Our Japanese reporter shares three excellent reasons why you should stop by this ramen joint the next time you’re in Fukuoka. No excuses!

The world is full of ramen, but let’s face it–not all ramen is created equal. Among the top choices for any seasoned ramen aficionado is sure to be the tonkotsu [pork stock broth] ramen from Fukuoka Prefecture on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. Its status throughout Japan is such that even people from the opposite end of the country will instantly equate “Fukuoka” with  “tonkotsu ramen” in their minds.

Fukuoka is home to some of the most beloved local ramen hotspots as well as international ramen chains, including Ichiran and Hakata Ippudo, but today we’d like to introduce you to a gem of a ramen chain which is still exclusive to southwestern Japan. One of our Japanese reporters stopped by Taiho Ramen (“cannon ramen”) during his recent trip to Kyushu, and he came back raving that this restaurant should be on anyone’s Fukuoka itinerary.

Taiho Ramen was established in 1953 in Kurume City, which is also the birthplace of J-pop’s “eternal idol” Seiko Matsuda, musician Fumiya Fujii, and actress Rena Tanaka. In fact, locals sometimes refer to the local joint as “Kurume Ramen” because it’s such a popular restaurant in the area.

Taiho Ramen is indeed a type of the tonkotsu ramen for which Fukuoka is so famous, and now let’s now have our Japanese reporter detail three reasons about what sets Taiho Ramen apart from even the rest of Fukuoka’s exceptional ramen eateries!

Reason #1: The traditional broth

The first reason why Taiho Ramen is in a league of its own boils down (get it?) to none other than the broth. The restaurant claims that since its establishment in 1953, the iron pot used to cook the pork broth has never once been left empty. That means that when you take a sip of the broth, you’re literally tasting a recipe which has been quietly simmering for decades, which results in an unbelievably divine depth of flavor. The skillful chefs are unparalleled; our reporter notes that he radiated happiness just from lifting the spoon to his mouth. In short, there’s no other ramen shop which can rival the quality of this broth.


Reason #2: The handmade noodles

It’s a bit shocking, to say the least, when you first hear that the iron pot used to cook broth at Taiho Ramen has never once been empty in the past 60 years. In fact, that fastidiousness extends to their noodle making as well. Taiho has truly perfected the art of making the ultimate handmade noodles to complement their outstanding broth. The straight, thin noodles are dripping with flavor when slurped up with the tonkotsu broth.

Reason #3: Everything is in harmony

Finally, the third reason Taiho Ramen is exceptional, even by Fukuoka standards, is because everything in the bowl is perfectly in harmony with everything else. Each individual ingredient is crafted with extreme care, and then they’re assembled in such a way that makes you want to personally thank whoever thought up this divine combination of ingredients in the first place. You can sense just how much time and love went into preparing your particular bowl of ramen as you down the soup with satisfying slurps. Once again, this is not some mass-produced bowl of instant cardboard–this is the true form of ramen which elevates the dish to altogether new levels.


Enjoy the following pictures from our reporter’s dining experience at the Ogori branch of Taiho Ramen in Ogori City, Fukuoka. We take no responsibility if you’re suddenly rendered unable to move by a crippling craving for ramen!

▼ He ordered the takana (leaf mustard) Chinese-style fried rice and gyoza set (1,030 yen/US$8.72) with his bowl of ramen.


▼ The fried rice was also super-delicious.


▼ A bowl of regular ramen is 600 yen. Our reporter recommends the “mukashi ramen” (昔ラーメン/”old-fashioned ramen”) for anyone who likes really thick, flavorful broth.


▼ Patrons can help themselves to as much minced garlic, white pepper, and other toppings as they like.


▼ The exterior of Taiho Ramen’s Ogori branch


So there you have it–three convincing reasons to visit Taiho Ramen the next time you’re in Fukuoka Prefecture. In fact, our reporter considers it sacrilegious if you go to Fukuoka without stopping here! Residents of Kyushu will be pleased to note that branches of Taiho Ramen exist in Oita and Saga Prefectures as well.

Now excuse me while I go buy a ticket to Kyushu…

Restaurant Information
Taiho Ramen Ogori branch (Ogori branch) / 大砲ラーメン 小郡店
Address: 1102-1 Kamiiwata, Ogori-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture 838-0121
〒838-0121 福岡県小郡市上岩田1102-1
Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Closed: New Year’s Day
Telephone: 0942-72-0332

Photos ©RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]