There are countless variations of Japanese ramen. Noodle thickness, soup type, spiciness, and toppings can greatly vary depending on the region. If you love ramen and want to taste different types or if you want to try famous ramen restaurants, you have to visit “Ramen Gakisenku Tokyo Marunouchi”, meaning “ramen battle zone”, inside KITTE Marunouchi next to Tokyo Station!
The “ramen battle zone”, a true ramen hotspot consisting of five ramen shops, is located on the first basement floor of the commercial facility KITTE Marunouchi. If you’re worried about getting wet on rainy days, you can also access the area using one of the underground exits of Tokyo Station.
All types of ramen you can eat here are completely different. For soy sauce-based ramen go to “ChukaSoba Fukumi”, for noodles with dipping sauce (tsukemen) visit “Matsudo Tomitamenban”, for miso ramen “Tokyo Style Miso Ramen Do･miso”, for spicy ramen “Bamboo Noodles – Shisen Tantammen Aun”, and for the popular pork bone ramen head to “HAKATA YATAI RAMEN IKKOUSHA”.
Chinese Noodles – ChukaSoba Fukumi
The first place I visited was “ChukaSoba Fukumi”, which is famous for its soy-based ramen is popular. Before you sit down, choose the ramen you want to eat or an additional menu and buy a ticket at the vending machine. The food ticket machine is multilingual – a big plus!
I ordered soy sauce soup ramen with wanton. The soy sauce-based soup tasted much lighter than I had expected. It matched the medium-thick noodles perfectly. Later I found out that this restaurant makes its ramen broth out of chicken. No wonder the soup is this light. I would bet that many customers drink up their soup to the last drop!
Also, the freshly chopped green onions and the jigging wonton add a fresh accent. What a pleasantly satisfying bowl of hot noodle soup!
Pork Bone Ramen – HAKATA YATAI RAMEN IKKOUSHA
Hakata ramen from Kyushu is famous for the rich “pork bone” broth. This type of soup is completely different from salt-based or soy sauce-based ramen.
When you walk into the restaurant, the first thing you see is lanterns. A special seating inside the restaurant with colorful lanterns is an hommage to the popular ramen area in Hakata where small ramen stalls are lined up outside. How cute!
I decided to go with “Ajitama Tonkotsu Ramen”, which is pork-based ramen with a flavored boiled egg. The combination of the super creamy, rich soup and the thin noodles is the taste of Hakata.
However, I realized that the noodles at this restaurant were a little thicker and chewier than the ordinary, slightly powdery Hakata noodles. Delicious!
When you don’t eat all of the soup at once, you can order a kaedama, meaning second helping or “noodle replacement”, for a very reasonable price. so when you feel really hungry, this is the place to go!
Once you visit KITTE Marunouchi’s ramen battle zone “Ramen Gekisenku Tokyo Marunouchi”, you can see for yourself how diverse and manifold Japanese ramen culture actually is. Having so many types of ramen in one place is really something special. After stepping onto this tasty battleground you can’t help yourself but become a ramen lover!
KITTE Marunouchi Ramen Gekisenku Tokyo Marunouchi
(Ramen Restaurant Area)
B1 floor, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/Fq4wQrm4KXRm4v8r7
Business hours: 11: 00-L.O. 22:00 (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11: 00-L.O. 21:00)
Nearest station: Tokyo Station, Otemachi Station, Nijubashi-Mae Station, Yurakucho Station