Tokyo is the ultimate Food Mecca (sorry Paris), it has 160,000 restaurants compared to about 40,000 in Paris, and houses the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world. So it’s no small compliment to say Rokurinsha (六厘舎) reigns on my must-eat list on every visit.
I first tried Rokurinsha on my very first visit to Japan in 2015. It was love at first bite. The gates of food heaven opened and tiny noodle angels sang me a melody of ramen glory.
In all seriousness, this was my first Tsukemen experience, and I’ve preferred dipping ramen to regular broth ramen ever since. Rokurisha is the best ramen of either kind I’ve ever eaten.
Rokurinsha has several locations. The most accessible ones to tourists are located at the Haneda Airport, Tokyo Skytree Solamachi and Tokyo Station.
I’ve always visited the Rokurinsha located in the Ramen Street in Tokyo Station.
The large train stations in Japan are called Station cities, because they are enormous sprawling complexes connecting numerous buildings and exits. These stations often house numerous separate food and shopping areas. Basically, confusing as hell to navigate.
I still get lost sometimes myself. To locate Rokurinsha, if you enter through Tokyo Station Yaesu Central exit, look for stairs heading down to B1F. Then turn right and keep going, the ramen street is at the end and Rokurinsha is located in the corner. Look for people lining up. If you look at the above map, it’s in the left side corner where the red squares are.
Rokurinsha usually has a long line that wraps around the corner during meal times. Line up, once it’s your term, you’ll go to the vending machine to select your order. Bring cash.
After you receive your ticket from the vending machine, the waitstaff will take half and seat you at a table. The restaurant has only 26 seats, so be aware that you’ll probably need to share the table.
The waitress gave my friend M and I paper bibs to wear so we don’t get anything on our clothes. Very considerate!
Then your noodles will be brought to your table:
This was one of the breakfast options. I ordered an extra soft boiled egg. The noodles were cold and the broth piping hot. According to Wikipedia, Tsukemen was first invented in 1961 in Tokyo. It consists of dipping noodles into a separate bowl of broth to eat. You need to eat fast because as the broth cools down as you dip the cold noodles into it.
Rokurinsha’s broth is very strong, thick and salty. Don’t drink it! It’s meant for you to dip your noodles in. From what I understand, it is pork bone based with skipjack tuna for flavor. In this bowl, it had minced pork, fish cake, bamboo shoots, one soft broiled egg (I ordered a second one) and a slice of seaweed.
I love their noodles, which are thicker and perfectly chewy. When you dip it into the broth, make sure the noodles are evenly coated. As you slurp it in, first you taste the savory broth; then as you bite down, you appreciate the bounciness of the noodle as you chew. You can break things up by eating some of the bamboo shoots or fish cakes.
Don’t forget the glorious soft broiled eggs. Practically perfect in every way. I don’t know how the Japanese chefs do it, but their soft boiled eggs are the stuff of legends. I can wax poetic about them for hours. It’s worth ordering an extra soft broiled egg at all ramen restaurants in Japan. Look at the perfect gooey yolk.
Once you’ve demolished your noodles, there’s usually a jug of soup at an empty table in the corner you can use to dilute the leftover broth to make it fit for consumption on its own. Watch your fellow noodle slurpers during the meal for clarification on the location of the soup jug, you should see people getting up to help themselves. Then you can follow suit at the end of your meal.
I’ve always eaten here for breakfast when I’m jet lagged. If you’ve been to Japan, you’ll know very few places open early. On extreme jet lag days (awake at 3/4am), go to Tsukiji Fish Market. Otherwise, come to Rokurinsha at Tokyo Station. For under $10, you’ll have a very quick satisfying meal of tsukemen.
I’ve visited both by myself and with a friend. Even with a line, it’s always been fairly fast and efficient service.
Tokyo Station itself is worth visiting if you’re transferring trains here. When you’re looking around, why not stop at Rokurinsha for some tsukemen?
There’s not much left to say. Rokurinsha is a must eat in Tokyo. Be patient, bring cash and enjoy!
Have you tried any ramen stalls in Tokyo Station Ramen Street? Do you have a favourite?
Operating Hours : 7:30～9:45（last order ー 9:30）、10:30～23:00（last order ー 22:30）
Official Website (Entirely in Japanese, but you see their different ramen and prices.)
Disclaimer: No one paid me for this review. It’s all my honest unbiased opinion and I paid for all expenses myself.