The way these three elements are prepared and served can greatly vary by the region, and Hachioji has its own signature style with over 60 years of history. To be “classified” as Hachioji Ramen, there are three boxes that need to be ticked off:
- A shoyu-based (soy sauce) soup
- A clear film of oil on the surface of the soup
- A health serving of chopped onions as the main topping
Everything else is fair game and ramen shops around Hachioji come up with their own interpretations for how to serve up a bowl of the city’s soul food.
One that enjoys a sterling reputation and lines out the door is Goemon, located a short walk from Nishi-Hachioji Station.
Owner/cook Ishikawa-san was born and raised in Hachioji, so he naturally grew up eating bowls of his hometown’s ramen and dreamed of someday opening his own shop. He went for it in 1996 and has spent every day behind the counter since honing his craft. He sources fresh pork to roast for the chashu topping, specially prepared noodles, and spends 5–6 hours to prepare each pot of soup, infused with traces of seafood dashi stock for flavor.
If you pay a visit, chuukasoba is the standard fare but Ishikawa-san is always experimenting with different soup ingredient combinations, so the bowl you eat one day may not taste the same next time!