japan travel

Sakura at Rikugien | Ittouya Ramen

January 16, 2017




After a long morning waiting at Tsukiji for fresh sushi, we headed back to our hotel for a nap. We headed to Shibuya that afternoon because I just couldn’t wait any longer to show Andrew the spectacle. We hunted down some of our favorite shops immediately to start browsing and taking it all in.

Once evening came, I suggested we make our way to Rikugien, a beautiful park known for its historic landscaped gardens and large weeping sakura tree which is illuminated at nighttime during sakura season. We really ended up planning our trip for the perfect time to see sakura in bloom. When we first got to Tokyo the trees were just reaching full bloom. We caught them in Kyoto, too, and then the tail-end back in Tokyo. It felt really special seeing all our sights dotted with pink and white flowers.


We were starting to feel very tired and kind of grumpy after being on our feet all day so we set off to find dinner. I suggested ramen and Andrew was like “Okay but I don’t want to be setting a theme and eating ramen all the time on this trip.” He’s not usually into soups as meals, but then he had his first bowl of real Japanese ramen and his life was changed. ;) I’m the annoying nerd who is always insisting that nothing touches ramen made in Japan and I loved that Andrew ended up agreeing with me. It reinforced my snobbery. Haha. We just picked a random shop close to our hotel and sure enough, it was absolutely delicious and better than any bowl I’ve had in the US. I’m convinced Japanese water alone must make a better ramen. This one was a thick, creamy, garlicy tonkotsu with thick noodles and plenty of nori. It was the perfect ending to a long day and lifted our spirits immediately.

Rikugien Garden
6 Chome-16-3 Honkomagome, Tokyo 113-0021, Japan

2-3-9 Nihonbashikayabacho Chuo Tokyo

  • Staci

    That ramen looks heavenly. Thanks for sharing your glimpses of Japan; I have loved the last three posts. I saw some super cheap flights during shoulder season (September, ~650 from the west coast) so now the only question is, do we go in 2017 or 2018?