Ramen at Tenkaippin (天下一品 総本店)

Ramen at Tenkaippin (天下一品 総本店)

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Recommended bowl: Over 200 branches

Original master Kimura-san was 36 years old when he first opened Tenkaippin as a ramen street cart in 1971. With only 37,000 yen to his name, he decided to turn to ramen after working for 15 years as a salaryman when the company went bankrupt. Initially he learned a basic recipe from an elderly vendor. On the first day Kimura-san opened for business, he sold only eleven bowls. He knew his product was not good enough that people would go out of their way. He continued to train, and after four years of trial and error he finally achieved a result he was satisfied with; he calls it the 'birth of Tenkaippin's secret soup.' The signature rich chicken stock comes from boiling chicken carcasses and vegetables. Tenkaippin is now one of the most famous ramen shops in Japan, with 236 branches domestically and one location in Hawaii. Kimura-san is still active as president of the company. Flagship head shop in Ichijōji, Kyoto, open since 1975.

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