Monday, May 4, 2015

東池袋大勝軒 (Taishoken in Higashi-Ikebukuro)

東池袋大勝軒 本店


On April 1st, 2015, one of the great legends of the ramen world passed away. Yamagishi-san practically invented an entire genre of ramen, specifically tsukemen. He also revolutionized that way that ramen chains work, creating a vast network of Taishoken shops that are all connected to the one in Higashi-Ikebukuro.


I could list off shops that have a loose connection, but that would take forever. So many of the best ramen chefs in Japan have had at least a small run in with Yamagishi-san.


This was where he sat, for many hours on many days, greeting customers in the never-ending line outside the shop.


It's now empty. All that remains is a message book, brimming with personal messages from fans.


As for the tsukemen here, it is basic and filling. I'd recommend the 小 size, as even the small one is a lot of food. One of Yamagishi-san's gifts to the ramen world was the massive portion sizes that are common at tsukemen shops.


The Engrish is a nice touch.


Definitely an important piece of Japan's short history of ramen. Wherever you are in Japan, you probably have one of these shops in striking distance. I can't say that the original shop is much better than the others, but it is certainly worth a visit for a ramen completionist.


Official Site Here.


Map of 東京都豊島区南池袋2-42-8

Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Minamiikebukuro 2-42-8
Closest station: Ikebukuro

Open 11:00-23:00
Sundays 11:00-22:00

1 comment:

Dave Evans said...

Recently checked out the one at 1-32-2 Higashi, I had the ramen, not the tsukemen. Much more intense than the regular Taishoken bowl, I really enjoyed it. I know you've got a million different places to check out, but go there if you're ever in the area.