Ichiran: The Most Famous Tonkotsu Ramen Restaurant In Hakata, Fukuoka

Tonkotsu Ramen specialty restaurant chain Ichiran is not only famous in Japan but also in overseas! The original Ichiran is located in Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture. This article covers the original Ichiran inside and out!

There are many chain restaurants but I’ve always dreamt going to the flagship restaurants in any type of restaurants, especially if the chain is popular. I see some bloggers write their experience in Ichiran; the popular Tonkotsu Ramen restaurant originated in Hakata, Fukuoka and it made me want to visit there...and time finally has come!!

Visiting Ichiran Honten

Ichiran Honten (Honten means the flagship store) is located in Hakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Hakata is the busiest city in Kyushu region, and is known as the city where fashion concious and gourmet people gathering in.

I used a map app on my phone and didn’t have hard time finding the restaurant! It was around 9am on Saturday.

Ohhh so this is it, the flagship restaurant of Ichiran!

The first floor looks just like the other Ramen restaurants but their famous counter is on the second floor. It is called “Concentrate On The Flavour” counter which is devided by screens. As the name of the counter shows, you can concentrate eating their specialty Tonkotsu Ramen without chatting with anyone.

Hah… Of course I am going upstairs, then!

They advertise their Ramen take-away products. You can make Ichiran’s Tonkotsu Ramen at home! These are only available at the restaurants.

The first thing to do is to get a meal ticket.

There’s the vacant seat finder screen on the wall which helps you to find a seat. Green lamp means it is vacant.

This flagship restaurant usually has a looooong waiting line, but who comes to the Ramen restaurant at 9 in the morning except this guy!?

So this is “Concentrate On The Flavour” counter!

Now it is time to customize your Ramen. Mark on the sheet and tell the staff your preference on each component such as thickness of the soup, firmness of the noodles, etc… Press the button in front of you when you are done marking, then the staff comes to get the sheet. No need to scream to get the staff ;)

Let’s Taste The Famous Ichiran’s Tonkotsu Ramen!

TA-DA! Here it is!!

Mmm I already know it is good…!!

Ichiran’s popular topping is a boiled egg. It comes with shell.

You can peel the shell and put it in the soup or eat it by itself with salt. The egg came with shell but it was very flavourful...great!

I got some beer and snacks. As I mentioned, it was early morning. Hahaha...Well, I guess I was like “I’m on my vacay, let me have whatever I want!!”

I wonder why the beer in the morning is so delicious…!!

Look at this wonderfully roasted pork slices! It was SO heavenly!

If you want some more noodles, you can ask for Kaedama (noodle refill) by marking this chopstick sleeve.

I sure ordered Kaedama!

I wanted to get some take-away ramens but they sell these souvenir products from 10am, so I didn’t get any… Well, my tummy is now beyond full… Thank you Ichiran for such a quality Tonkotsu Ramen! I realized this flagship Ichiran is not so different from the other Ichiran in any other locations, but it means all the Ichirans in Japan offer same quality Tonkotsu Ramen no matter where they are. That is amazing, isn’t it?

Another Famous Tonkotsu Ramen Chain Ippudo’s Flagship Restaurant Also Located In Hakata

I reserched a bit more about Hakata and found out an aother famous Tonkotsu Ramen restaurant Ippudo’s flagship restaurant is in the city.

The app shows me it is not too far from Ichiran, so I started to walk there...it took me about 20 minutes… I was still full and the restaurant was not open yet anyway, so I just took some pictures of the restaurant.

An aother Ippudo is only one block away from the flagship restaurant.

Wow I’m sure Ramen is such a serious business in Hakata! I found the other Ichiran near the Ippudo. This particular Ichiran offers limited menus which you can eat only in this restaurant.

Whew… I enjoyed so much of their Ramen in Ichiran’s flagship restaurant! I’d love to take another trip to the other flagship restaurants! If you plan to visit Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu region, try some Tonkotsu Ramen in these restaurants! You’ll love their tasty Ramen!!

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Written by 941 (Yusuke Kushii)

I'm working in a technical public relations section of an IT company in Tokyo. I often writes columns about child-rearing and blogs about visiting a number of office tours and nice restaurants.