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Kumamoto Ramen

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Savor the flavors of Kumamoto ramen, a popular Kumamoto food

Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture



Kumamoto ramen is a must-try variation of tonkotsu ramen originating from Japan’s Kumamoto region. Tonkotsu is a soup made mainly in Kyushu, where pig bones are boiled to make a broth. Pork bones alone give the soup a thick taste, but nowadays blends such as pork bone and soy sauce and pork bone and miso are also available. 

In Kumamoto ramen, chicken bones and other ingredients are further blended to give the soup a unique, mild taste. Its history traces back to the late nineteenth century, when ramen, a Japanese adaptation of a Chinese dish, likely first arrived in Japan. Tonkotsu ramen probably originated in the 1930s or 40s in Kurume, which is located midway between Fukuoka and Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu. After witnessing the popularity of a Kurume ramen restaurant in nearby Tamana, three ambitious friends (Kimura Hajime, Yamanaka Yasutoshi, and Shigemitsu Koji) from Kumamoto were inspired to start their own eateries. Kimura opened Shoyoken in 1953, Yamanaka opened Komurasaki in 1954, and Shigemitsu, after working at Keika Ramen for a few years, opened Ajisen Ramen in 1968. Their ramen contributed to the establishment of the Kumamoto ramen tradition.

Kumamoto ramen has the mouth-watering smell of roasted garlic. Its mild pork-broth soup is made from a blend of pork bone and chicken stock, and its medium-sized straight noodles go down the throat smoothly. The addition of roasted garlic chips and garlic oil as a topping creates an excellent taste when mixed with the mild pork-broth soup. It is a popular dish in Kumamoto. 


How to get there


From Hakata Station, take the Kyushu Shinkansen to Kumamoto Station (about 40 minutes). Many ramen restaurants are located near Kumamoto Station and the Kumamoto City center.


1-1, Tetorihon-cho, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto-ken


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