First impressions are important, but your final experiences are the ones that linger. And what better memory to take with you as you fly out of Japan than the satisfying savory goodness of a great bowl of ramen? You’re in luck if you’re flying from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, which has a branch of Rokurinsha, one of Tokyo’s top noodle shops.
For regulars, it is an established ritual. Check in, pass straight through immigration, take a left turn and head to the cluster of food counters at the end. You can’t miss Rokurinsha — just look for people with their heads bent over noodle bowls. The ramen comes in two styles: tonkotsu (a thick pork-rich broth) or shoyu (a lighter soy sauce-based soup).
But Rokurinsha’s true forte is its excellent tsukemen, where the noodles are served separately from their dipping sauce. The drawback is that this can take as long as 15 minutes to prepare, compared to just five minutes for the ramen. If you have the time, order some gyōza pot stickers (and a bottle of Asahi Super Dry, perhaps) to enjoy as you wait.
This has to be the ultimate reason to get to the airport early. But if you are pressed for time, forget about those duty-free souvenirs. Your final slurp of premium noodles on Japanese soil will be a memory that lasts far longer.