Umami Mart Registry
Over Golden Week I went to Kyushu for some R & R. And when you go to Kyushu, you eat ramen. Hakata is where the original Ippudo and Ichiran are. We decided to go to Ichiran. We arrived at Ichiran (Tenjin location) at 11:50am. Located in a tiny alleyway we were met with a guy in a red apron before we approached the massive line. He gave us a ticket with a number and were directed to return in 30 minutes.

We killed time drinking juice across the street.

At 12:30pm, we went back to the alley, flashed our card past red-apron guy and were told to fill out a form. Among other things, the form asked us to circle "Super", "A lot", "Regular" and "Light" regarding flavor, saltiness, depth (milkiness) of the tonkotsu, spicy-hotness and texture of noodle (from hard to soft). Once we filled out the form, we were herded to a vending machine where we buy tickets (650 yen for a regular portion). With tickets in hand, we were herded yet further to the entrance. There, party by party, you are let in.

Once lucky enough to enter the sliding wooden doors, another red apron person shouts out the directions to your table. Ours was: "Floor 2, aisle 4, seats 4 and 5." One person per stall sits along the aisles and there is a red cloth that is rolled up halfway. Ramen peep-show style (see photos). The worker, whom you can't see the face of, welcomes you and asks you for your ticket and form. He (in my case) then disappears for about 3-4 minutes. Magically, ramen appears before you and the worker rolls the red cloth all the way down.

The ramen was quite tasty and I loved how you could customize the firmness of your noodles. I got the al dente-ist and was quite satisfied. However, in general, it wasn't out-of-this-world. I probably wouldn't go through all the hoopla a second time. It was worth it just to be able to say that I've had Hakata ramen in Hakata. But I think you can get just as good and better in Tokyo.

Ramen peep show.

Magical appearance of ramen.

Mid consumption. Firm noodles - excellent. Overall very good, but not out-of-this-world.

"Personal peep-show of ramen." Don't go here for a date, the stalls prevent any type of conversation.

Ichiran Ramen
1-10-15 Tenjin, Chuo-ku
Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, 810-0001
Open 24 hours daily

1 comment

  • wow i love this. what is up with these stalls?? so bizarre. i love that they make you fill out a questionnaire before entering. genius. great report!

    kayoko on

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published