Rairaiken Asakusa: The Birthplace of Shoyu Ramen
Japanese ramen has its roots in “Nankin Soba (南京そば)“, a noodle soup dish that was eaten in Chinatowns.
They were founded in the early Meiji period (Meiji: 1868 to 1912) in cities such as Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki, and Hakodate.
In 1910, a Japanese businessman, “Kanichi Ozaki (尾崎貫一)” opened a Chinese restaurant named “Rairaiken (来々軒)” for the general public in Asakusa, Tokyo,
hiring Chinese cooks from the Yokohama Chinatown.
Rairaiken offered soy sauce ramen “Shoyu Ramen (醤油ラーメン)” for the first time in Japan and gained popularity.
In 1944, Rairaiken Asakusa closed the restaurant and moved it to the Tokyo station of Japan National Railways.
In 1994, the station’s ramen shop too, unfortunately, closed down because the third owner “Ichiro Ozaki (尾崎一郎)” had no successor.
Shinraiken’s Shoyu Ramen Image: tabelog.com
However, the Shoyu Ramen was somehow passed down to “Shinraiken (進来軒)”, a ramen shop in Chiba whose first owner was trained in Rairaiken,
and “Tokuchan (トクちゃん)”, a ramen shop in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture.
So even now, at the ramen shops Shinraiken and Tokuchan, you can savor the taste of Rairaiken Asakusa’s original Shoyu Ramen!
Image: Flickr China Blog
- Address: 5-6-5 Tendai, Inage Ward, Chiba City, Chiba Pref. (MAP)
- Open: 11:00 am to 14:30 pm, 17:00 pm to 20:00 pm
- Closed: Mondays, Third Tuesdays
- Address: 1-25-9 Kuwano, Koriyama City, Fukushima Pref. (MAP)
- Open: 11:00 am to 19:00 pm
- Closed: Tuesdays