Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture – Whether it be spring, summer, fall, or winter, there is hardly a soul in the world who can resist a bowl of this famous Japanese noodle dish. Ramen is known all over the world as the dish to try when going to Japan, and the ramen here at Matsumoto City’s Zunpachi just happens to be a local favorite! Every day, no matter what the time, you can see a line going out the door of people waiting to eat the ramen at Zunpachi. Tourists, locals, anyone who loves ramen can be seen in this long line with a wait time of sometimes longer than thirty minutes. Even the two parking lots that belong to Zunpachi are often full – which goes to show just how delicious this ramen is!
What’s so special about Zunpachi’s Ramen?
Of course, as Japan is the home to ramen, there are tons of ramen restaurants within walking distance of each other. What makes Zunpachi’s ramen so special that people would be willing to wait for longer than thirty minutes to try it? Some say it’s the taste of the broth while others say it’s the texture of the noodles. Locals have said that it’s a convenient place to get good ramen, and tourists have commented on the quality of the service. I’ve heard multiple reasons as to why people enjoy going to Zunpachi. What I personally find to be special, however, is the well-balanced combination of friendly service, the speed at which you get your food, the taste and texture of the broth and noodles, and last but not least, the ability to customize your ramen to your liking.
The service received at Zunpachi is quite nice to say the least. They are quick and efficient, making sure to pay attention to even the customers who are waiting in line. The line snaking out of Zunpachi would probably be more than an hour’s wait if they weren’t so prompt. The wait for the ramen is also quite short, and when paying, I’ve seen children receive candy, showing just how friendly and thoughtful the workers at Zunpachi are.
With such a short wait time, you would think that the quality of the food may suffer because of it; however, this is not the case at all with Zunpachi! The broth and noodles are always delicious and made to your personal liking. The flexibility and customizability of this shop are definitely just a few of the positive factors that make coming here worth your while.
How Do You Order Ramen at Zunpachi?
Speaking of the flexibility and customizability at this shop, just what do I mean by that, and just how do you order ramen at Zunpachi? Well, there is an easy and simple answer to that!
Whether you are waiting in line or sitting at your table, you will be greeted by a member of Zunpachi’s staff asking you what you would like to order. At this time, you can choose the type of ramen you’d like to eat from a variety of options on the menu as well as from any monthly or seasonal specials. After choosing your preferred ramen, you can further ask the staff for your ramen’s broth to be either on the thicker side or the thinner side. You also have the option for your noodles to be on the firmer side or the softer side. And as with any ramen restaurant, you have the option to add toppings to your ramen.
Overall, this is one of the most popular ramen restaurants in Matsumoto City and I highly recommend trying it out if you’re ever in the area!
Zunpachi has two parking spaces, one in front of the restaurant, and another one across the street a bit further down the road. The second parking lot will have a small white sign that says “寸八第二駐車場”.
How to get there: As Zunpachi is approximately 1,800 meters from Matsumoto Station, one may want to take a taxi there. If planning to walk however, be prepared for a 30-45 min. excursion. Exiting Matsumoto Station at its city side, walk down the main street towards Agata no Mori Park. When you reach the T-section at Agata no Mori Park, turn right and head south towards the river known as Susuki River. Once you cross the river, take a left and head east. At the next traffic light, turn right, heading south east, and proceed down that road. Zunpachi should be on your left.
Japanese Address: 長野県 松本市 筑摩 4-3-1
Telephone Number: 0263-28-7744 (+81-263-28-7744)
Operating Hours: 7:00–9:30, 11:30–15:30, 17:00–24:00; open Sundays; irregular holidays