Menya Hyottoko has counter seats only (Photo: Peter Lin)

Menya Hyottoko in Yurakucho

Simple and delicious yuzu ramen in Yurakucho

Peter Lin   - 2 min read

Menya Hyottoko is a traditional ramen shop in Yurakucho. This restaurant is rumored to be one of the originators of yuzu ramen, a style that is popular in Tokyo and mainly associated with the Afuri ramen chain throughout the city. This is a bare bones operation and there are only counter seats available, so there is often a line. Orders are selected from a ticket machine and the service is efficient and gracious. Since the seating is first come, first serve, it can be difficult to sit together as a group but the focus is on enjoying the ramen quickly and moving on. The owner and his wife run the shop and cook the ramen in front of the guests. The location in the basement, limited seating and simple offerings give rise to a very traditional ramen experience.

The specialty here is the yuzu ramen, and the simple rendition of this is refreshing and light. The yuzu accompaniment adds a citrusy flavor but also a bit of bitterness from the rind, and the taste can be adjusted with each bite.  The char siu on the ramen is sizable and delicious. Standard accompaniments include green onions, bamboo shoots, mitsuba, and half an egg. The ramen can also be ordered alone without yuzu. Also recommended is the chameshi takuan tsuki, a rice dish with tea leaves and a side of pickles (takuan). Additional add-ons to the ramen can be purchased from the ticket machine including nori seaweed, wakame, extra menma (bamboo shoots), extra noodles or a soft egg. Prices are very affordable.

Menya Hyottoko is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on every day except for Sunday. The easiest way to get there is to get off at JR Yurakucho station and go through the basement into the Kotsu Kaikan building. The restaurant is a nice break from shopping in nearby Ginza.

Getting there

Menya Hyottoko is in the basement of the Kotsu Kaikan Building in Yurakucho.

Peter Lin

Peter Lin @peter.lin

I first visited Japan in 2001 and since then have returned many times. With the efficiency and reliability of its transportation, the graciousness of the people, and the dedication to quality in food and service, Japan has been my standard for modern travel convenience. Every return has reminded...