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Jul 26, 2011 06:16 PM

Ramen shops in Tokyo with tables & waitstaff?

I cannot read or write Japanese, so dealing with order forms, signs, or
ticket machines is a problem.

However, I can speak & understand Japanese, so ordering is easy
(shoyu, katame, menma, etc.).

Don't want to end up in ramen-ya that cater to tourists, but rather
where native Tokyoites go to slurp.

Suggestions are welcome!

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  1. Regardless of whether they have a ticket machine or not, most ramen shops have someone responsible for FOH "support"- especially the really good and popular ones. If you can speak Japanese, then just go where you want and speak with them. For English, Ichiran is a chain from Fukuoka with bilingual menus...The two Ivan Ramen shops will be capable of handling English as they are owned by an American...Bassanova in Shindaita used to have a Japanese American expat working behind the counter. Not sure if he's still there.

    1. I can speak about 4 words of japanese and the only word I can read is Shinagawa and yet I have no problems.

      Pick the ramen-ya with the longest line, select ticket at random, enjoy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: kersizm

        Haha!!! My method exactly sometimes. Though I can figure out some of the terms in japanese sometimes (and my fiance can read mandarin so she knows some kanji) ;)

        Long lines are a hungry mans best and worst friend.

      2. The only ramen shops I can think of that cater to tourists might possibly be the ones in Tokyo Station - they probably have more than average numbers of Japanese customers from outside Tokyo just because of the location.

        In answer to your question, Ippudo in Ebisu has tables and waitstaff, and the ramen is very good. They have at least a dozen newer branches throughout the city, but I don't know about seating and ticket arrangements at the branches. Here are some more ramen recommendations:

        1. I would recommend GoGyo if you want to try something different and don't want to sit at a counter. The atmosphere is more like an izakaya and they a few branches, including the original in Nishiazabu, Ginza and Yoyogi Uehara.

          They have lots of non ramen dishes (their tebasaki is one of my favorites) and a full bar, so you can make a night of it with a group of friends.