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Popular Niboshi Ramen by Nagi, a Wooden Tenement in Shinjuku Golden Gai

Writer : Sato

Shinjuku Golden Gai is an only about 1-minute walk from the E-1 exit of Shinjuku-sanchome Station, a subway station in Tokyo. Alternatively, Golden Gai is an only 6-minute walk from Shinjuku Station of JR East. Over 200 bars and restaurants standing side by side are densely packed in this bustling small warren of about 2000 square meters, all being low-rise wooden tenements and each being distinctive.

Shinjuku Golden Gai Strongly Reminiscent of the History

Shinjuku Golden Gai has its origin in a black market organized during the chaotic post-war period. Since 1949, many shops there changed to bars or eateries and the market morphed into Shinjuku Golden Gai. In recent years, it has become popular among sightseers for its remarkable cultural characteristics, attracted many overseas tourists, and even enjoyed the locals’ patronage.

Shinjuku Golden Gai
Shinjuku Golden Gai

If you walk a little down the alley behind the light-box of Shinjuku Golden Gai, you will find Nagi, the famous niboshi ramen restaurant. Its white lantern and sign hanging beside its entry are really eye-catching.

The owner of Nagi has extensive experience of ramen as he used to be a manager of certain well-known ramen restaurant. After going through much practice and many trials, he chose to open his own restaurant in Shinjuku Golden Gai.

Exterior of Nagi
Exterior of Nagi

Upon entry into the restaurant, you will see a steep staircase. There are only 10 seats at the bar table in the restaurant. It is so cramped that customers are normally arranged in sequence from its depth.

Both the building and its decoration vividly remind you of past history, and such a tiny restaurant in Golden Gai creating a heavy cultural atmosphere is certainly worth a visit.

a steep staircase
Upon entry into the restaurant, you will see a steep staircase.

When you go upstairs, a vending machine immediately meets your eyes. The menu features “Awesome Niboshi (dried sardines) Ramen” and “Awesome Fisherman Tsukemen (dipping ramen)”. The dish names themselves are awesome (smile)! You can order “Niboshi Ramen”. If this cannot fill you, you can order “Fisherman Rice”, rice sprinkled with niboshi broth.

vending machine
vending machine

Awesome Ramen with Boiled Broth Made from More Than 20 Kinds of Niboshi

This is the famous niboshi ramen. Its covering of abundant garnishes already looks quite inviting!

the famous niboshi ramen
the famous niboshi ramen

Of course, the garnishes almost overflowing is awesome, while the very flavorful toppings are also awesome and more recommendable! Rich shoyu (soy sauce) broth and over 20 choice kinds of niboshi selected from the whole Japan are stewed to get the unique toppings of Nagi! More than 60g of niboshi are used for one bowl of ramen to bring out an unforgettable delicious flavor!

the famous niboshi ramen
the famous niboshi ramen

A sip of the broth can spread the aroma of the niboshi in your mouth! Then you cannot help but continuing savoring the delicacy.

the famous niboshi ramen
the famous niboshi ramen

Both chopped scallions and rich toppings show that the cook prepares even a bowl of ramen as a very elaborate dish.

The noodles are handmade medium-thick ones by Nagi
The noodles are handmade medium-thick ones by Nagi

The noodles are handmade medium-thick ones by Nagi. The scent of the broth clinging around the chewy noodles will linger in your mouth!

noodles
noodles

The ramen by Nagi has an exclusive kind of topping, dough strips (“いったん麺”). The thin and wide strips, being soft and smooth, taste like starch noodles. No other ramen restaurants offer such characteristic garnish.

The char siu (barbecued pork) has been pickled in sauce. You may first taste the savory char siu before drinking the flavorful soup.
As the dish name suggests, with awesome best toppings, the ramen by Nagi is incredibly delicious.

The char siu (barbecued pork) has been pickled in sauce.
The char siu (barbecued pork) has been pickled in sauce.

The succulent toppings prepared by stewing a huge amount of niboshi and the rich extract permeating the chewy noodles contribute to the delicacy of the ramen. The specialty ramen is also characterized by its exclusive dough strips and savory char siu. Abundant niboshi and careful preparation render the elaborate flavorful ramen unforgettable.

This ramen restaurant in Shinjuku Golden Gai is open for 24h a day. If you have drunk nearby, a bowl of ramen here can finish the night perfectly.

Shinjuku Golden Gai
Shinjuku Golden Gai

Basic information on Nagi Shinjuku Golden Gai Honkan

OPEN
Name in Japanese
Awesome Niboshi Ramen Nagi
Address
G2 Street, Shinjuku Golden-gai, 1-1-10, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo[MAP]
Business hours
24 hours
Shop holidays
None
Tel
03-3205-1925,03-3205-1925
Transportation
1-minute walk from Shinjuku-sanchome station of Tokyo Metro
or 6-minute walk from the east exit of Shinjuku Station of JR East