Just beside Tokyu Stay, my hotel in Shinjuku Suehiro, was a ramen shop offering no-frills dining in this metropolitan corner. Keika Ramen originated from Kumamoto - home of tonkotsu ramen, thus you see the prefecture's icon Kumamon somewhere in their shop. It's been in business for 30 years.
Keika is a small ramen bar with affordable dishes on their menu. Upon entry, they will offer you an English menu (if you need it). Once you've picked your choice, you order it from a vendo machine just beside the door. The process can get intimidating because the vendo isn't in English, but you can ask for assistance from the waiter. Then you hand your order's receipt to the cook. In a short while, your ramen is served steaming before you. The seating is on a bar. The joint is too small for proper tables. Turnover is fast as most clients don't linger too long.
Classes of Ramen
I ordered Shoyo (syoyo) Ramen which is soy sauce based. Other major classess of ramen include Shio (shiyo) Ramen which is salt based; Miso Ramen has fermented bean paste; and Tonkotsu Ramen is pork broth based. My bowl includes 2 soft-boiled eggs, and cabbage strips. It is a sizable serving at 980 yen.
This area in Shinjuku Suehiro is littered with shops that stay open til the wee hours. Further on are night clubs, adult venues and go-go bars so it can get interesting. In spite of this, the place doesn't feel seedy or shady. There's an entrance to the Shinjuku station nearby (through an underground tunnel), although it's easy to get disoriented. I kept getting lost; I had to always "find" my way back to the hotel.
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