Ramen Jiro

What is Ramen Jiro in Tokyo? Japanese popular noodles

“It is not a ramen. It is a food called Jiro”.

“Ramen Jiro” gained its popularity from the first Ramen Jiro Mita shop which is by Keio University. The Mita shop to this date has a long que of people waiting to go in and the above quote was established.

From the founding in 1986 to now, they have expanded its Ramen Jiro shops and countless Jiro inspired shops has opened.
It has developed into the point that people now says there is a new genre of food called “Jiro”.

However, there are still many people who doesn’t know what “Jiro” is.

This website is made for the beginner who has just heard of Ramen Jiro or who wants to go but not quite sure what kind of ramen it is.

 

Here, you will find all the answers for your Jiro questions.
・How is the Jiro ramen different to the others?
・I want to try it but I heard there are many rules to order…
・By the look of it the amount seems massive, is there a way to eat it?
・I heard there are unique ways to order, I am not sure if I can order right…
・Is it good?? Or not???

 

I will explain one by one the wonders of Jiro from the ways to eat it, rule, manner, etc.

 

What is Ramen Jiro in Tokyo It is a food called Jiro!

Ramen Jiro is a ramen shop in the vicinity of Tokyo metropolitan region which has popularity like a cult.
It has a very unique taste and ways to serve such as thick noodle, large amount of fat, rich soup, and large serving of vegetables.

It also has an interesting ways to order the contents such as “Ninniku (garlic), Yasai mashi mashi (extra vegetables)”.

It also is popular for having a fanatic fan base called “Jirorian” who has a great love for the ramen.

The shop first open in 1968 in Meguro ward Tokyo near Tokyo Metropolitan University.
Currently, there are many shops which are branched out in Hokkaido, Ibaragi, Fukushima, Kyoto and so on to over 40 shops.

As a representative of its kind, Ramen Jiro strives to date even though there are so many Jiro mimic (inspired) shops.

Founder Takumi Yamada, at Ramen Jiro Mita shop.
He is still serving ramen to date.

Fascination and features of Ramen Jiro

 

One of the specialty and fascination of Ramen Jiro is its overwhelming volume.

Even with the “small” serving, the noodle weighs over 300 g.

On top of that, it comes with boiled sprout and cabbage, and big chunk of barbeque pork.

 

The total calories are:

・Ramen: approx. 1500 kcal
・Ramen with single BBQ pork: approx. 1600 kcal
・Ramen with double BBQ pork: approx. 2000 kcal

 

Enough calories required for an adult female can be taken just with a bowl of the ramen.
One of the reasons for creating more and more Jirorian (Jiro fanatics) is the junk food essence of the ramen.

Also, the self-made noodle, rich pork broth and soya sauce based soup, free toppings, BBQ pork are the must know information when you talk about Ramen Jiro so I will walk you through it.

Super thick self-made noodle

As a rule, Jiro direct subsidiary shops are required to use the self-made noodle.
The noodle is made with Nissin flour added with carbonated water.

The noodles of Jiro compared to other shops are very thick, strong flavor of wheat, and very chewable thickness. And, needless to say, comes with massive volume.

 

Small serving per ramen: approx. 300g
Large serving per ramen: approx. 450g – 500g
(Differ in shops)

 

Since it just is massive volume, if you have small appetite or not confident in eating it all, you should let the staff know you want “small serving of noodle” or “half a bowl for the noodle”

Rich pork broth and soya sauce based soup

The soup is made by boiling pork broth and large quantities of pork meat together in a pot for a long time. There, good taste of meat gets blended in to create the rich flavor.

In that, pork fat gets mixed and hence you will see so much pork fat and that is one of the features of the soup.

On top of that, they use specially made Kaneshi soy sauce to add deepness to the taste.

Since Jiro has so many peculiar urban myth and local rules, you might have a question such as,

“Do we have to drink up all the soup at Ramen Jiro?”

At Jiro, they do not recommend you to drink all the soup either as it might be too much intake of chemical ingredients, fat or salt.

But if you want to, by all means.

Even not all the Jirorians drink all the soup either.
It’s all up to you.

Free extra toppings: vegetable, garlic, fat, saltier

At Jiro, after purchasing the ticket with an order and your turn to take the seat, the staff will ask you if you want any extra toppings.

