Actually, I wasn't hungry at all. I had just eaten. But I had some time to kill in Ikebukuro, so I thought I'd find where the #5 Ramen shop was. It's the last one in central Tokyo on my list. It was a little off the beaten path, out past the Sunshine 60 building. Who goes past Sunshine 60? Apparently ramen lovers do.
Here's some foreshadowing for you...
I swear I'm on the right block. But I can't find any addresses. Just this.
A massive construction site.
I wandered around the area in disbelief for about 20 minutes. Sure enough, Taishoken is no more. Funny thing though, it's still there on google earth.
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I take note and leave. Thanks to the internet, I'm able to find out what happened.
And damn, I sure missed out. Turns out this is the birthplace of Tsukemen, the concept of dipping noodles into a separate sauce. The master at Taishoken was ramen royalty. Hour long waits and an uproar over his (attempted) retirement add to the allure.
But in February of 2007, the doors shut.
If you want to read more, check out a review at rameniac.