Ramen surely is on anyone’s list of food to try when visiting Japan. But did you know that there are many distinct versions of the well loved Japanese soup & noodle dish? Just like our adobo in the Philippines, there are unique ramen renditions from different regions all over Japan, and there’s a place in Yokohama where you can sample these ramen spinoffs in one roof!
The Shinyokohama Raumen Museum is the world’s first food-themed amusement park. It has been a one-stop place to revel in the different regional flavors of Japan’s national dish, including foreign adaptations, since March 1994. Featuring 8- 9 ramen shops, stepping inside will set the mood of an old Japan dusk, with the street-scape tracing a vibe from the year 1958 – the year instant ramen was invented.
The Yokohama Ramen Museum Shops and their Bestsellers
1. Ryu Shanghai Honten
This ramen house is popular for its varieties of thick soup (seafood, pork and chicken) and fat noodles that’s said to have been folded over 32 times. Many enjoy having their bowls topped with a scoop of specialty spicy-hot miso!
2. Ryus Noodle Bar
Serving Canadian-style tori paitan or chicken white soup, you’d be surprise on taking sips of velvety smoked maple butter.
The Canadian-style tori paitan (chicken white soup), a mixture of the food cultures of Japan and North America.
The tori paitan soup from Men-ya Ryu features a concentration of the umami of chicken, which is extracted by boiling it for many hours, the sweetness of vegetable potage, and the harmony of rich seafood flavors. It is a Canadian-style tori paitan soup that is unavailable in Japan. The home-made smoked maple butter as a topping lets you enjoy a change in taste.
3. Muku Zweite
The shop that’s very much popular in Europe is also serving bowls of delicious ramen in Yokohama Japan!
Using durum flour for their noodles. It gives you a unique taste and texture. Out of the two bowls from different shops at this museum, this is my personal pick! The layers of flavors are delicious and rich, and does not leave an odd aftertaste.
4. Ryuku Shinmen Tondou
Famous for Shio ramen, the broth is simple but rich in flavor. This ramen house uses fine ingredients from Okinawa giving it a more regional flavor profile. The restaurant operates as a bar at night.
This ramen house from Kumamoto, Kyushu founded in 1954, is a historic ramen shop serving a mild-flavored sauce that combines chicken bone and vegetable broth over a tonkotsu (pork bone) base. The soup gives it a distinct identity by adding their own specialty-flavored oil, and roasted garlic chips! The aroma by passing by their shop is irresistible!
6. Hacchan Ramen
Famous for their thick tonkotsu based ramen, you’ll see customers queueing outside the shop to get a bowl during meal times.
For 50 years since its founding in 1968, this restaurant has continued to operate at a single site, without opening any branches, until they opened the roster of handpicked ramen houses featured in Yokohama Ramen Museum. The original ramen house in Fukuoka operates from 9:00 pm to 2:30 am and is inaccessible, but still manages to attract a large number of customers every night, including people from outside Fukuoka.
7. Shina Soba-ya
The master of this ramen shop has been nicknamed “The Ramen Demon.” This shop uses special wheat flour for their noodles and the chicken soup is made from home bred fowls raised by the shop master himself.
8. Rishiri Ramen Miraku
Eight hours of travel via ferry and airplane is required to reach the original Miraku’s main shop on Rishiri Island–and the shop is only open for two-and-a-half hours each day! Possibly the most difficult ramen to obtain in all of Japan.
Now you can easily get a bowl of Miraku ramen at Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum. Their yaki-joyu (rich, scorched soy sauce base) ramen, made using large amounts of Rishiri kelp–which is considered to be one of the top three most delicious kelps in Japan–features a soup packed with savory flavors complemented by aged, medium-thick chijiremen (wavy) noodles. It has even been designated as a Michelin Guide “Bib Gourmand” restaurant, meaning it offers exceptional food at moderate prices. Grilled shoyu (soy sauce base) ramen .
What’s great about this place is you can order half-bowl servings, giving you some room and appetite to try the other ramen houses’ specialties. So which ramen house would you want to try first?
Yokohama Raumen Museum is at 2-14-21 Shinyokohama, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama-City, 222-0033, Japan. Operating Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (open from 10:30 a.m. on Sundays and national holidays; open until 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Last order is 30 minutes before closing.
Telephone number, 045(471)0503.
How to get to Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum
From Tokyo, take the JR Tokaido line and hop on a train to Yokohama. Then from Yokohama take the Yokohama City Subway to Shinyokohama. Take Exit 8 and walk several minutes to the museum. Travel time is about 50minutes.