そば)”, in Shibuya, Tokyo, is a popular tonkotsu ramen shop easily spotted by its hanging red signboard. Established in Northern Kyushu in 1959, Tou Soba first expanded into Tokyo in 1999. Their menu is simple: ramen noodles, extra-large ramen noodls, tsukemen (dipping noodles), onigiri (rice balls), and beer. Beer is available.

The tonkotsu and torigara are slow cooked for a mild, non-fatty taste matched beautifully with the noodles. Put a boiled egg on the side for 50 yen and enjoy the retro style beloved by many from all parts of the country.

Shibuya’s globally famous scramble crossingShibuya’s globally famous scramble crossing

Right in front of the Shibuya Station Hachiko exit is Shibuya’s globally famous scramble crossing. Five hundred thousand people cross the intersection every day. Wait for a green light and you can become one of the 3,000 people attempting not to bump into each other as they get to the other side.

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