Piping hot ramen served out of a traveling bus in Hakodate, Japan! This ramen bus is one of the most unique ramen experiences out there.
Their official name is Hakodate Ganso Bus Ramen (函館元祖バスラーメン).
Bus Ramen in Hakodate
Ramen buses were more common several decades ago in Japan. Think of them as precursors to food trucks. But nowadays it's almost impossible to find one. That's why this particular ramen bus in Hakodate, Hokkaido (Northern Japan) is such a gem.
Their bus used to be bigger before - it's now it's closer to the size of a van. But the most important element is still there. That would be the owner. He's almost 80 years old and still prepares every single bowl of ramen himself.
The menu includes shoyu (soy sauce-based), miso, and shio (salt-based) ramen. In Hakodate, shio ramen is the only way to go.
Simple but Delicious Shio Ramen
The shio ramen they serve is straightforward and simple. But it hits the spot like no other. The bright seasoning is just salty enough. It holds up a crystal clear soup.
The soup is well balanced - aromatic vegetables and kelp colliding with chicken and pork bone richness. The toppings are appropriately classic - big slices of chashu pork, spring onions, and bamboo shoots.
The noodles are medium-thick, which is often the case in Hakodate. Since their set-up is much like a food stall, the ramen are served in plastic bowls.
But this doesn't impact the wonderful flavors.
This ramen bus is currently partnered with Hakodate hotel Yunokawa Onsen EMI HAKODATEYA. In other words, they simply use their parking lot.
Furthermore, you can eat the ramen inside the hotel's lobby. This is particularly useful during Hakodate's cold winter months!
Do note that they've changed locations several times in the past. There's a chance they may do so again.