 

There are 4 basic toppings:

Yasai (Vegetable): more vegetables?
Ninnniku (garlic): more garlic?
Abura (fat): extra fat
Karame (saltier): make the taste of soup thicker?

 

When the bowl of ramen is ready, the staff will ask you if you want more garlic.

This means “do you want extra garlic and other toppings?”

So if you want any extra toppings this is the time you say it.

If you want extra topping with the regular amount, you just name what you want such as vegetable, garlic, fat, or saltier.

 

But if you want more of the toppings:

Mashi (little bit more than the regular amount)
Mashi-mashi (double the amount)
Chomoranma (another name for mount Everest: triple the amount)

 

By calling out the above words, you will be able to select the amount for your toppings.

There are many Jirorians who has their own likings of the toppings.
They create their own special bowl.

But if you are a first timer,

 

“Do you want extra garlic and other toppings?”

Tell them “regular” or just say “please”.

You will be ok.

 

You will know the standard for the amount at the particular shop when you go once.
So try ordering extra toppings after the second time.

Deliciousness of BBQ pork

Thick flavor and soft food feeling of the BBQ pork is another outstanding point about Jiro.
The grilled pork is very popular for its softness which literally melts in your mouth and flavor soaked in the pork.

It depends on the shop and by the day,

If you have a hit of pork of the day it surely melts in your mouth and you will feel happy for rest of the day.

 

“Big chunk of soft BBQ pork edge was in it! Other pork was all juicy too!”
“I hit the pork of the day at Kannai shop! Yay!”
“Hibarigaoka Jiro shop was just delicious. I had pork of the day.”
“I could eat deliciously the ramen without garlic. I also had pork of the day!”
“Pork of the day was just goddess, its still repeating in my mouth”

 

Such words fly back and forth across the internet.
Although, it differs daily, you will dance for joy when you hit pork of the day.

That’s another one of Jiro magic.

love-it-or-hate-it of Ramen Jiro

You can say that people either love or hate the Ramen Jiro.

People who love it will go almost every day but people who don’t will never visit.

But although you didn’t like it and decided never to go again, you have the urge to go…

That’s the magic and quality of Ramen Jiro.

Many people will take the long rides to get there.
And some even from out of the region (other prefectures).

There are a few top of the Jirorians who has conquered every single one of the shops in Japan.

 

List of Ramen Jiro shops

 

You will have a heck of a time trying to finish the bowl when you first visit,
but if you crave for it after a while, then you are a repeater!

And then you will go on the journey of taste-off all over Japan.

Things to prepare before going to Jiro

You will probably find many urban myth and unique rules about Ramen Jiro on the internet.

So if you go for the first time,
you might wonder “Do I need to prepare anything beforehand?”

It is a ramen shop in the end, so I want you to go relaxed
and without anything to bring.

But with Ramen Jiro, you should prepare yourself with two of the things listed below.

 

That is

・Breath care mints
・Black oolong tea

 

It is more of a manner as a person rather than manner of Jiro,
so I recommend you to buy them before you go.

Breath care mints

At Jiro, garlic can be added as extra topping and it is not too much to say that garlic makes the taste of the ramen greater.

You can tell by how the first thing a staff asks you after the bowl is ready is, if you want any garlic.
So you can see the importance of the garlic.

* When you visit Jiro, please try to have it with garlic…

And,

garlic has quite strong taste to begin with,
but at Jiro, they put in so much garlic to the point you still smell like garlic the day after.

So if you have a plan to meet someone after eating or the day after,
you should eat some kind of breath care mint right after you leave the shop.

If you have a date or work the day after, it is a must!

 

If you go without any breath care, others will definitely stay clear of you…

 

After that to have more effect, you should have some milk or green tea.
They say it works.

Breath care mints

Milk or green tea

 

This combination should reduce the garlic smell even better.
Also, to eliminate the garlic component out of your system,

 

・Drink lots of water and go to toilet a lot
・Sweat a lot by taking a warm bath
・Drink lots of water and do half body bathing

 

By doing the above, your body will have higher metabolism
and any garlic essence left in your body will be discharged.

Ok, then next.

