It’s heaven in a bowl.

Ramen is definitely one of Japan’s most iconic dishes. Just noodles and strong-flavored broth, how can something seemingly simple be so godly? No wonder people are willing to wait in long lines just to have their fill of this. Shinjuku being the crowded hub that it is will surely give you a long list of options to get your ramen fix. There’s probably a ramen shop in every corner.

But do you know which ones you must definitely go to?

Have a look at this list:

1. Menya Shou (麺屋翔)

Menya Sou’s bestseller Shio Ramen.

Menya Sou’s bestseller Shio Ramen. From Instagram

 

Light chicken-based broth with a clean aftertaste, Shio Ramen is Menya Shou’s specialty. It may be very basic with just sea salt as its main seasoning, but oh so delicious! It really is the perfect comfort food.

On the other hand, if you’re up for something more complicated, their equally delicious Miso ramen is served every Wednesdays.

Access:
5 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit

Address:
7-22-34 Nishi-shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo

Hours:
Monday to Friday                     11am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holiday     11am – 3pm, 5pm – 9pm

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://www.menya-syo.com (Japanese only)

2. Fu-unji (風雲児)

Tonkotsu ramen and Tokusei Tsukemen at Fu-unji.

Tonkotsu ramen and Tokusei Tsukemen at Fu-unji. From Instagram

 

It seats about 15 people and is located along a sloped street near the police station. Fu-unji is most famous for its Tokusei Tsukemen (dipping noodles style ramen). Choose from three noodle sizes – Namimori (200g), Chuumori (300g), or Oomori (400g), and plunge them into a condensed chicken based broth with just the right amount of smoky fish powder. It’s an odd combination but surprisingly good!

If you haven’t had a taste of Tsukemen yet, this is where you should have your first. It’s going to be love at first slurp.

Access:
10 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station South Exit

Address:
2-14-3 Yoyogi Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Hours:
Monday to Saturday    11am – 3pm, 5 – 9pm
Closed on Sundays & New Year Holiday Period

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://www.fu-unji.com (Japanese only)

3. Sugoi Niboshi Ramen Nagi (すごい煮干しラーメン凪)

Sugoi Niboshi Ramen at Nagi Golden Gai branch.

Sugoi Niboshi Ramen at Nagi Golden Gai branch. From Twitter

 

In the midst of izakaya territory Golden Gai, this jewel of a ramen joint definitely stands out. Nagi’s two branches in this area are specifically for the anchovy lovers serving up outstanding ramen of the Niboshi kind. Intense fishy broth with a hint of bitterness, this is for people with adventurous taste buds and a high tolerance for strong fish smells. Upon ordering, you can customize your ramen based on noodle quality, choice of base, and the amount of oil and spice that suits your taste.

Access:
(Branch 1) 6 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit)
(Branch 2) 6 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit

Address:
(Branch 1) 2F 1-1-10 Kabukicho Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo
(Branch 2) Sankei Building 1F 1-9-6 Kabukicho Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo

Hours:
24 hours (Monday to Sunday)

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://www.n-nagi.com/english/

4. Menya Kaijin (麺屋海神)

Menya Kaijin’s Seafood Noodle.

Menya Kaijin’s Seafood Noodle. From Twitter

 

Menya Kaijin’s bestseller is the Arataki Shio Ramen – noodles with a light soup made of tasty simmered fish stock. There’s a bit of randomness to the taste with every visit because the kind of fish used for the soup depends on the day’s catch. Once served, the dish is topped with meatball, fish ball, welsh onions, Japanese ginger, green perilla, and red pepper. The best way to eat is to order on the side a Heshiko Onigiri (rice ball with pickled mackerel), and dunk it in the soup when you’re done with your noodles.

Indeed, they will have you convinced that the goodness of the sea can be captured in one hot bowl.

Access:
2 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station South East Exit

Address:
Sanraku Building 2F 3-35-7 Shinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo

Hours:
Monday to Saturday    11am – 3pm, 430pm – 1130pm
Sunday                           11am – 11pm

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://www.localplace.jp/t100117071/ (Japanese only)

5. Ramen Takahashi (焼きあご塩らー麺 たかはし)

Takahashi’s famous yaki ago shio ramen bowl.

Takahashi’s famous yaki ago shio ramen bowl. From Instagram

 

Takahashi is another noodle shop for fish lovers where its famous bowl makes use of Yakiago (grilled flying fish) stock. With just one sip, you’ll experience its full-bodied broth spreading in your mouth.

This plus the restaurant’s nice and comfortable interiors will surely make a trip to Takahashi an exquisite ramen outing.

