In all honestly, I’m not a fan of ramen. But when you’re in Fukuoka, birthplace of Ichiran Ramen and its pork broth, you can’t not go. On that note, I went to visit the supposedly original branch of Ichiran (and hopefully I mapped out the right one below), with individual seating as you can see. I later found out that most Ichiran branches across Japan those dividing screens can be unlocked and moved so that you can actually see your friend(s), but these are fixed.
Rather out of my depth in terms of ramen knowledge, I decided to play it safe and go with the ‘normal’/recommended option for all their specific options (soup broth, noodle hardness, chili spiciness, spring onions etc). Anticipating that I, in my non-ramen-fan nature, would not be going in for another serving, I opted not to go with their popular ‘extra serving bowl of noodles’ option.
As you might’ve realized by now, I surprisingly enjoyed the ramen at Ichiran, enough that I managed to finish all the noodles! (But as predicted, not enough to go for extras) I was so pleasantly surprised to find a ramen that I actually quite liked for once that I went again during my short stay in Fukuoka.
My hope that their standards were maintained throughout Japan has held out so far as I accompanied a friend to a branch on the way to Tokyo from Mt Fuji and it was still enjoyable, but admittedly not as enjoyable as the original in Fukuoka.