It's time I finally talk about Rokurinsha. I went to the original way back in 2008, when I first started this site. Back when the shop was a gem, when tsukemen of this caliber was a relatively new thing.
It was an epic experience, and an epic bowl. After a wait of an hour or more, I sat next to a high-level gangster, shoulder-to-shoulder, as we slurped this meaty, noodly food of the gods. They operated their shop by serving the entire place at once, and seating the next group when the current group of 15 was finished. A crazy system that would only work in the rural Osaki neighborhood they were located in.
Everyone loved this shop. Japanese media and food critics raved. David Chang still mentions it to this day. Unfortunately, this is a problem. The shop was constantly having issues with neighbors. This was, after all, a residential neighborhood. I'm sure my eating neighbor, the yakuza, didn't help the matter. Rokurinsha's master sold the brand sometime a few years later, after the success of the shop at the newly opened Tokyo Ramen Street.
Since then, Rokurinsha has opened in malls and airports, with a central kitchen and system much different than the original.
As I was flying out of Haneda, I took the chance to eat here, something I thought I would never do again.
Get your buzzing order-ready thing, and wait about 10 minutes.
Self service toppings and soup wari are there for your enjoyment.
So here it is.
I feel like comparing apples and oranges. Both are good, I just really prefer apples. The Rokurinsha of yesteryear was worthy of a pilgrimage. You can still watch shows on Netflix that talk about the old shop. Watch them, and you'll be on the next flight.
The new Rokurinsha is a standard thing. If you've never had a good tonkotsugyokai tsukemen, then this is going to knock your socks off. You'll Instagram it, recommend it to friends, and feel accomplished. So the cycle continues.
My goal with Ramen Adventures, when I started the site back in 2008 (Rokurinsha was my 10th post) was to help people find something truly unique. I can't think of anything in an airport or shopping mall food court that would apply.
Official site here.
Haneda International Terminal