Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish. It is served in a meat or occasionally fish based broth, often flavored with soy sauce, miso (salty soybean paste). A variety of toppings, such as sliced simmered pork, dried seaweed, kamaboko (fish cake), green onions, and more. Nearly every region in Japan has its own variation of ramen, from the tonkotsu (pork bone broth), the ramen of Kyushu to the miso ramen of Hokkaido.

Ippudo Ramen

With as many varieties as there are chefs in Japan, Ippudo Ramen is considered one of the best ramen restaurants in Kyoto. Although it had a humble start in Fukuoka, the quality and simplicity of its dishes ensured that the venue quickly expanded beyond the borders of Japan and branches are now open in New York, Hong Kong, Sydney and Taiwan.

Karaka Men is one of Ippudo’s special ramen dishes and is served with a special blend of hot spices and topped with pork chashu, sesame kikurage mushrooms, cabbage, onion, minced pork, and scallions.

What makes this ramen special are the accompanying dumplings (gyoza).



Karako is another favorite ramen restaurant in Kyoto. If you go for the food, not the ambience, you find the ramen is excellent – the soup is thick and rich and the chashū (pork slices) melt in your mouth. The kotteri (thick soup) ramen is highly recommended. Look for the lantern outside.

Opening hours:
11.30am-2pm & 5pm-midnight
Closed Tuesday

Ginjo Ramen Kubota

This is a great place to experience delicious ramen in a small setting. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal there while staying at the Kyomachiya Sakura Ryokan  

See: http://www.kyoto-ryokan-sakura.com/sakura/en/

It was helpful to be able to purchase what I wanted at a vending machine.

Shinpuku Saikan

Shinpuku Saikan is another of the famous noodle Kyoto Station-area noodle shops, its original recipe attracting locals and tourists alike.

The flavor of Shinpuku’s chuka soba (“Chinese soba,” another Japanese term for ramen) is somewhat stronger than its neighbor’s. Yet unlike other local ramen places, Shinpuku has been serving up its bowls of “black” ramen since 1938, leading some to claim this place as the forebear of Kyoto-style ramen.

Every morning at 7:30, eager customers have already formed a queue waiting for Sinpuku Saikan to open.  First time diners will be surprised by the dark color of their soup.  After simmering chicken and pork bones thoroughly, their secret special rich sauce made from Kyoto-made soy sauce is added.  Though it looks very strong, the taste is surprisingly light.  Straight noodles, slices of homemade roast pork, plenty of chopped green onions and the soup create a perfect match. 

Besides ramen, their fried rice is also very popular.  As it is seasoned with the sauce used for the noodles, the rice also has a blackish color but the first taste will be another surprise due to its tasty flavor.  Many regular fans eat ramen noodles at the restaurant and takeaway the fried rice.