ICHIRAN got its start in Hakata, the city known as a holy place of tonoktsu ramen.
There are five revolutionary "originals" that are said to be "created by ICHIRAN" in the world of tonkotsu ramen.
ICHIRAN was the first the make the Original Spicy Red Sauce ("Hiden no Tare" in Japanese). Ramen in Japan and other countries is often served with a dollop of red sauce in the middle - a practice first started at ICHIRAN. Our chili sauce is mixed with 30 different ingredients and aged over several nights and days. This allows the different flavors to blend into the spicy sauce, creating a variety of flavors that both delights your tongue and enriches the flavor of the ramen. We add a finishing touch to our ramen by placing the Original Spicy Red Sauce in a circle at the center of the noodles.
The Original Spicy Red Sauce used in all our restaurants in Japan and worldwide is produced at our ICHIRAN no Mori facility in Itoshima, Fukuoka. To guard the secrets of our flavor, only 4 people know the exact recipe to our secret sauce.
Our all natural tonkotsu soup is made from 100% pork bones. Making broth by simply boiling the bones will produce a very strong scent. Instead, we use a special method that requires advanced technology to carefully remove the excess impurities. This way, we can both preserve the authentic tonkotsu flavors and have a broth without the strong smell of pork.
ICHIRAN was the first to make a tonkotsu soup without this strong scent. To preserve the high quality of our soup, we check its temperature and concentration every hour.
Using their reliable tastebuds and tools such as densitometer, master craftsmen check the density, flavor, scent, and other details of the finished soup. If anything does not meet our standards, we will remake the entire batch of soup from scratch. We adjust every detail so that each bowl of soup is exactly the same as the last. The strict quality control for our all natural tonkotsu soup extends into our restaurants - we have an unbreakable rule to add the noodles within 30 sec of pouring the soup into the bowl to maintain the quality of both our soup and noodles.
Our Ramen Focus Booths are highly valued by our diners because it provides a stress-free environment to enjoy their ramen. This comfortable privacy has also attracted many celebrities to our restaurants.
Ramen has always been meant to be savored in about 10 minutes in silence. Our Ramen Focus Booth allows you to concentrate on purely enjoying your ramen in a relaxed manner, free of unnecessary distractions.
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for both tension and relaxation, what we commonly call the "fight or flight" response. Sympathetic nerves in the autonomic nervous system respond to tense situations like playing a game, conducting a business meeting, going on a blind date, and other nerve-wracking situations. In this state (the "fight mode"), the body is incapable of properly experiencing the taste of food. However, parasympathetic nerves in the autonomic nervous system respond to feelings of safety, causing the body to relax and easily "absorb" information from your senses. Only in this state can we genuinely enjoy the taste of food.
Sitting in one of ICHIRAN's Ramen Focus Booths, your surroundings are blocked from view. Your body begins to relax from the tense mode controlled by the sympathetic nervous system caused by the bustle of the city or the stress from work. As the parasympathetic nervous system takes over in your relaxed state, you are able to fully experience the flavors of the food in front of you.
Our unique Ramen Focus Booth concept was born from the experiences of our founder, Yoshitomi.
When Yoshitomi was in his first year of college, he had to earn his own tuition and living expenses because his father was battling cancer. He began working part-time at a restaurant for a top-notch chef with an unfortunate gambling problem. The restaurant was designed so that the kitchen was not visible from the customers' seats, allowing the owner to frequently leave the restaurant to gamble. Yoshitomi, who had been with the restaurant since its opening, was often left to run the restaurant alone. It was here that he was able to hone his cooking skills.
One day, a regular customer ordered a bowl of ramen and left saying "it was delicious." The same gentleman returned the next day and saw Yoshitomi running the restaurant alone. He ordered the ramen and after he was done, told Yoshitomi that his "cooking wasn't as good."
On the third day, when the same customer returned, Yoshitomi deliberately told him "the owner made this" when he served the ramen. "The owner's ramen is definitely the best," said the gentleman.
Yoshitomi made every bowl of ramen the customer ordered over those three days, but the customer thought each bowl had a different taste. This was when Yoshitomi realized that "people will perceive the flavors differently depending on who made it."
When Yoshitomi opened the first ICHIRAN in Nanokawa, he personally took to the streets to conduct a survey. The results showed that many women were reluctant to enter a ramen restaurant alone. At the time, Yoshitomi recalled being in junior high school and seeing girls cover their mouths as they ate lunch. He thought that many women may feel uncomfortable eating when others are watching them.
By choosing your preferences on our 7 dimensions of flavor customization, we can make a bowl of ramen that is crafted specifically for you. Our order form is designed to cater to the subtle, yet different preferences of every gourmand.
*Our order forms are also available in English, Korean, and Chinese.
As a result of focusing our menu to a single type of ramen, we have found that our customers have a wide range of preferences for each ingredient. In order to meet the needs of each and every one of our guests, we craft our ramen based on our customers' preferences of noodles, dashi, richness, chashu, scallion, spice, and garlic.
Initially, our founder Yoshitomi would personally ask each diner individually how they like their ramen. Many customers found this interesting and came from far away just to listen to the conversation. As business steadily increased, we searched for a more reliable and simple way to order and created our current order form.
To order Kae-Dama, simply place the Kae-Dama plate on the button near the bamboo curtain. Our famous Charumela melody will play, and a server will take your order (the Kae-Dama plate). This method is especially appreciated by female diners who prefer to spend their meal in silence.
The Kae-Dama is a custom unique to Hakata in which diners leave some soup left over and order a refill of noodles. If you choose a different noodle texture for your Kae-Dama, you can try a wide range of noodle possibilities.
ICHIRAN originally came up with the method of ordering by placing the plate on the call button to make a charamela sound play.
When first introduced, Yoshitomi made these himself with a soldering iron, so there were times when sparks scattered and people were given mild electric shocks.
At the time, digital equipment was undeveloped, so it was very popular and attracted attention since it was not necessary to speak when ordering. It is now a symbol of ICHIRAN.