back to top

I Ate At The Spiciest Ramen Shop In Tokyo And Actually Turned Red

But trust me, it's totally worth the gastronomical distress.

Posted on

Ask anyone in Tokyo where the spiciest ramen in the city is and they'll probably tell you it's Moko Tanmen Nakamoto ramen, or "Nakamoto" for short.

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed

A little history on the place: It was originally started in the ’60s as a Chinese food restaurant by a chef named Nakamoto. The shop closed in the ’90s due to Nakamoto's health. Makoto Shirane, the current owner, started out as a customer who was obsessed with Nakamoto's ramen. One story goes that Shirane visited Nakamoto's house every day for a year begging to learn the recipe. Nakamoto finally caved, let Shirane study under him, and then Shirane reopened the shop, and another 10 locations, all dedicated to Nakamoto's fiery noodles.


If some ramen shops in Tokyo are described as a "religion," the best way to describe Moko Tanmen Nakamoto's ramen is probably "sports" — it's a full-out gastronomical workout from start, to finish, to, uh, digestion.


Then it was time for the broth. I was determined to finish this thing. Cleaning my bowl, however, meant literally drinking a pile of spices that had been collecting at the bottom.


Moko Tanmen Nakamoto ramen is spicy, but it's also probably my favorite ramen I've had in Tokyo. Just don't eat it if you have anything to do afterwards. I walked around the rest of the day feeling like a water balloon full of lava.

Yui Kashima / BuzzFeed

And in case you're curious, it is just as spicy going out as it is going in. 😐😐😐