Here it is . . . Tanaka Shoten. This is perhaps the most famous shop in the greater Tokyo area for Nagahama-style tonkotsu ramen. I say Tokyo area because, though it is technically within the city limits, this place is a trek to get to. But more often than not, the trek can elevate a bowl from normal to extraordinary. Tanaka Shoten is the perfect example.
For me, from Shinjuku, it took about 30 minutes racing along on my motorcycle. By train it is much more of an endeavor. From my station it is about an hour with five line changes on the way. On the map, it is just off the 318, a road that circumnavigates the entire Tokyo area. Check it out!
Is Tanaka Shoten is the most revered Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen outside of Kyushu? It is as traditional as it gets, down to the open-late mentality. Four in the morning is the last order.
The shop is stinky, the line is long but quick, and the menu is small.
Of course, I went with the standard. Not that I had much choice. I could have had it with more pork, or more green onion, or more of whatever topping I wanted. All bowl come with the same soup and noodles, and that is what I was concerned with.
The only outlying option here is the 赤オニ, red devil spice mix. A tangy dollop of spiced ground pork.
A good bowl, though the trek could either make or break your opinion of it. If you travel solo far out of your way for this bowl, you will be disappointed. But if you make an adventure out of it, this is a great bowl of destination ramen in Tokyo.
Tokyo, Adachi-ku, Hitotsuya 2-14-6
Closest station: Rokucho