What would you do if you had ten hours in Tokyo? All I desired was to stuff my face—furiously and exceptionally.
Thanks to the advice and direction of my friends Tomo and Darin, The Astronomer and I not only ate extraordinarily well during our layover, but we managed to do so without getting lost and missing our flight back to the States! It was a delightful whirlwind of tastes, sights, and energy, whetting our appetites for more Japanese adventures in the future.
The first stop on our ten hour tour (more like six hours after going through customs and commuting to and from the city), was at “Ramen Street” inside Tokyo Station:
Tokyo Ramen Street, a street exclusively for ramen at the Yaesu Underground Exit of Tokyo Station, features a range of Tokyo’s most famous ramen restaurants. Four shops were originally opened in June 2009: Rokurinsha Tokyo, Hirugao, Ramen Mutsumiya, and Keisuke Kitanosho. The grand opening of a second series of four shops took place in April 2011: Tokyo Station Ikaruga, Honda, Junk Garage, and Shichisai/Tokyo Edoama.
When The Astronomer and I arrived on the scene, we found that Ramen Street was undergoing major renovations and five of the eight shops were closed, including our intended destination Rokurinsha.
Since waiting in an hour-long line for Rokurinsha was no longer on the docket, we headed to Ikaruga and Menya Shichisai/Tokyo Edoama instead. Both shops served up superb bowls of deliciously different ramen.
We purchased tickets from each restaurant’s vending machine, whimsically choosing what to eat based on the pictures scattered on the surface.