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  • The first Ramen Ichiraku.
  • The second Ramen Ichiraku.

Ramen Ichiraku (ラーメン一楽, Rāmen Ichiraku, Literally meaning: Ramen is the Best Pleasure) is a ramen restaurant in Konohagakure.

History

Ramen Ichiraku was founded by Teuchi thirty-four years before the start of Part II. Although it is quite small and has an unassuming appearance, Ramen Ichiraku has always been popular with Konoha's villagers because of Teuchi's strong commitment to taste, giving the ramen an almost artistic quality.[1] Like any ramen establishment, Ramen Ichiraku offers various toppings, such as pork cutlets or boiled eggs. In Konoha Hiden, seaweed had been the most popular topping for several years until, after the Fourth Shinobi World War, it was surpassed by naruto.

Ramen Ichiraku is Naruto Uzumaki's favourite dining establishment. He eats there regularly – usually stopping by between missions – and he is often joined by Iruka Umino, another frequent customer. Because Naruto has been a loyal customer for most of his life, Teuchi and his daughter, Ayame, were among the few people in Konoha not to treat Naruto with animosity during his youth.[2] Naruto takes Hinata Hyūga to Ramen Ichiraku for their first date;[3] in the anime, this in turn causes Hinata to become a regular customer, to the point that she has won at least one of its eating contests.[4]

The original Ramen Ichiraku is destroyed along with the rest of Konoha during Pain's Assault. In the anime, Inari is implied to have been responsible for rebuilding it, as a favor to Naruto.[5] As Naruto becomes increasingly famous, first as a war hero and later as Hokage, Ramen Ichiraku prospers; in Konoha Hiden, this is explained to be because of customers' hopes of either seeing Naruto there or simply a desire to emulate him and his successes. The second Ramen Ichiraku is ill-suited for this increased business, so it is remodeled and expanded at some point after Ayame takes over management. Ayame even makes Naruto their official promoter; in one such advertisement, he claims that Ramen Ichiraku is just as nutritious as soldier pills. By the time of Naruto's time as Hokage, Ichiraku Ramen had turned into a full restaurant instead of a ramen bar, showing that it has prospered since the Invasion of Pain and Fourth Shinobi World War.[4]

In addition to the fresh-made ramen that it is known for, Ramen Ichiraku has at times dabbled in other products. In one episode of the anime, Teuchi starts making diet ramen to help Ayame lose weight, which ends up becoming popular with female patrons.[6] In another episode, Ayame convinces her father to serve tsukemen instead of ramen. Naruto disapproves of this,[7] and by the next time he is seen visiting it is back to serving ramen. At some point, Ramen Ichiraku starts selling instant ramen, empty cups of which tend to litter Naruto's desk at work.[8]

Trivia

  • There is a real-life ramen restaurant, also called Ichiraku Ramen, in Fukuoka, Japan, near where locals say Masashi Kishimoto went to university (Kyushu Sangyo Daigaku). The restaurant has two locations: one near JR's Kyu-dai Mae station, very close to the university, and a second in the downtown Hakata area. The restaurants sell handkerchiefs emblazoned with various Naruto characters that come in noodle cups labelled "Ichiraku Ramen".
  • In the manga, Teuchi hires Matsu and Nishi to help him around the shop while Ayame is on a vacation. Both are fairly inept, either accidentally sticking their fingers in the ramen or spilling bowls on themselves.[9]
  • In Naruto Shippūden the Movie: The Lost Tower, Ramen Ichiraku's grand opening happens twenty-three years ago, a contradiction of the manga.
  • In Ramen Ichiraku's eating contest, Hinata Uzumaki holds the record of forty-six servings, earning her the nickname "Queen of Gluttony". Chōji Akimichi holds the record for second place with forty-two servings, followed by his father, Chōza, with at least eighteen servings.[4]

References

  1. Sha no Sho, page 109
  2. Rin no Sho, page 139
  3. "After The Last"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Boruto episode 18
  5. Naruto: Shippūden episode 180
  6. Naruto episode 168
  7. Naruto: Shippūden episode 75
  8. Naruto chapter 700
  9. Naruto chapter 320