Review excerpt: This pair of long-time friends traveled the country, tested out ramen from all over Japan, and now, at age 22, own their own noodle shop, Ramen no Bonbo, in Kyoto.

Review excerpt: Shizuoka's Le Dessin is a ramen specialist. But the bowls served here by chef Toshiaki Masuda are unlike any you’ll find on other stretches of the old highway.

Review excerpt: This is Ginza Kagari Honten as it should have been from the outset: Classy, polished and much better equipped for fame and the inevitable influx.

Review excerpt: Hasao Tanaka, at Osaka Hanten, charges only ¥200 for a bowl of ramen, but knows it has to be of the highest quality, otherwise his customers would never come back for a second serving.

Review excerpt: Konjiki Hototogisu is exactly the kind of new-wave noodle counter that old-school ramen grinches love to hate. It’s squeaky clean and has a rustic wooden frontage.

Review excerpt: Ayu Ramen stands out in one crucial respect. Every bowl here comes topped with a portion of its namesake fish, ayu.

Review excerpt: Not only does Men Labo Hiro offer shoyu and shio (salt) versions and excellent tsukemen (dipping noodles), it also offers occasional yakitori specials.

Review excerpt: Tabelog, the restaurant review website, included Aitsu no Ramen Kataguruma in its top 100 ramen restaurants in West Japan for 2017. And with the award comes a wait.minutes or so.

Review excerpt: The signature Shoyu ramen at Homemade Ramen Muginae is deep, rich, hearty, warming. The Nibora — that’s short for niboshi ramen — is lighter but equally satisfying.

Review excerpt: The staff at Hanabi makes their basic ramen in the shōyu (soy sauce) style, but with two choices of soup: a classic meaty version — they call it mukashinagara (old-fashioned).

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