Kyoto Mountain Ramen Joint: Wild Boar ‘Inoshishi’ Ramen

Meet lumberjack ramen! In the North Mountains above Kyoto, in a village called Keihoku-cho, there is a ramen shop that specializes in wild boar ramen. I passed by this shop some years ago and really wanted to try the ramen but as luck would have it, it was closed that day. Well, today, I finally got to try wild boar ‘inoshishi’ ramen.

Kyoto Mountain Wild Boar ‘Inoshishi’ Ramen いのししラーメン 京北町
The North Mountains around Kyoto are home to numerous wild boar, deer and bear — wild boar are especially prolific — and these animals sometimes find their way into Kyoto cuisine, usually in nabe. There are several shinise restaurants in the north of the city that specialize in wild boar nabe, see this Kyoto Support forum for details. However, wild game is not very ‘Kyoto’ food, it is ‘mountain’ food.

Today I was up in the mountains researching a new business project and at lunch time my hosts took me to this most unusual ramen joint. The shop is called Inoshishi Ramen Captain. It looks like any other roadside ramen joint in Japan, the kind of place frequented by truck drivers, lowbrow and seedy, with damn good ramen.

Wild Boar Ramen
Kyoto Mountain Wild Boar 'Inoshishi' Ramen  いのししラーメン 京北町

Wild Boar Ramen
Kyoto Mountain Wild Boar 'Inoshishi' Ramen  いのししラーメン 京北町

How did it taste?
A ramen dish called Inoshishi Ramen is made with real wild boar meat. It is available in salt, shoyu or miso soup. I chose miso because wild boar nabe uses a miso based soup.

At 1,250 yen, this is rather pricey ramen, but it is novel and tasty. If you are in Kyoto from abroad, sightseeing, I would definitely NOT recommend making the trip all the way up to Keihoko-cho for inoshishi ramen. If you live in Kyoto, have a car and are really into ramen, then, I think that you might put this shop on your list of places to go, sometime. If you are a ramen fanatic, well, then you are going to have to make a trip up to the North Mountains to try wild boar ramen!

Inoshishi Ramen Sign
Kyoto Mountain Wild Boar 'Inoshishi' Ramen  いのししラーメン 京北町

Inoshishi Ramen Shop Storefront
Kyoto Mountain Wild Boar 'Inoshishi' Ramen  いのししラーメン 京北町

Coca-Cola and Inoshishi Ramen Sign
Kyoto Mountain Wild Boar 'Inoshishi' Ramen  いのししラーメン 京北町
I love this sign! Coca-Cola and Inoshishi Ramen!

Inoshishi Ramen Captain (いのししラーメンのキャプテン)
No English menu or service
tel: 0771-52-0489
Kyoto-shi, Ukyo-ku, Keihoku, Hosono-cho(京都市右京区京北細野町)

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8 Responses to “Kyoto Mountain Ramen Joint: Wild Boar ‘Inoshishi’ Ramen”

  1. Sounds awesome! I’ve been perfecting my own ramen recipe, and while I think I have tonkotsu broth down, I’m having difficulty finding proper noodles. I’ve decided I just need to make my own, but I’m having trouble finding かん水.

  2. Dennis says:

    The Captain name throws me off a bit (and its 70′s style katakana font) but somehow it makes it that much more charming.. Love it, and thanks for sharing as usual!

  3. Forager says:

    Hmm. I’d be a tourist in Kyoto, wouldn’t have a car but I am severely tempted to visit this the next time I’m in Kyoto as 1) I love ramen and 2) I have been obsessed about eating wild boar ever since reading Asterix and Obelix comic books as a kid. Mmm.. wild boar..

  4. Paul Hays says:

    What a great find! Makes me want to jump in my car and have a road trip to find the ramen. Kind of like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. This could become an obsession! I did make ti trip to Obama for their Obama Ramen. It was well worth the trip.

    And thanks for twittering.

  5. David says:

    Ohhh! That looks good. I love Botan Nabe (inoshishi nabe) and I’ve had it a few times but never in ramen. I’ll have to go to this one.

    I found the JA farmers market in Sanda, Hyogo actually sells inoshishi meat. My mother in law made sukiyaki with it. Brilliant.

  6. Peko Peko says:

    Hello Everyone, I just want to reiterate that I would not recommend going all the way up to Keihoku for this ramen unless you are REALLY into ramen and/or wild boar. While it tasted great, it didn’t particularly taste of wild boar to me. I have only had wild boar a few times in Japan and the taste is not particularly ‘wild’ or ‘gamey’ as is wild game back in Minnesota — or so my mom used to say.

    Hello Marc, You are quite a chef! Making your own ramen noodles now? Wow! I will look around for かん水 here, I once bought some in Lanzhou, China and brought it back to Japan. I never used it though.

    Hello Dennis, Well, I think that joint dates from about the 1970′s, so would explain the font.

    Hello Forager, There ought to be buses up to Keihoku, or you can always take a taxi — it would be expensive. If you like hiking, there is plenty else to see up there. The mountains and forests are very, very beautiful. Also, you could go to a proper wild boar restaurant for dinner too, if you are really into it. Let us know if you want us to check into the bus schedule. There may be no English info for that.

    Hello Paul Hays, Obama ramen? I had not heard of that one! I will have to check it out next time I get out there. I know that Obama (Japan) is REALLY cashing in on (President) Obama.

    Hello David, Yes in rural Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama and so on inoshishi meat is fairly common — there are a whole lot of them these days. I would love to try inoshishi sukiyaki!

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