I will explain another essential for visiting Jiro.

Black Oolong tea

 

Oolong tea contains a substance called oolong tea polyphenol.
Black oolong tea contains polyphenol called “Oolong Tea Polymerized Polyphenol”.

Oolong tea polymerized polyphenol is said to have one of the highest fat suppression effect among the oolong tea polyphenols and the polyphenol is supposed to suppress the absorption of the fat.

This effect is the reason why oolong teas and black oolong tea both have dieting effect.

So the black oolong tea has the highest fat suppression effect within the oolong teas.

Even the small ramen at Jiro has approx. 1500 kcal and the large portion has approx. 2000 kcal. So you should expect a quite enough of fat intake…

(Please don’t tell me then don’t eat!…)

 

The ramen has very high calories and a lot of fat
so I recommend the black oolong tea to excel the fat suppression effect.

At many of the Ramen Jiro shops, they have a vending machine for beverages.

And Jiro even recommend the black oolong tea by selling them there.

Especially for those who likes to drink all the soup,

intake of chemical ingredients, fat, and salt is unavoidable so you should drink the tea.

 

Some shops even sell them inside the shop
so you should check it out before you go.

But some don’t have it at the shop nor has the vending machine,

so purchasing beforehand would be the wise idea.

Now, you are well prepared so let’s go to the Jiro shop!!

 

BUT before that there is the unique manners and rules that’s you should know.
I will explain about that next.

 Manners and rules at Ramen Jiro

There are few unspoken manners and rules at Ramen Jiro.

If you visit for the first time,

you might get confused with the unique atmosphere
but if you follow following rules one by one, you will be ok!

Even with the professional Jirorians around, don’t be afraid and just be confident.

However, the people making the ramen will just want you to enjoy it

so just relax and enjoy!

How to wait in line

First, let me explain about how to wait in a line.

Depending on the shop and location, you might end up waiting for 30mins to an hour.
Please make sure everyone who is eating will wait in line together.

You should not hold a spot for someone who are not lining up.
And cutting in line is forbidden.

Even the Jirorians who will just smile and let you go if it’s at Disneyland

will snap if you cut the line at Jiro.

 

Also, many of the Jiro shops are located near the roadway or in the residential area.

Make sure you line up straight so you will not stand in the roadway.

If it is in a residential area, try to keep your voices down so it won’t bother the people living there.

 

If you are not sure, then just follow what others are doing in the line.

If you go to the shop for the first time, just follow what people in front of you are doing.

That would be a standard tactic.

Once you are inside the shop, please buy the ticket of your desired ramen.

How to buy the ramen ticket

When you are at the front of the line, you will wait inside the shop.
Here, you will buy the ramen ticket from the ticketing machine.

Sometimes the staff will come outside of the shop to ask for the size.

Normally, you will buy the ticket then decide the size,

but at some places they want to know the amount of noodles to boil beforehand so they might ask you.

 

When the staff asks you,

Just say either “small” or “large”.

* You will look like a beginner if you tell them about the extra toppings at this point.

So be careful! : P

 

It is actually safer to buy “small” serving if you are beginner at Jiro.

If you are not a big eater, make sure you ask for “less noodle” or “half noodle”.

You should say that when they ask you for the size or when you put the ticket on the counter.

 

Also, they have “small pork” and “big pork double”.
Where it indicates “pork”, is means number of BBQ pork slices.

Roughly, “small” serving will have 2and “large” will have 4 to 5.
Double will have about 8.

Sit on the chair and wait for the ramen

Once there is an opening in seat at the counter,
go to the seat and put the ticket on the counter.

There are shops where you can just let yourself sit in the seat that someone has left, or you have to wait until you are called to sit.

Sometimes it depends on how busy the shop is so just pay attention.

As a principle, when the seat opens you sit.

So even if you are with other people don’t hold the line to wait for opening of seat to sit together. But sometime nice and kind staff might let you do that.

Do not move the seat once you have sat down.

 

And.

Don’t forget to poor yourself glass of water before you are seated as it is self-service.

It will bother a lot of people if you are to go after you sat down.

(It’s not you can’t)

Once ready, just wait until the ramen is served.

Just sit still quietly…

 

You should have minimum conversation with your companion too.

