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Hayashida – Delicious Ramen in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Going for authentic ramen in Tokyo is arguably one of the must-do activities when visiting Japan. As it happens, plenty of recommended places exist throughout the city and in every neighborhood. The good part about this is that no matter the area you are in, Shibuya, Shinjuku, or Ueno, there is a place within walking distance. On the other hand, this leads to too many options, and as an outsider, we had no clue which of these specialty ramen restaurants would be worth our time and money.

Our hotel in Tokyo was in Shinjuku, and it took us a good hour of research on the internet before we narrowed down our choice to Hayashida.


It seemed to walk the delicate balance between a local eatery and one that tourists recommend.

Hayashida ramen restaurant in Shinjuku Tokyo
Ramen Hayashida, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Passionately prepared, Hayashida is not only a popular ramen restaurant in Shinjuku, but one of the best in all of Tokyo. It's limited seating and speciality ramen presents diners the opportunity to enjoy passionately prepared bowls of flavour and culinary goodness.


  • Quaint Ambience
  • Counter Seating
  • Speciality Ramen
  • Authentic Japanese
  • Pocket-friendly


  • Limited Menu


  • Food 4.8/5
  • Ambience 4.9/5
  • Service 5.0/5
  • Cost 5.0/5

Typically, restaurants such as Hayashida are small and crowded and a daily haunt for the locals. Many of the regulars are businessmen having a bite before heading back home. As a result, the atmosphere is generally quiet, with a quick turnover of clientele.

Only a short walk from Tokyu Kabukicho Tower, Hayashida is a few minutes from Shinjuku station. We, however, struggled to find the restaurant. Google Maps kept directing us to a main street when, in actuality, the restaurant was on the other side.

The dark alley seemed off-putting at first. Nevertheless, knowing Japan to be a relatively safe country, we didn’t have to think twice before heading towards the only light in the distance: Hayashida.

Although it is a popular ramen restaurant in Shinjuku amongst locals and tourists alike, we were pleasantly surprised to find the place without a line. Hayashida is open from 11 AM to 4 PM and 6 PM to 10 PM. We arrived between 6:30 PM and 7:00 PM, which now seems the perfect time to get in without waiting, albeit on a weekday.

ticket machine at Hayashida

As with many ramen places in Japan, we paid in advance at the ticket machine right by the eatery’s entrance. All the information on the machine was in Japanese. However, while reading reviews and doing our research before going to the restaurant, we were able to figure out the layout of the ticket machine.

For each type of ramen, the regular version is on the very left, followed by the option to add a Japanese soft-boiled egg. Then, you have the choice to add other toppings on the far right.

There was also a person standing at the door who helped assign the seats and was happy to answer any questions we had about our order.

Initially, we wanted to try the recommended Nodoguro Soba ramen. Unfortunately, the restaurant only makes it in limited numbers, and we weren’t early enough to try it.

The Nodoguru Soba ramen comprises the rare and highly valued Nodoguru fish – blackthroat seaperch, which gives the broth a robust yet sweet flavor. If you wish to order this ramen, try the lunch service, as Hayashida makes 40 bowls, compared to dinner, where they make half that number.

best shoyu ramen in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Thus, we settled for the next most popular ramen on the menu, the Shoyu Ramen, and the dipping ramen, Tsukemen.

As with many Japanese restaurants, there is little to no conversation among patrons at Hayashida. Instead, one relishes the sounds of slurping and the clinking of chopsticks over the hustle of the kitchen.

We handed over our order slips and sat down, and the ramen arrived promptly in front of us like magic. The restaurant has primarily counter seating, meaning everyone is just a few inches from the kitchen.

The uninterrupted view of the chefs preparing the meal was a unique experience.

Kitchen and chef at Hayashida in Tokyo

The Shoyu Ramen was absolutely delicious. The soy sauce-based broth had a vibrant sweet, salty, and sour flavor, with a whole lot of meaty goodness extracted from chicken and duck. Consequently, Hayashida has one of the best chicken broth ramen in Tokyo. At the same time, the noodles had just the right texture and bite.

However, I found the broth a bit too salty for my palate, making the ramen harder to finish. Or maybe it was the quantity that was more than sufficient.

I will mention that choosing the ramen with all the add-ons was a great decision. The egg, meat (chicken breast and pork shoulder), and vegetables (bamboo shoots) added to the overall complexity of the taste. Each one adds a different gastronomic essence to the dish.

Tsukemen - dipping ramen in Tokyo

The Tsukemen was a slightly different ramen, unlike anything I had seen before. The broth was in a bowl different from the noodles, egg, and meat. Eating Tsukemen involves dipping a bite of noodles into the broth before consuming it.

The soup is warm, in contrast to the chilled noodles, and has a more intense flavor than normal ramen. Dipping noodles, especially for someone like me who is new to using chopsticks, is quite entertaining.

However, if it is too difficult, you can always pour the broth into the bigger bowl and eat it as ramen. The chewiness of the noodles and the umami of the broth made the Tsukemen a lovely dish.

One thing that always surprises me about Japan is how fast people eat ramen. In the time it took us to eat our two bowls, three people had come and gone from the seats next to us.

This made us hurry through our meal, although there was no such compulsion from the host to finish early.

The magic of Japanese food is that you can eat a large bowl of ramen and not feel bloated.

Your taste buds, on the other hand, are in heaven. This trip made me feel incredibly envious of the locals who eat food like this daily.

ramen in shinjuku

As we were leaving, a line started to form outside. Don’t let that put you off, though. As mentioned earlier, most people only stay for a short time. The waiting time ranges from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the day of the week.

While ramen establishments like Ichiran Ramen are viral on social media and extremely popular amongst tourists, Hayashida appeals to travelers looking for a more authentic atmosphere.

Moreover, it presents ardent food lovers the opportunity to enjoy a limited menu with specialty ramen in Shinjuku.

Ramen Hayashida
Japan, 160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−31−5
Google Location

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