The Origin of Shoyu Ramen
It is said that Japanese ramen has its roots in “Nankin Soba (南京そば)”, a noodle soup dish that was eaten in the Chinatowns founded in Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki, Hakodate, and so on, in the early Meiji period (Meiji: 1868 to 1912).
In 1910, a Japanese businessman, “Kanichi Ozaki (尾崎貫一)” opened a Chinese restaurant for common people “Rairaiken (来々軒)” in Asakusa, Tokyo, hiring Chinese cooks from the Yokohama Chinatown.
Rairaiken: The Birthplace of Shoyu Ramen
Rairaiken offered the soy sauce-based noodle soup, “Shoyu Ramen (醤油ラーメン)”, for the first time in Japan and gained popularity, so it is considered the birthplace of Shoyu Ramen is the Chinese restaurant Rairaiken that was located in Asakusa, Tokyo.
After that, in 1944, Rairaiken closed the restaurant in Asakura and moved it to the Tokyo station of Japan National Railways. In 1994, because the third owner, “Ichiro Ozaki (尾崎一郎)” had no successor, the ramen shop in the Tokyo station too, unfortunately, closed down.
Shinraiken’s Shoyu Ramen Image: tabelog.com
However, the Rairaiken’s 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.
Hence even now, at the ramen shops Shinraiken and Tokuchan, you can savor the taste of Rairaiken’s original Shoyu Ramen.
Image: Flickr “china blog”
- Address: 5-6-5 Tendai, Inage-Ku, Chiba, 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, Fukushima Pref. (MAP)
- Open: 11:00 am to 19:00 pm
- Closed: Tuesdays