1/20, pronounced nijubannoichi, was featured as one of the best new shops of 2013 in some ramen magazines. Of course, this was one on the list. However, getting there is an adventure in itself.
The Toden Arakawa Line (都電荒川線). Even though I've been a Tokyo resident for a number of years, I've never set foot on the famed relic of Tokyo's former streetcar system.
It would be in poor taste for this ramen-nerd to talk trash about trains, so I'll counter the comment that this is the slowest method of transport I've ever seen (I think I could have run some stretches in less time) with the fact that riding it end-to-end will show you a fantastic side of Tokyo you'd never see from the subway.
And if you come in May, the whole track is covered with roses! How random!
On to the ramen.
1/20 is your standard new-style bowl. Rich in niboshi and chicken flavors, with a nice umami kick from the tare. Digging into the secret ingredients, you'll find sakura ebi, little pink shrimp that kick things up.
The real draw is what goes on top. Slow cooked pork chashu, tender chicken chashu, and hearty duck chashu. Yeah, that trifecta of roasted meats put 1/20 on my list of recommended shops.
Just plan for the time it takes to get here.
The name has some meaning, but I forgot what the master said. Sorry!
Tokyo, Arakawa-ku, Higashiogu 2-19-9
Closest station: Higashiogusanchome
Open 11:30-14:30, 18:00-20:00