Dragon Noodles: Quality, spicy ramen in Shimotsuma

by Tom Roseveare

Dragon Noodles’ goal is to create a welcoming, calm atmosphere for all guests, no matter where they are from, near or far – with that in mind I had to drop by to experience Dragon for myself. Located a stone’s throw from Aeon Shimotsuma and Route 294, Dragon Noodles has a unique appearance for a ramen shop. Step inside and you’ll appreciate the wide open space and brightness during the day, or the calm, relaxed attitude in the evenings.

The Menu

A wide selection of ramen is available here, including regular (650 yen), miso ramen (650 yen), negimiso ramen (800 yen), shoyuu ramen (750 yen), shio ramen (700 yen) and tsukemen (700 yen), all with or without char siu pork topping (+300 yen).

But the main draw is arguably the Devil Dragon ramen (1,000 yen). Blending 5 different types of chili pepper into its broth, topped with a serving of Tatsutaage-style char siu pork, daredevils can choose between 3 varieties: ‘Half-spicy’ (‘Han-kara’), ‘Normal’ and ‘Very Spicy’ (‘Chou-kara’).

It is recommended you start on the lowest and work your way up – they’ll happily adjust to your preference.

The Taiwan Maze-soba is also recommended: ground beef, egg yolk, leek, onion, fish gyofun and finely chopped garlic all prepared and served over noodles with minimal stock provided.

Numerous side dishes are available, including gyouza — mandatory when it comes to ramen in my opinion. Why not try both varieties: boiled and grilled?

‘Dragon’ has something of a cult following in this part of Ibaraki – just ask Ibarapper who penned this theme song...


Originally launced as Tokyo Dragon Ramen back in 1999, the original concept of using the ‘Dragon’ name was a decision based on how well understood this term was throughout the world. In the beginning, Dragon went through tough times as it was still making its name.

After being picked up by a ramen magazine a year and a half later, customers started to pick up and Dragon’s fortunes changed thereafter.

Despite being partially destroyed after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, Dragon was reborn as Dragon Noodles (ドラゴンラーメン) in October of that year and it’s fair to say has been doing really well since.

Address: 968-1 Horigome, Shimotsuma city, Ibaraki prefecture
Tel: 0296 43 9213

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