Updated: September 26, 2019
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What is Hakata Style Ramen? All About the Popular Tonkatsu Ramen.

Fukuoka City

Both inside of Japan and around the world, one of the most popular types of ramen is called 'Hakata Ramen.' This article will talk about the origins of Hakata ramen and introduce the original Hakata ramen restaurant (it's still open)!

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What is Hakata Style Ramen?

Hakata ramen is a type of tonkotsu ramen that is popular throughout Japan. The simple ramen consists of a silky smooth pork bone broth (tonkotsu) with extra-thin noodles and minimal toppings.
Hakata-style ramen

Why is it called 'Hakata' ramen?

Hakata is a district within the city of Fukuoka, on Japan's western island of Kyushu where Hakata ramen was first created.

There's actually another type of regional ramen called 'Nagahama Ramen' that shares many similarities with Hakata ramen. The two styles of ramen were developed at the same time, and both still exist today, but most people(even Japanese people) only know Hakata ramen due to its quicker spread from Fukuoka to other parts of the country.

Hakata (and Nagahama) ramen was originally sold from food stalls to fishermen working in the district as a quick and cheap meal. In order to prepare the ramen as quickly as possible, super-thin noodles were used to reduce boiling time. However, since the thin noodles could turn mushy in the soup much quicker than thicker noodles, a system of 'kaedama' (noodle refill) was created so that a smaller portion of noodles could be served while still offering the option to eat more if needed.

'Hakuryuken' is the name of the very first permanent shop that served Hakata ramen, and is introduced at the end of the article.

Famous Hakata-Style Ramen Shops That Went Global

Ippudo (一風堂)

Ippudo is the most international ramen shop in the world with over 60 stores outside of Japan. If you're a ramen fan, chances are you've heard of it before! Their soup is a classic, silky tonkotsu broth with wonderful depth of flavor that satisfies every time. Since there are stores across the globe, it's probably the easiest ramen in the world to get. Give it a try sometime if you haven't already!

Ichiran (一蘭)

Ichiran is another Hakata-style ramen shop that is gaining fame around the world. There are now 7 locations outside of Japan, including 3 in New York City, 2 in Hong Kong, and 2 in Taiwan. Ichiran's signature is the secret chili-based sauce that combines 30 different ingredients and is added directly to the center of the ramen. The shops are also known for their private, sectioned counter seats which allow lone diners to eat in privacy.
Check this place out for some solidly delicious Hakata-style ramen next time you're looking for a great bowl of ramen.

The Original Hakata Ramen Shop: Hakuryuken

The first Hakata ramen shop is still open today (despite moving locations a couple of times). This means that you can still try the original Hakata ramen if you travel to Fukuoka! Despite 70+ years of operation, the taste is unchanged and still delicious. Don't miss the chance to try it if you can!

In Closing

This has been a brief overview of Hakata-style ramen. If you're in Fukuoka, check out our recommendations for the top 5 Hakata ramen shops in Hakata:
I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

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