The pandemic has made it impossible for many of you to travel to Japan. Some of you must be missing Japan and Japanese cuisine, especially ramen, terribly. One of the ramen shops that everyone visits is Ichiran (一蘭), famous for its tonkotsu ramen. Originally from Fukuoka prefecture, it is a very popular ramen shop with branches all over Japan.
In this feature, we introduce the Ginza Ichiran, located in the shopping area of Ginza. Even though it is in Ginza, the closest station to walk from is Shimbashi.
At Ichiran, Ginza you can enjoy eating your noodles from a special serving container called Jubako (重箱). A jubako is usually a tiered box with each tier stacked with food, an elegant Japanese style of serving food. This is quite an unusual choice to serve ramen in but it adds to the classic, high-end feel of Ginza. Let’s get right in!
The entrance is quite obvious but the restaurant itself is in the basement floor.
As you go down the stairs, you can see autographs of domestic as well as international celebrities who have visited this branch.
There is a retro feel to this Ichiran.
Here is a photo of the Ichiran Jubako ramen. Doesn’t it look appetizing and extremely refined in these unique jubako?
The ticket purchasing system is still the same as the other Ichiran stores. Select your choice, pay the money at the kiosk and hand over your ticket to the staff when you take your seat.
There is also a corner to buy instant noodles that you can take home as souvenirs.
The counter seats all have fixed barriers and are meant for a single person. You cannot remove the barriers.
Since the pandemic began, movement and contact between people is being strictly monitored here. Staff are always wearing a mask and clean their hands regularly. The air within the store is ventilated every 10 minutes and the seats, tables and kiosk are regularly wiped to reduce the risk of infection.
When seated, you will find an order sheet with various options for toppings, type of noodles and spice level. It almost feels like you are writing an exam in an enclosed booth!
Once you finish selecting your options, press this button on the counter and you will see a flashing light. The staff will pick your ticket and your order sheet.
And before you know it, your ramen in a Jubako has arrived! Doesn’t it look cool?
On lifting the lid, you can instantly smell the smoky, fragrant aroma of ramen. The glistening soup, spicy red sauce, and chashu–delicious ramen taken to the next level.
Even though the box is just an illusion and doesn’t actually come apart like a Jubako, it does add a special feel to be eating ramen from a unique container that has been in existence since ancient times.
The stock is the same as other branches however the noodles and chashu are unique to this store.
Wouldn’t this be a special treat when you visit Tokyo next?
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