You know you have been in Japan a long time when you start becoming obsessed with lists. Tsumugu is the #9 ramen shop in the whole of Japan according to the popular food ranking site Tabelog. Out of over 51,000, they are in the top ten.
The problem here is accessibility. Located in an obscure part of northern Osaka, Tsumugu is only open for lunch, and only open on weekdays.
So I did the only thing possible; caught the 6:00am bullet train from Tokyo, transferred to a local line, walked 20 minutes from the station, and waited in line. An hour before opening, there were about 20 people who probably hadn't traveled so far.
The things we do for our passions!
Well, it's a stellar bowl. Homemade noodles (of course) that match quite well witht he preservative free (of course) soup. It's a thick, creamy chicken and seafood soup here at Tsumugu. A style you see in many places, done to near perfection. The menu has two choices, light and heavy soups. Almost every customer was slurping the thicker of the two. Probably the best choice.
When I left, the line had tripled. With an expected wait of a few hours, make sure you get here early.
I spoke with a few native Osaka folks after eating here, and most of them had barely heard of this place. I wonder how it is ranked so highly, when there are many, many shops comparable to this one. One explanation is that Tabelog users love cost performance, and the 600 yen bowl at Tsumugu could be the best value for money in the country.
Osaka, Ibaraki-shi, Unobe 2-1-24
Closest station: Senrioka
Closed on the weekends