How many Ramen can you eat in a day? And how many kilometers can you travel by train while eating them? In this article we will find out.
We will introduce three types of unique Ramen in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. While Hakata Ramen, very very thin and straight noodles, are known and available all over the country, others are true local specialities.
Here we combine the tasting of three unique Ramen with a shinkansen ride through Kyushu.
- 600km by Kyushu Shinkansen
- Truely local speciality Maguro Ramen
- Tasty Pork Chashu in Kagoshima
- Rich taste Kumamoto Ramen
Hakata is the start and end of this trip as we had stayed in a hotel there. Hakata is the final stop of the Tokaido Shinkasen coming all the way from Tokyo and the first stop of the Kyushu Shinkansen. Kyushu Shinkansen is fairly new compared to the Tokaido one. Trains run in shorter sets but feel more modern and more comfortable.
At that time we had the Japan Railpass. All the rides were covered by that pass. That makes the tour affordadble. Otherwise it would cost quite a lof of mony as you can see in the table below.
In the morning we started of at Hakata Station and took a Shinkansen south-bound to Sendai (Kagoshima). There we got of into a local train of the JR Kagoshima Line. That’s a local train running all the way south to Kagoshima stopping at small and minor station. Our first destination is Kushikino. Already when getting of the station there are signs advertising their local speciality “Maguro Ramen”. A type I haven’t seen anywhere before. In fact a Kagoshima native had recommended this to us. I assume even many Japanese haven’t heard about it before.
After eating there the first Ramen for an early lunched we continued by JR Kagoshima Line until Kagoshima-Chuo station. In Kagoshima we had the much more famous Tontoro Ramen at Tenmonkan’s main restaurant. That ones is a recommendation in many Japanese tourist guides as well. But, incredible delicious.
After finishing that second later lunch there we went back to Kagoshima-Chuo station and took the Shinkansen north to Kumamoto. In Kumamoto you can find, the in my opinion, best Japanese castle. In case you are in that area. Definately check it out. Also, as expected, there are delicious Ramen. Kokutei is also just a short walk the station. Especially beautiful on their ramen: two yellow raw eggs.
Finally after that third dish of Ramen and a more than full belly, we took the Shinkansen back to Hakata.
Let’s look into the details of the shop.
Maguro Ramen at Misono
Misono (みその) is one of the most popular places for Maguro ramen. And Maguro ramen is really a local speciality only known and made here. In case you don’t know: Maguro is the Japanese word for Tuna. Misono is easy to find by a 12 minute walk on the main street starting straight ahead of the station exit.
Maguro Ramen itself is a clear and tasty soup. The special, it gets topped with three slices of Maguro Sashimi. The slices are raw when topped and served and just get slightly boiled by the hot soup. A delicious and unique experience.
Our order was the standard dish of the shop:
Maguro Ramen まぐろラーメン 800 Yen
Kagoshima Ramen at Tontoro Tenmonkan
Located at a 16 minutes walk from the Kagoshima-Chuo station Tenmonkan Main Restaurant is located. The walk is nice to experience the city. However, there would also be a tram running. Tontoro refers to a part of the neck of the pork. And that’s the type of meat they make the chashu from.
The total name of the shop is Tontoro Tenmonkan Main Restaurant. In Japanese: 鹿児島ラーメン 豚とろ 天文館本店
As for the order we decided for the standard ramen topped with an half-boiled egg.
Hanshuku Tamago Iri Tontoro Ramen 半熟玉子入り豚とろラーメン Normal Size 870 Yen
Kumamoto Ramen at Kokutei
Kokutei is a ramen shop in Kumamoto that offers, no surprise, so called Kumamoto Ramen. It’s just a 8 minute walk from the Shinkansen stop at Kumamoto station. That shop is famous and can get crowded. Especially beautiful look the two eggs as topping.
The name of the shop is Kokutei Kumamoto Ramen (熊本ラーメン 黒亭 本店)
As order we went with Ramen topped with Eggwhich is the most popular dish.
Tamago Iri Ramen (玉子入りラーメン)
Train Ride Details
Unfortunately we didn’t record exact times and prices at the time we did this travel in 2016. Time durations and distances are still equal. Prices probably have changed since back then. We had anyway the JR Railpass so we didn’t have to pay an extra for the trains mentioned
|JR Kagoshima Line
|JR Kagoshima Line
Remark: Ramen prices are of 2016 and might have increased.