After an extremely long day of adventuring and photography during my Guided Day Trip To Hakone, Owakudani & Mt. Fuji adventure, a woman was TIRED and HUNGRY for a later evening dinner.
Due to the lateness of the hour (after 9pm), we settled on “let’s wander around” and began an adventure to find food.
We tried to explore the stores within the Shimbashi metro station, as it was the closest metro to the Conrad Tokyo. However, all the restaurants were closed, due to the lateness of the hour.
So, still focused and determined on obtaining a late night meal, we adventured on. Curious about Sara’s recommendations from her previous trip to Tokyo, we took the train to Tokyo Station. Once again, Apple Maps lied and said stores were open. When they were all very much closed.
Frustrated, we searched and found the only place that seemed open: Iciran ramen shop, near the Simbashi station. Open late night and full of the one thing we both craved, ramen, it was a perfect choice. Plus, it looked like it was walking distance to the station.
So, we took the train back to Shimbashi Station and followed Google Maps toward our destination.
The Shimbashi location of Iciran is located on the second floor of building. After a short wait at the stairs, we were let inside to order at the kiosk.
Unlike ramen places in Los Angeles, the menu at Iciran was very simple without a lot of super wild additions. I ordered a beer, and a bowl of tonkotsu ramen with extra garlic. After payment at the kiosk, you’re given tickets that you’ll need later, which summarize your order to your chef.
Once we ordered, we were directed wait in another line to be seated. As I looked around, I was delighted in the efficiency. There was counter seating, with a hostess directing waiting dinners, via lights where to go. When it was our turn, we were directed to two adjoining eating counters.
Apparently, Iciran calls this their Ramen Focus Booth, so that diners can focus on their food and not people around them, for maximum flavor.
After settling into our private eating counters, we looked around and delighted in the design. There were little communication blocks in English, water that you could fill yourself and most importantly, a little wooden drape that opened up as hands delivered your order to you.
Upon first bite, I was in ramen happiness. The broth was rich, delicious and comforting. The beer was fantastic paring.
As we ate and laughed and slurped and savored, there was no greater joy possible in that moment. I felt all my ancestors’ love, past present and future. As the clock struck midnight and he sang “Happy Birthday” to me, I truly realized there was no greater love possible than the person sitting next to me.
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 105-0004