Taishouken Eifukucho – Tokyo, Japan (Day 1)

I’m here! After a long 11-hour flight without sleep and 2 hours on the bus to Shinjuku, I finally arrived at my brother’s house just in time for dinner. Struggling to stay awake, I managed to eat a plate of delicious chicken curry (thanks sis!) and was ready to call it a night…uh…maybe not. Knowing the best way to rapidly cure jet lag is to stay awake and not go to sleep early on the first night, my bro and I set out on bikes to do just that. Our first stop was Donki (the store with everything), where we looked to complete the shopping for our adventure next week. Then it was off to a local spanish tapas bar (I forget the name) to watch the Olympics and pound a few beers while we killed some time. No room for food here, but I did end up head-butting the butt of a pig that was hanging from the ceiling…don’t ask. It was an accident and no I was not drunk…haha. Our final stop was none other than Taishouken in Eifukucho. A seven-minute bicycle ride away, we navigated through the narrow streets of Tokyo to find a line of 15 people anxiously awaiting a late night slurp (just like us). You might think it’s crazy for so many people to crave a hot ramen on a hot and humid summer night, but that’s just the way it is…unconditional ramen love.

This is the room that makes the noodles…fresh. No generic brands here.

Unrelated to the Taishouken in Higashi Ikebukuro, Taishouken Eifukucho offers an attractive salary for men within the ages of 23-45. I’ve heard the selection/training process is rigorous, but the salary–at nearly $6,000/mo with plenty of benefits–is well worth it for any young man.

For more details you can visit their website at eifuku-taishouken.com and if you’re interesting in ordering the stuff, check out http://www.eifukuchou-taishouken-shop.com/.

Chuuka-men: This bowl was huge!! For the first time I actually felt intimidated. After eating dinner and pounding a few beers, I wasn’t sure if I could do this but there was no turning back. With all respect, I was determined to finish the entire bowl. The piping-hot soup packed a peppery punch that aroused a tangy mixture of excellent flavors. It’s not your average shoyu…it’s better. But be careful, slurp too fast and you’ll end up with a burnt tongue like me (it was worth it). The toppings (chashu, menma, naruto, negi) are almost eclipsed by the sheer size of this bowl, but are great accompaniments. The memna is especially fresh with a perfect slunch (slushy crunch). The chashu is a bit on the dry side, but its flavors do not mess around. And for the noodles (honestly I think there are 3 portions inside), they were excellent! Since the bowl is huge they do become slightly soft towards the end so it’s important to slurp at a good pace. All in all, this was a great way to start off my trip.

I love menma so it was important to add a side. Doesn’t it look good?

My first action shot. Can you guess which one is me?

See you tomorrow…

5 Replies to “Taishouken Eifukucho – Tokyo, Japan (Day 1)”

  1. I'm a 3rd gen JAm US Military brat born and raised in Suginami-ku. We lived within a kilo+ of the Eifukucho Taishoken and had countless bowls of ramen costing less than 50Yen there in the mid-60's. Their ramens were especially prone to burn your lips from the clear layer of hot oil on top of the soup, but well worth every experience. I also fondly remember another small ramen shop in Izumicho, Suginami-ku called Dai-Ichigen. Another memorable one is called Lai-Lai-Ken near the Hotel Otani.

  2. there are way too many ramen shops in tokyo to try, and yet, every time i make it over there, i find myself wanting a bowl at eifukucho at some point. maybe it’s that nice wafu flavor. and i think i found their hidden secret… there was a bit of yuzu peel in my soup!

  3. That, my friend, is a delicious looking bowl of menma! (Can you tell I’m trying not to think about ramen? It’s almost time for bed and my late night bowl of watermelon, while refreshing, just isn’t quite the same) (-_-;)

  4. Hi Exile Kiss! I wish you could try all these too. I will try to visit Menya Kissou in the next few days. It’s been raining so I’ve just been trying to go nearby.

  5. Hi Keizo,Lucky! (^_^) I’m so jealous, but glad to hear that your first bowl of Ramen in Japan was good (and huge). (^_~) With all the steep competition over there, I’m sure you’ll be experiencing great Ramen throughout your trip!Can’t wait to read about more places. 🙂

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