The last time I was in Tokyo, I didn't make it to Rokurinsha, one of Tokyo Ramen Street's most popular restaurants, which is known for its tsukemen, or dipping noodles. This time, however, I vowed not to be denied, and arrived before noon to make sure of it. The unique thick noodles and umami-heavy broth were worth the wait.
Last year, Tokyo Ramen Street opened in the First Avenue Tokyo Station retail center, which includes about 100 stores and restaurants. Here you'll find eight of Tokyo's finest ramen shops, drawing long lines of adoring Japanese fans, mostly salarymen. For non-Japanese newcomers, there's a mix of mystery and confusion.
With so many quality restaurants serving ramen at reasonable prices (you'll rarely pay more than $10 for a bowl), it's tempting to travel throughout Tokyo tasting bowls of noodles. Here are eight of my favorite bowls.