Nakamoto Spicy Ramen in Ikebukurobabibubebo | 9 06 2008
Before I had ramen in Japan, I thought ramen only came in the form of “almost tasteless instant ramen” that costs like 30 cents for a single bag. I had no idea how many different kinds of ramen there are(Sapporo and Fukuoka quickly come to mind as two of the most famous kinds) or exactly how delicious ramen can be. If you go almost anywhere in Japan, you will find tons of ramen ( ラーメン ) shops and probably will get something decent at most places. That being said, I have decided to share with you an excellent place in Ikebukro, Tokyo, Nakamoto with their spicy ramen, or I think they call it “tantan-men.”
If you like ramen and/or spicy food, you will like this place. First a warning though, it is REALLY spicy. Let me repeat that, it is REALLY spicy. I am not talking about wasabi spicy, I am talking super red chili pepper spicy. On their menu, they have a rating system from 0 to 5, of course 0 being not spicy and 5 being beyond comprehension spicy. As for myself, I like spicy food so I thought I could handle it and went with a level 3. This was barely eatable but after adding a lot of vinegar to cut back on the spiciness, it was delicious. My friend got a level 2 and it was still really really spicy, but much more eatable. After eating, we both got upset stomachs, but it was so good that even despite that, my friend wanted to go back the next day before he left Japan to go back to the USA. The next day we both went with level 2 and we both added a little vinegar and that was about perfect for me, just below my tolerance level for spiciness. If you make the trip, I suggest starting with 1 or 2 and then working your way up. Trust me it is spicier than you think it will be.
I made a very simple map for you. Basically, from Ikebukuro station, go out the exit OPPOSITE side of Sunshine City (Sunshine 60) and look for Maru Ichi Maru Ichi (circle one circle one, sometimes called Marui or Oi Oi). It is very close to there on the second floor. It is somewhat famous so if you ask somebody in the area where is Nakamoto, they can probably get you close.
Another warning, if you go at peak times you might have to wait a while to get a seat…
My friend suffering from eating two bowls in two days of Nakamoto’s spicy ramen.
Not really actually, I just wanted to use this photo of him assimilating to Japanese culture.
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