RAMEN | 本家 第一旭 (Honke Daiichiasahi)

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Supposed to be one of the must DOs yet LG still managed to miss this pair of old guards of Kyoto ramen (the other one being Shinpuku Saikan (新福菜館), established in 1938 first as a Yatai) everytime in town until now. Established as a shokudou (旭食堂) by Taguchi-san (田口有司) back in 1947, this is now the Honten of the evolved ramen joint with branches and spin-outs to be found all over Japan. Hit this shop as they were the one opening on this early Monday morning but it was never a doubt that the two are very similar in style and fittingly choose to have their rest day always on a different day as well. Without the famed fried rice being offered at the neighbours, the focus was clearly on the ramen for this visit. As in all other classics, there is no guarantee that what is being offered fits all tastes, and yet one can be assured that it is indeed the same taste being offered day in and day out. Technically a shoyu tonkotsu ramen with a slightly darker colour yet sweeter soup, it is old fashioned taste no doubt if not slightly forgettable. The embedded ‘umami’ taste is also dubious as found in all other similar ‘classic shoyu’ ramens yet one can certainly taste the history. With a queue even during the wee hours on a Monday morning (pictured), (we went there at one in the morning with the shop only closing everyday from 2 to 5am for cleaning) this has certainly become part of the Kyoto-nites’ daily lives. Yet another must try in Kyoto, even if just as a tourist spot.

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