Access:
5 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit
1 min. walk from Seibu Shinjuku Station

Address:
1 chome-27 Kabukicho Shinjuku-ku Tokyo

Hours:
Monday to Sunday      11am – 5am
Closed during New Year Holiday Period

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://takahashi-ramen.com (Japanese only)

6. Ebisoba Ichigen (えびそば一幻)

Ebisoba Ichigen ramen from Sapporo.

Ebisoba Ichigen ramen from Sapporo. From Instagram

 

One definite perk of being in the capital is to find the best of other regions sampled in the city. Case in point: Ebisoba Ichigen.

One of Sapporo’s most popular ramen restaurants, Ebisoba Ichigen’s trademark is its shrimp-flavored ramen. You can choose between Sonomama (light, shrimp-only broth) and Ajiwai (a more intense combination of shrimp broth and Tonkotsu soup) for the base, and determine the seasoning among the usual selection of Shio (salt), Shoyu (soy sauce), and Miso flavors. The result is umami levels straight from Sapporo minus the plane ride.

Access:
6 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit
2 min. walk from Seibu Shinjuku Station

Address:
7-8-2 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo

Hours:
Monday to Sunday      11am – 11pm
Closed on Wednesdays

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://www.ebisoba.com (Japanese only)

7. Suzuran (鈴蘭)

Niboshi flavored chuka soba at Suzuran.

Niboshi flavored chuka soba at Suzuran. From Instagram

 

There are three ways to enjoy Suzuran’s deep Niboshi-flavored (dried anchovy) broth: Order it with ramen, with Chuka Soba (Chinese buckwheat noodle), or Tsukemen (dipping noodle) style. Clearly, this noodle shop is all about unique anchovy love.

Access:
2 min. walk from Shinjuku Sanchome Station

Address:
3-11-12 Shinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo

Hours:
Monday to Saturday    11am – 12am
Sunday                           11am – 11pm

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://ameblo.jp/suzuran-noodles/ (Japanese only)

8. Orenomen Harumichi (俺の麺 春道)

Shrimp-flavored Tsukemen at Orenumen Harumichi.

Shrimp-flavored Tsukemen at Orenumen Harumichi. From Instagram

 

Dipping noodles into a rich shrimp and pork bone broth is what defines the Orenumen Harumichi experience. The combination results to a layered taste catering to diners with a flavor-loving palate. It can be overwhelming and interesting. But all in all, it’s oishii!

Access:
3 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station South Exit

Address:
7-9-15 Nishishinjuku Shinjuku Tokyo

Hours:
Monday to Sunday      1130am – 11pm

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://ameblo.jp/orenomen-harumichi/ (Japanese only)

9. Kibouken (希望軒)

Kibouken’s Tonkotsu Cha Shu Men.

Kibouken’s Tonkotsu Cha Shu Men. From Twitter

 

Can you really resist petals of pork barbecue on your ramen?

Unlike most restaurants, Kibouken has an actual menu instead of the usual ticket machines. At the same time, while most shops would only have one or two offerings based on their specialty, Kibuoken offer several varieties. So in case you’re the type to be undecided on what to get until the very last minute, you know where to go.

PS. The Tonkotsu Ramen is the house specialty.

Access:
5 min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station C3 Exit
1 min. walk from Shinjukusanchome Station

Address:
3-7-3 Shinjuku Shinjuku, Tokyo

Hours:
Sunday to Thursday                                                        11am – 1130pm
Fridays, Saturdays, and the day before holidays      11am – 130am (next day)

Price:   ~ ¥999

Website: http://www.kibou-ken.com (Japanese only)

10. Rishiri (利しり)

Ramen for the after hours at Rishiri.

Ramen for the after hours at Rishiri. From Instagram

 

Just by looking at it, you can tell that what they’re serving is hot stuff. Rishiri is known for catering to the nocturnals of Kabukicho serving spicy ramen that is sure to alert your senses. The broth is a combination of pork and chicken with Konbu seaweed and Suppon turtle extract. It is then garnished with chili, leek, bell peppers, and an extra serving of pork. Order this with their equally famous best-seller, Cha-han fried rice, and you’re all set.

This is the perfect stop after a night out of partying at Kabukicho or Golden Gai.

Access:
5 min. walk from Seibu Shinjuku Station

Address:
2-27-7 Kabukicho Shinjuku Tokyo

Hours:
Monday to Saturday    630pm – 5am
Closed on Sundays, Holidays, and New Year Holiday Period

Price:   ~ ¥1000 to ¥1999

Website: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/edz6ru980000/ (Japanese only)

Thumbnail image is from Flickr