Fuunji Ramen is easily in my top 10 Ramen list in Tokyo. I usually walked away if I knew I had to queue for any restaurants during travel (It would be a waste of my time). Since Fuunji was highly recommended by my friends in Japan, we'd decided to queue for the first time. It turned out to be an awesome decision - I had the best Tsukemen ever!!!
Fuunji Ramen serves Ramen, Special Ramen, Dipping Noodle and Special Dipping Noodle. Just to highlight that Ramen is with broth while Dipping Noodle (also known as Tsukemen) is dry noodle with a bowl of thick sauce/broth for dipping purpose.
What are the differences between normal Ramen/ Dipping Noodle VS Special version?
I have absolutely no idea! Perhaps more ingredients? Since I'd traveled so far and been queuing for such a long time, I ordered the Special version just so I could enjoy the max of the meal.
We went around 1pm assuming the hungry lunch crowds would be gone - the queue was rather long that we were queuing outside the restaurant for approximately 30-45mins.
Please note that many of the restaurants were very considerate not to block the road and inconvenient others by continuing the queue across the road. I initially thought the queue was just right at the restaurant front door and thought I was so lucky until I saw the Queue Information Map! There was literally 10 more people queuing across the road and staring at me - glad I noticed that and walked to the end of the queue.
Many tourists appeared to be cutting queues in Japan simply because they were unaware of the local queuing way and in fact had no ill intention.
There was another queue when we walked in the restaurant, we had to literally wait behind those who were sitting at the counter seats eating ramen.
The experience was rather amusing: we went through the long wait, the feeling of standing behind those diners like a group of hungry kids looking at the food and also the experience of enjoying the delicious food while being watched by a group of people behind you…. If you are not a big fan of queuing and squeezing in a crowded area, this may be your dining nightmare! As for me, I thought it was fun to experience it. I would feel the diners and the waiting customers' excitement of the whole experience.
Tips: Try to go earlier, says 15mins before the opening hour and you may be lucky to avoid long queue.
You will notice a ticket machine right at the door step, this is the time to queue to purchase your meals.
Please make sure you have cash with you!
You have to hold on to your tickets and continue to wait for your turn to sit down. The chef will ask for your tickets to prepare your meals.
Medium or Large Noodle
When it is your turn to sit down, you will be asked if you would like to have "Medium" or "Large" noodle (how much can you eat) which doesn't cost any extra for either option. Honestly, the 'Large" was a lot of noodle! Just to give you an indication of the noodle size, Fuunji's noodle was relatively thicker than other restaurants that I'd been to - hence the volume was more than I expected.
I'd seen some people went crazy with "Large" but couldn't finish it so make sure you know your limit and not to waste such delicious food.
Tsukemen/ Dipping Noodle
The Fuunji tsukemen (dried Special Noodle with dipping sauce) was the best tsukemen I’d ever had in Tokyo so far. The noodle was cold but firm while the warm sauce was thick and rich in ingredients (fish flakes, generous amount of pork/ char siu, bamboo, seaweed, egg etc). Since it was a dipping sauce (rather salty), I just adjusted the sauce amount to my liking. The combination of the cold and firm big-fat-noodle dipping into the warm delicious thick sauce = absolutely sensational!
Fuunji Restaurant's information
Address: Yoyogi Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 2-14-3 Hokuto Daiichi Building 1F
Phone: +81 3-6413-8480/ 03-6413-8480
Operating Hours: 11am–3pm, 5–9pm Monday - Saturday (Closed on Sundays and public holidays) or shop closes whenever the soup sold out
Number of Seats: 15 seats / Non-smoking Restaurant
Parking Information: Fee paying parking Lots available nearby
【JR】 5 minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station South Exit along the Koshu Highway
【Toei Shinjuku Line · Oedo Line】 1 minute walk from Shinjuku Station Exit 6
*** Tips ***
* To avoid long queue, arrive approx 15mins before it opens - we did it during the second visit and they opened 10mins early! Woohoo - We were the first few people!
* Make sure you check out the operating hour, the restaurant is closed for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
* Do not bring your luggage with you, the restaurant has limited space.
* The queue is usually from the inner shop to the other side of the road, check out the photo I took for your reference.
Japan is easily at the top of my travel list despite I have been there multiple times. I will update some travel information and tips from time to time.