If you talk so much loudly without considering the surrounding people,

you might get the evil looks from everywhere.

* Little conversation is ok.

Once the noodle is ready, they will ask if you want garlic.

Now is the time to call out!

Eating ways (manners) and call outs (magic words)

Ramen Jiro has a unique call outs (magic words).

Many times people will say they feel hesitant to go in as Jiro has confusing call outs and the staffs are not kind about not knowing the callouts.

But callouts are just telling the staff about amount of vegetables and fat and so on about the toppings, if you want the saltier soup, or you want the garlic in.

It’s just telling them of that.

 

But if you are not used to it or a beginner

it just seems a lot to say and confusing.

But this is why they call Jiro unique so I will explain in details next.

The call outs (magic words)

At Ramen Jiro, when the noodles are ready,

They will ask either “do you want garlic?” or, “who ordered large?” or “who ordered small?”

This means what do you want to do about the toppings.

So you should call out what type and size of the toppings you want.

 

There are 4 basic toppings:

Yasai (Vegetable): more vegetables?
Ninnniku (garlic): more garlic?
Abura (fat): extra fat
Karame (saltier): make the taste of soup thicker?

 

If they ask you when the ramen is ready,

tell them the toppings you want.

 

Example 1)

Staff: “For the one will small, garlic (what about toppings)?”

Customer: “Garlic and vegetable… so on”

 

Example 2)

Staff: “Ok, next person (what about toppings)?

Customer: “No garlic, mashi vegetables, fat and salty”

 

But if you want more of the toppings:

Mashi (little bit more than the regular amount)
Mashi-mashi (double the amount)
Chomoranma (another name for Mount Everest: triple the amount)

 

The amounts differ by the shop.
Sometimes you get more than what you expected so be careful.

If you have visited the shop for the first time check the volume by looking at other people’s bowls.

That will be the best way to decide your amount.

 

For the first timer:

“Do you want extra garlic and other toppings?”

Tell them “regular” or just say “please”.

 

You will be ok.

 

You will know the standard for the amount at the particular shop when you go once.
So try ordering extra toppings after the second time.

* If you go with someone who knows the shop, please get an advice.

 

The staff might ask you for the call out suddenly,
so pay very attention to then at all times.

If you want extra topping with the regular amount, you just name what you want such as vegetable, garlic, fat, or saltier.

 

How to eat it (manner)

Since Jiro serves the crazy amount, there are few cautions on eating.

I would say it is a manner at Jiro, however, there are no definite rules on how to eat it, so please consider it as just a reference.

How to drink the soup

Most of the shops do not come with the spoon to drink the soup.

So, to drink the soup, hold the bowl with both your hands and put your lips at the edge of the bowl and go for it!

In general, they only have chop sticks and ramen.

If the shop has a spoon, please you according to your skills.

 

Tenchi-gaeshi (flipping upside down)

The noodle of Jiro is super thick and it easily absorbs the soup.

Since it has massive amount, you are left with more than you have started and it becomes tough to finish it all.

So we do “Tenchi-gaeshi” .

 

“Tenchi-gaeshi” is a technique where you turn everything upside down.

A technique to dig up the noodles at the bottom and put the vegetable and pork at the top.

 

By doing this, you minimize the expansion of the noodle and add more flavor to the vegetables and the pork by soaking it in the soup.

Hence, you can enjoy the Ramen once again.

 

If you don’t know how to do the “Tehchi-gaeshi”, please check out the  “Tenchi-gaeshi” at Ramen Jiro.

When you finish eating

Once you are done eating, put the bowl and cup on the counter,

wipe the table with the cloth on the table, and leave.

If you have visited the place in a group of people, leave one by one as you finish and wait outside for the others.

Lastly

Thank you very much for reading the page up to here.

At first, I had no idea why people were so fanatic about this Ramen… as the taste was just a wonder and not something I will call tasty.

But after few visits, I just became so intrigued and I became so in to it to the point that I was going alone.

That’s where my Jiro life started and here I am!

I know in your heart you want to go visit the Jiro already, so please use the information on this page as a reference and off you go!

I hope you have a wonderful Jiro life.

Please enjoy the rest of the Jiro-kan website.

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