Aug. 26, 2019 UPDATE

Ramen Touhichi

- らぁ麺 とうひち -
Enjoy an exceptional bowlful of clear chicken soup umami at Ramen Touhichi
Touhichi is a ramen place a 25-minute walk away from Kyoto subway Karasuma line Kitaoji Station. This ramen place opened in 2015, but the amount of umami in their clear chicken soup soon became an oft-talked topic among the ramen aficionados of Japan, who keep coming back to Touhichi, as they can’t seem to get enough of it. The reason for the deliciousness of Touhichi’s ramen can be found in the quality of their ingredients. All their ramen is additive free, and also doesn’t contain chemical seasonings like MSG. They use only the finest chicken in their soup, solid black chicken from Tanba and Kochin from Nagoya, and even the soy sauce used in the soup is an original blend using many types of soy sauces including from the famous soy sauce specialty shop in Tokyo, Nihon Ichi Shoyu. Their noodles are made using, among others, flour from Hokkaido, and they really use these quality ingredients generously, and the ramen made in this way can be succinctly said to be excellent. This ramen can be said to be the completion of ramen made by combining chicken soup and soy sauce. At the restaurant the tables and chairs are made of wood, and it has a Kyoto-like but modern atmosphere. It is really popular, so there is always a line in front of it. The ramen here is not too thick or rich, so many of the patrons here are not young, but there are also many women. You may have to line up for an hour or so, so go to Touhichi when you have ample time.
Chicken soy sauce ramen
Chicken soy sauce ramen / ¥750
Touhichi is most famous for their chicken soy sauce ramen. The clear soy sauce based soup gets its great smell from the chicken, and the taste; suffice to say this bowl is a work of art. The round but delicate taste is not that heavy, but you get the richness of chicken with the salty punch of soy sauce, which go together remarkably well. It may because of the umami in the chicken soup, but I almost felt like the taste raw egg mixed with white rice. The noodles are handmade, thin straight noodles. The ramen is topped with a chicken and pork char siu, and menma – fermented bamboo shoots, and they all have a nice bite to them. White green onion and mitsuba (Japanese honeywort) not only look nice on the ramen, but also change the taste a bit, and work as a nice flavoring too.
Chicken soy sauce tsukesoba
Chicken soy sauce tsukesoba / ¥800
The other specialty of Touhichi is their chicken soy sauce tsukesoba. Like normal tsukemen, or dipping ramen, the noodles are dipped in a dipping sauce, but the chicken soy sauce tsukesoba at Touhichi is not your normal bowl of tsukemen. The overpoweringly refreshing noodles go especially well down your throat, and this joined with the deliciousness of the chicken and soy sauce, it is all so good you almost feel like you were eating chicken-and-wheat sashimi. You can eat it like normal tsukemen, but because the noodles are in kelp water, they feel fresher than normal, and you enjoy the fragrant smell of the kelp. You can read about my recommended way of eating these noodles in “Order Tips” below.
Dried sardine seafood broth ramen
3Let's Try!
Dried sardine seafood broth ramen / ¥750
This boiled and dried sardine seafood broth ramen is limited to 15 portions a day. This ramen is made by combining six types of dried sardines with four types of katsuo, dried bonito, and you can taste the sardines with the fishy taste and smell, and all this goes well together with the “Kurobaranori” seaweed and onion cut into cubes. This is another quality bowl from Touhichi; there is nothing to improve here. Compared to the aforementioned chicken and soy sauce ramen, this seafood broth ramen has a more starch taste, not as round as the chicken one. This ramen is especially great for those who are really into seafood broth.
Torimeshi (Chicken rice)
4Let's Try!
Torimeshi (Chicken rice) / ¥250
Here you have some of Touhichi’s chicken char siu on top of rice, and this is all flavored by their salt tare sauce. The chicken is a bit pink and goes incredibly well with rice. This is so delicious, I’m sure you will see the bottom of the bowl in no time. Of course you don’t need to say it goes well with ramen too.
How to Order

how to order - Touhichi

First, you buy your ticket from the ticket vending machine. Put money into the machine, and push the button of the ramen you want. They have no menu in English so 0I recommend choosing what you want to order before going to Touhichi. Please note that you line up first, and buy the ramen ticket when you get inside the restaurant. Be careful not to jump in line to buy tickets. Touhichi. Please note that you line up first, and buy the ramen ticket when you get inside the restaurant. Be careful not to jump in line to buy tickets. 

- Order Tips -

Below you can read about my recommended way of eating “Chicken and soy sauce tsukesoba.”

1. First, take only a few noodles with your chopsticks, and eat them without dipping them. You get to taste the kelp water and wheat directly, and really appreciate the work that goes into the ramen at Touhichi. 

2. Next, put some salt and Japanese pepper onto your noodles, and enjoy them like you would sashimi. The salt is sucked in by the noodles, making the taste of the noodles themselves stand out even more. (The salt they have on the table is fine, so it melts almost right away, so be careful not to put too much on your noodles.)

3. Lastly, dip the noodles in the soup. You get the richness of the chicken with the salty punch of soy sauce, just remember to take the time to enjoy it all. You can let the wonton dumpling slide down your throat whenever you so want, and the sudachi citrus fruit can be squeezed onto your noodles when you so want.  

4.3 food5.0 service4.0 atmosphere4.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
4.3 food5.0 service4.0 atmosphere4.0
Touhichi is well known even on the well-populated map of Kyoto’s ramen places. I have eaten a countless number of bowls of ramen, but even among those ramen bowls, I can safely say that Touhichi’s is top-class. There are no sightseeing spots close to it, and it is far away from the closest station, but still, I’m sure that you will understand the reason why there is always a line in front of it once you taste the soup. For me, this ramen is so good it could even become the reason why you come to Kyoto, so those of you who want to find the ultimate bowl, come to Kyoto!
3.9 food4.5 service3.6 atmosphere3.7
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 food4.5 service3.5 atmosphere2.5
4.2 food5.0 service3.5 atmosphere4.0
5.0 food5.0 service5.0 atmosphere5.0
3.5 food4.0 service3.0 atmosphere3.5
Åland Islands
3.5 food4.0 service3.0 atmosphere3.5
Ramen Touhichi / らぁ麺 とうひち
Category Ramen
Phone +81 75-432-8818
Address 33-6, Omiya Kitahakonoicho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 612-8213
Directions From subway Karasuma line Kitaoji Station a 25-minute walk away. From Kitaoji bus terminal take bus number #1 and get off at Gentakushita bus stop, from there a 3-minute walk.
Open Hours 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Reservations No reservation
Closed Tuesday
Notes Note that if the restaurant is busy you may have line for over an hour.
Price range
~ ¥1,000
Credit cards Not accepted
Good for Solo, With Friends
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
The staff can understand some very simple English.
Menu Japanese only
Lanuages spoken Japanese only
Number of seats 15 seats
Private dining rooms Nothing
Non smoking / smoking Nonsmoking
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