Updated: August 16, 2019
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What was Japan's First Ramen Shop?

Chiba City

Japan's first ramen shop was opened in Tokyo in 1910. While that shop no longer exists, it is still possible to eat the same ramen that was served there if you go to another shop in neighboring Chiba prefecture.

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Japan's First Ramen Shop

It's said that the origins of ramen are in China, where similar noodle dishes have been made for centuries.
in 1859, Japan finally opened its ports and allowed foreigners to enter the country. Immigrants began moving to the country and brought their various food traditions with them. Among those was ramen. During the Meiji era, ramen became a commoner's food, and could be found served mostly at food carts in Tokyo.

The very first ramen shop was called 'Rairaiken' (来々軒), which opened in Asakusa in 1910. This restaurant was the birthplace of shoyu ramen (soy sauce ramen), which at the time included chashu, menma, and green onion as toppings.
Unfortunately, the shop closed in 1944, meaning that it is now impossible to eat at the original ramen shop.

But Wait, It's Still Possible to Eat The Ramen that was Served at Rairaiken!

Amazingly, it's still possible to try the ramen that was served at Japan's original ramen shop! 'Rairaiken' may be closed, but there is another shop called "Shinraiken' (進来軒) in Chiba that was opened by the apprentice working directly under the owner of Rairai Ken when it closed.
Ramen made from the exact same original recipe as Rairaiken. ¥530
The appearance of the bowl of ramen is very simple. It's a super-classic chuka soba, with chashu, menma, a naruto, and a quail egg. The flavor is just as good as it must have been 100+ years ago and is sure to make any ramen lover smile.

If you're on a mission to try the best and most classic ramen bowls in Japan, this one has to be on your list!
I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

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