Work down in a remote part of Chiba meant that ramen was a possibility. But the usual 11:00am start of most ramen shops would be cutting it close; my job began at noon. The fates aligned, as there was a very popular, very remote ramen shop along my intended route, and they open at 10.
This shop is a trip. It's run by three old ladies, and the customers reflect the staff. At 38, I'm no spring chicken, but I must have been half the age of the seven or eight people waiting outside the shop.
This is the chashumen. I usually don't get a massive bowl the first time around, but that visual is quite striking. Most customers had theirs topped with a mound of raw local onion.
It's a decent bowl, but not the kind I would go telling people to make a journey for. And, unfortunately, you'll need to make a journey if you want to experience this one. It's over three hours by train from central Tokyo, though travel time is just about an hour if you drive without traffic.
The soup was very dark and very salty. The pork was also very heavily seasoned, the kind I really enjoy for a couple pieces, but can't handle more.
It is the atmosphere that is the appeal here. Such an old shop, with such character. It's no surprise that this shop has been on TV many times.
Chiba-ken, Futsu-shi, Takeoka 401
Closest station: Takeoka
Closed Tuesdays and some Mondays