5. Ezawa (Katsuura, Chiba)
Katsuura tantan-men is in a class of its own. Not tantanmen in any sense of the Chinese relative, dandan-mien. Not at all. Katsuura tantan-men is characterized by a shoyu (soy sauce) soup hit with a large amount of rayu spicy oil, and topped with plenty of raw diced onions. The existence of a local tantan-men map is proof that this town is serious about its local style.
Ezawa (Katsuura, Chiba)
4. Kikanbo (Ikebukuro)
One potential issue with Ramen Adventures is that I don't re-post about shops I’ve already been to. So while a shop like Kikanbo is probably in my Top 5 list, the Kikanbo pages are a bit dated. I revisit these shops constantly, but in the interest of keeping things fresh, I don't post. But when they open a new shop across town—now that's another story!
3. Rage (Nishi-Ogikubo)
The latest and greatest ramen shop in Tokyo is by far Rage, out on the Chuo Line in Nishi-Ogikubo. The menu is only two deep: chicken or fish. The shamo-soba is made with Tokyo-raised game fowl. If these chickens aren't fighting in illegal cock fighting rings, they're in your ramen. Definitely an uncommon bird.
2. Chiranai Sakura (Okachimachi)
Finding great ramen on Tokyo's east side is akin to finding a diamond in the rough. This part of town can be dirty and confusing, and the presence to too many salarymen means the food can be rather generic. The shops are mostly famous joints that have sold out and become boring chains (Tetsu, Nantsutei, Nakamoto)—except for one.
Chiranai Sakura (Okachimachi)
1. Jump (Kasukabe, Saitama)
Warning: If the above image doesn't look amazing, stop reading now.
Jump (Kasukabe, Saitama)