Wednesday, December 11, 2013

日清亭 Nisshin-tei: hot springs, hot noodles

We took a short trip last weekend to Hakone, a resort area of Japan south of Tokyo full of hot springs and historical culture.

The last of the beautiful autumn foliage was visible despite the windy temperatures.

Weekend excursions to beautiful resort towns do not preclude us from building appetites for bowls of ramen. Hakone's local favorite is a diner-like shop called Nisshin-tei.

There aren't a lot of ramen shops in this part of Japan (I imagine most tourists would rather eat luxurious kaiseki courses than slurp bowls), but Nisshintei is noteworthy regardless for making their own noodles, in full view of passersby and hungry tourists waiting in line.

First trips to strange locations call for the house special.

Ramen (600yen)

The shoyu had a basic broth with accents of chicken and vegetables, chashu, menma, and a slice of naruto. Your typical, no-frills diner ramen from the Showa era.

The standout is definitely the noodles, which are hand cut and vary in length and texture for unpredictable mouthfuls.

Lum went crazy and got the sanratanmen, which is a sweet and sour ramen that's also pretty spicy. I only had a bite of this, but it was much more of a solid punch in the face.

Sanratamen (850yen)
By the time we got outside, a massive line had formed with many groups and families. Word has definitely gotten out about this friendly, solid joint. It's worthy of a side trip if you're already dipping your cold skin into hot onsen.

Kanagawa, Ashigarashimogun, Hakonemachi-Yumoto 703
Closest stn: Hakone-Yumoto 

Open from 11am-9pm (closed Tuesdays)


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