Menya Hanabi, Tokyo

In a post last week, I mention that Taiwanese mazemen, or “mixed noodles”, are all the rage in Japan. I ran the pic you see above in that post and everyone wanted to know here it was from. Well, that would be Menya Hanabi in Tokyo…

Having gotten their start in Nagoya, Hanabi is now also one of the most popular places in Tokyo after being named the best mazemen shop in the city by several respected magazines and blogs, and being featured on a few TV news programs. This line of about 15 people is on the shorter side, actually; this was at about 1pm in the afternoon, after the post-lunch rush. Yet we still had to wait about 45 minutes to get in.

Hanabi operates just like any other ramen shop: you order and pay through the vending machine at the entrance, get your ticket and sit down at the ten-seat counter that looks into their open kitchen…

Within a few minutes, your order is placed in front of you…

Taiwanese mazemen is a brothless bowl of noodles traditionally topped with a spicy mixture of minced pork & beef, scallions and a raw egg…

Individual shops then personalize their bowls with a variety of other additions. Hanabi has become known for making there’s extra hot by adding in garlic and Szechuan pepper…

We ordered ours with chunks of roast pork as well…

You then stick your chopsticks in an mix it all up…

You then slurp just like ramen!

Lovely, isn’t it?!

Hanabi’s also become popular for the service they offer after you finish your noodles, which is why their wait times are a little longer. You see, rather than let all that eggy and porky soup that builds up in the bottom of your bowl go to waste, the fine folks at Hanabi scoop in rice for you to soak it up…

It’s a like a second course…

A taste of Taiwan in Tokyo that is so worth the wait!


2-8-16 Okubo

Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo



+81-3-6278 9995


Mirage Plush Duo
Manufacturer: Unknown
Release Date: Unknown (Late 90’s likely)
Size: 5"
Origin: Taiwanese
Where I got it: eBay (From two separate sellers, though both originated on a Taiwanese auction site.)
Favourite detail: They’re similar to the Hasbro beanie plush but their eyes are so much more narrow and they’re so pink! The one with the suction cup doesn’t have beans, but the one without does. Also the one without has a small hole in one of his ears like he might have had a hang tag at some point.
Personal story: I never imagined there was a Mewtwo mirage plush so when these two showed up (one after the other!) I was over the moon. I managed to get as much information as possible from the sellers, but that wasn’t a lot. Mirage plushes often originate in crane machines or carnivals in other countries. They’re often official or of dubious origin, like these two who have no tags or other identifying features.