There is no place like Shinjuku. Contrasting from the world of business and ambition to one of danger and play is something to behold. While salarymen armed with briefcases and the morning copy of the newspaper traipse towards their respective companies, nighttime is when the neckties loosen and the stresses of the day are met with an evening of adventure and wonderment. If the unpredictable nature of Kabuki-cho or the organized chaos of Omoide Yokocho doesn't tickle your fancy, sometimes it’s best to go back to the basics. The popular ramen restaurant Tatsu no Ya understands the importance of the little things, offering an unforgettable dining experience without having to break the bank.
One of the most popular restaurants in Shinjuku, Tatsu no Ya is an eatery frequented by locals and tourists alike. On any given night, you’ll see a line outside of the restaurant full of hungry patrons looking to feast on delicious bowls of savory goodness. Do not be discouraged, as the queue of people deters those who don’t wish to gaman (endure) anymore than a few moments. If you choose to walk a different path, you will be rewarded for your efforts, as the noodles, broth, and toppings all complement each other in perfect harmony.
A few of the signature dishes include the tsukemen (dipping noodles), which are freshly prepared wheat noodles al dente with egg and slivers of roasted pork. The broth is heavenly, with a combination of miso and other remarkable flavors that leave you wanting second helpings over and over.
Another fan favorite is their signature ramen dish. A rich, warm broth flows together beautifully with the freshly chopped green onions, bean sprouts, roasted pork, and boiled eggs, giving you an entirely new ramen experience. You have the option of choosing the texture of your noodles (soft, medium, hard, or extra hard), so be prepared with your answer ahead of time. Make sure you come hungry before embarking on this mouth watering endeavor, as each serving is quite larger than the usual ration you’ll find in other shops. Have no fear if you’re language impaired, as the establishment is comfortable with having foreigners waltz in to try some of the local fare.
Another interesting aspect about Tatsu no Ya is the number of locations found throughout Japan and the United States. What's best about this restaurant is that it blends the accessibility of being a franchise, while still maintaining a high-quality Japanese cuisine. With several restaurants in the Tokyo and Kumamoto areas, visitors of Japan will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the vibrant flavors of this ramen shop. If you’re visiting the Los Angeles area, feel free to stop by the restaurant to get a little taste of Japan right in the heart of the West Coast.
How to Get There:
From JR Shinjuku: take the eastern exit towards Kabukicho until you see a large video screen (known as the Yunika Vision signboard). From there, cross under the bridge and make a right at the first light. Keep walking until you’ll see a substantially large line of hungry customers. It is about a 10-15 minute walk.
From Seibu Shinjuku Station: This is much easier, as you’ll see the Yunika Vision signboard as soon as you exit from the station. From there, make a right under the bridge and keep walking until you reach the first major intersection. From there, make another right and keep walking until you reach Tatsu no Ya.
If you’re looking to experience the delectable flavors of ramen, eat and interact with locals and visitors of Shinjuku, and participate in a culinary journey of delightful gastronomy, then Tatsu no Ya is the place for you!