Shinka: Best Shio Ramen in Tokyo?

The best shio ramen in Tokyo? Many believe this title goes to Shinka (進化) in Machida. Their shio ramen is a blend of five types of salt and a rich soup made from free-range chicken.


High-Grade Shio Ramen

In their signature shio ramen, it’s not a punchy salt seasoning ("shio" means salt). It’s much more delicate, with the five salts letting the chicken flavor victoriously emerge.

Shinka Shio Ramen - All Toppings

The chicken-based soup has a sticky fattiness to it. But the delicate seasoning is still the conductor of this salt symphony. It controls how everything in the bowl interacts.

Shinka Shio Ramen - Silky Noodles
They make their own noodles

This interaction also includes Raus kelp, Nagasaki flying fish, some niboshi, bonito, souda, and mackerel fish flakes. There’s a lot of fish but they all provide a subtle accent, taking a backseat to the chicken.


I review this bowl in the video below!


Niboshi Ramen

Shinka does a few other bowls, including a niboshi (dried sardine) one. The niboshi ramen is more intensely flavored, cranking up the fishiness in a heavier pork bone (genkotsu) base.


This bowl uses whole grain noodles and there’s a touch of horseradish on the side.

Shinka Shio Ramen - Niboshi Ramen

Just like in the shio ramen, all toppings include egg, pork chashu, and chicken chashu. I’m a bigger fan of their chicken chashu. The slices are soft, succulent and have a wonderful golden flavor.


Worth the Trek to Machida?

Shinka is a little bit out of the way. Machida is about 30 min. on the train from Shinjuku station. But for ramen fans, Shinka is a necessary shio ramen pilgrimage.

They have 2 ramen shops in Machida. While farther from the station, you might as well visit their flagship shop.

Shinka Shio Ramen - Outside Machida Flagship Shop

Machida Flagship Shop Hours: Mon – Sat: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm – 9 pm // Sun: 11 am ~ 5 pm

Machida Station Shop Hours: Every day: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 5:30 pm – 10 pm

If shio is your thing, have a look at this uniquely tasty, kelp-based bowl in Ogikubo.