For food, the city of Hiroshima is best known for its noodle-filled savory pancakes, or Okonomiyaki. But if you dig a little bit, your shovel will find some legit Hiroshima ramen shops. Many of them are obsessed with the numbing Szechuan pepper.
From numbing pepper ramen to wagyu ramen, here are 3 Heavenly Hiroshima Ramen Shops. The last 2 are open super late….so you can stumble in after drinks, in true 5 AM Ramen fashion!
#1: Masara (Shiru Nashi Tantanmen Masara)
Tantanmen, or Chinese Dan Dan Noodles, are madly popular in Japan. Its broth is made from chili oil, sesame oil, and zesty Szechuan peppers.
But in Hiroshima, they seem prefer soupless tantanman (Shiru nashi Tantanmen). There are plenty of shops in Hiroshima serving this. Instead of a soupy broth, more of an oil is used.
Masara specializes in soupless tantanmen but they put a unique spin on it. Pictured below is their Grilled Cheese Tantanmen (¥650).
Right now (Dec. 2017) they have a 4 year anniversary special Tantanmen. It’s Niku jiru and is made from meat gravy. Compared to the other 2, it’s oilier from to the animal fat. It’s also a little sweeter.
You can choose your spice level, from 0-4. 4 is quite hot. You can also choose from 0-4 the amount of numbing Szechuan pepper (“shibire”). This Szechuan pepper is immensely popular in Hiroshima. It adds to the experience, as your mouth will have tingling, almost numbing aftertaste.
They also have other tantanmen, like Spicy Curry, or Green Onion Egg. Masara is a Hiroshima treasure.
#2: Ramen Kuni
Ramen Kuni literally means Ramen Country. Immigration free, there’s plenty of ramen here to enjoy. It’s also open until 7 AM from Tuesdays to Saturdays (Sundays until 3 AM & Mondays are closed). After a tequila-filled night in Hiroshima’s party district of Nagarekawa, you’ll be tempted to enter Ramen Country.
Pictured below is their Offal Ramen (puri puri horumon), with a shoyu base. In addition to shoyu, you can choose umami shio or spicy miso. Pictured below is actually the mini size, which is only ¥480. The bigger sizes run from ¥780 to ¥880.
The shoyu base is light and springy, with a slight peppery flavor.
They also have a Hiroshima Wagyu Ramen (Wagyu Koune Ramen). This is also available in shoyu, umami shio, or spicy miso. The most popular choice is umami shio.
As the word umami would suggest, umami shio is more savory that your typical shio. In addition, the tender strips of wagyu beef lend the broth a beef stew like flavor.
All their ramen dishes have super thin noodles.
Make sure to memorize this image for when the tequila has taken over
Meat lovers that want something besides chashu will definitely have fun visiting Ramen Kuni.
#3: Kara Shibi Miso Ramen Kishin
Our last stop on the Hiroshima Ramen train is also open late. Kara Shibi Miso Ramen Kishin is in business every day from 7 PM until 6 AM.
They’re actually right across the street from Ramen Kuni. And yes, I actually stopped by right after Ramen Kuni (sheepish face).
At this small, counter-only ramen shop, you can also choose your spice level and level of numbing Szechuan pepper. But here’s it’s on a level of 0-5. Choose wisely!
They have Coriander Miso Ramen (just say “Pakuchi”) for ¥950.
Spice & Pepper levels: 4 & 2
The chashu pork decorates the bowl like a kaleidoscope’s floral pattern. The chashu pork are properly broiled and the plentiful bean sprouts give each bite with noodles a nice crunch. This might be the perfect 5 AM Ramen bowl.
If you’re making your way to Tokyo, have a look at the 10 BEST Ramen Shops in Shibuya.