Everyone in Nagaoka, from the hotel staff to the random guy sitting at the dive bar next to me, recommended Aoshima Shokudo.
The menu is as absurdly simple as it gets. Go for the chashu, it was only 100 yen more than the regular bowl.
On a government-holiday Monday at 2pm there were about 20 people in line.
The ramen here is tinged with ginger, an unlikely match that for some reason isn't as wide-spread as it could be. The heat of the ginger is known to be almost medicinal, giving the diner an added boost of genkiness. I can attest, as my plan for the day was to drive a few hundred miles along the coast to my next destination, and a post-ramen nap was definitely undesired.
This shop, by the way, has a few branches. The closest branch is directly across the street, with a shorter line. The furthest branch is down in Tokyo. Akihabara to be exact. Keep that in mind before you set out on a grand adventure to Nagaoka.
Official Site Here
Niigata-ken, Nagaoka-shi, Magariaramachi 3-487-1
Closest station: Miyauchi