Yoshimuraya (吉村家) is where Yokohama style ramen originated. They’re so popular that they’ll sell 1,200+ bowls of ramen on some days! This is impressive, considering Japan’s small counter top ramen restaurants.
Yoshimuraya – What to Know Beforehand
At any given time, Yoshimuraya will have a line, snaking around the front of the restaurant. Don’t let this intimate you though. It moves faster than you’d think. This is because they admit groups of 10 people at a time.
This grouping system ensures smoother sailing. Note that Yoshimuraya’s interior is quite spacious, with more than 10 seats. But before even getting in line, make sure to buy a ticket from the ticket machine inside and on the right.
Hit “ラーメン” (Ramen), which is the top left button on the ticket machine. Above, I have one more ticket since I added an egg (“味玉” button towards the bottom).
Place these plastic tickets on the counter in front of you after they’ve ushered you in and you’re seated.
I’m told that the staff are very helpful if you don’t speak Japanese. Furthermore, note that they don’t allow any photos of the kitchen or staff once you’re inside.
Yokohama Ramen? What is it?
Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture, is just south of Tokyo. It’s actually Japan’s second largest city. Thanks to Yoshimuraya, Yokohama and Kanagawa prefecture were put on the ramen map.
Ramen + Egg
Also referred to as “ie-kei”, Yokohama ramen features a soup that’s pork bone rich and soy sauce salty. These two ingredients form “Tonkotsu-Shoyu.” Yoshimuraya uses 350 kg of pork bones and over 1,000 chicken wings to make the day’s ration of soup.
Some may be alarmed at how salty the soup is. But there’s a smooth richness as well. Spinach, multiple sheets of seaweed, and chashu pork are the mainstay toppings. The pork slices stand out for being smoky in smell and flavor.
At the counter, you’ll find a ridiculous amount of condiment choices. This includes broad-bean chili paste, fresh garlic, pickled ginger, and more. I recommend only adding these condiments towards the end.
Sakai Seimen makes the thick, straight noodles. These noodles have become a trademark in Yokohama ramen.
An Honest Conclusion
There’s no doubting Yoshimuraya’s legendary status and influence. In fact, many who have worked at Yoshimuraya have opened their own ramen restaurants. Some believe that these and others serve even better ramen than Yoshimuraya.
I, for example, love another ramen restaurant called Suzukiya.
Yokohama Ramen at Suzukiya
Regardless, Yoshimuraya was the one that came first. The huge lines outside are a testament to their staying power. In other words, they’re a must visit.
You don’t go for just the ramen. It’s the whole experience! For one, the unobstructed view of the kitchen is unmatched!