Shin-Yokohama's Ramen Museum is a destination for most Ramen Lovers, but also a fun place to go for anyone who's interested in Japanese postwar history. Lum and I had a rare day off, so we decided to head down and grab a few bowls.
The first floor has a gift shop, but all the restaurants are located underground in a kitschy recreation of postwar Showa-era Japan. The sky is filled with nostalgic sunsets, and alleys have fake bars and cabarets for you to fulfill your fantasies of landing in an Ozu Yasujiro movie. There are candy shops, restrooms in the shape of bathhouses, and even a old-time bar to grab drinks once you've had one too many bowls, or you need a break from the relentless grind of salaryman life.
Some of these dens house actual ramen establishments. Though there are a few shops only available at the Ramen Museum, most of the shops at the Ramen Museum come from all over Japan for brief stints, and the neighborhood has seen the likes of Hakata legend Kurume Taiho, Ogikubo chuka sobaya Harukiya, and even the Hollywood tsukemen shop Ikemen. The best part about the Museum is that you can try "mini bowls" at all the shops. In an ambitious day, you can sample more than half the shops, and we were feeling ambitious.
Ryushanhai is now one of the oldest shops on the block, but I remember when this was brand-spanking new and had two-hour lines! Hailing from Yamagata, this is their only branch in the Kanto area.
They specialize in a oily gyokai miso that is topped with a fat spoonful of spicy miso paste. The broth is good, but it kicks up to 11 when the spicy miso is mixed in.
It has just the right amount of spiciness and flavor. It kind of reminds of the best Nagoya-style Taiwan ramen.
The noodles are fat and curly, almost like Kitakata-style handcut noodles, and pair great with the oily soup. Many shops have come and gone, but Ryushanhai is still my pick for the best bowl in the Museum.
The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum is about a 5-minute walk from Shin-Yokohama station. All shops are open from 11am-11pm. You can access the website at: