by Matt Kaufman
I decided to set off in search of the legendary Osaka Ramen (大阪らーめん), a located favorite that is famous for 200 yen ramen. The price was 100 yen for many years. I have been going to Osaka Hanten大阪飯店, another local favorite near Kishinosato Station that is also famous for it’s delicious 200 yen ramen. I found out that the master of Osaka Hanten served as an apprentice at Osaka Ramen for several years before deciding to open his own place in the mid eighties. The owner of Osaka Ramen is getting up there in years so his restaurant is only open sporadically. I could have called ahead, or at least written down the address, but sometimes it is more fun to just explore, especially in the age of smart phones with precise GPS that can pinpoint any location.
I got off at Tengachaya Station and walked towards Kita Tengachaya Station on the Hankai Line (Tram). Osaka Ramen is actually one stop down, near Matsuda Station, a short walk away but I didn’t know that at the time and started walking back to the other side of Tengachaya Station. I wandered around aimlessly for about 20 minutes and came across a ramen shop that advertised Nagasaki Chanpon called Tamayu Tengaiten（タマユラメン天外天 The Italian style tomato ramen with cream cheese caught my eye and I was getting hungry. Decided to go in. The place was about to close for the afternoon, but I managed to get my order in. There was only one guy doing all the cooking, probably a good sign. I don’t want my ramen prepared by some part-time high school kid whose heart is not into it.
The tomato ramen was good but it did not fill me up for 750 yen. I realized that I should have gotten the set for a couple of hundred yen more or at least ordered a side of gyoza like I usually do. Decided to walk back towards Tengachaya Station and stumbled upon the entrance to Hanazono Street, which is located between Tengachaya and Haginochaya Station. The entire street has a very Showa 80s vibe. I realized that I had never been in this area between. I walk a bit up the block and there it was…Osaka Ramen. But it was closed.