Halal Food In Tokyo: Halal Ramen at Kaijin, Shinjuku (With Directions!)

It's official: I'm a ramen-lover.

Prior to my visits to Tokyo, I have to confess: I had never eaten ramen. Ever. I don't know why that is, but basically all the Japanese food I was familiar with pre-Japan was sushi. Like everybody, I was familiar enough with sushi, and when people said "Japanese food" I answered "Sushi!".

What did I know? Basically nothing, because I did not know ramen. But now I know ramen and I LOVE ramen.

Kaijin is a little ramen resturant tucked awayalmost hiddenon the second floor of a building in Shinjuku. It isn't actually a halal restaurant, per se, but the owners do provide for Muslims as they use only seafood-based broth for their ramen, plus there's no pork anywhere in the menu.

There is chicken, but it isn't halal, though; all of the ramens come with a chicken meatball but one of the waiters, who happens to speak really good English, always asked us "So take out the chicken meatball?" whenever he saw usI'm guessing my scarf is enough an indicator, and I'm guessing he's used to having Muslim customers coming in, too.
(Note: Obviously Muslims can eat chicken, but we're only allowed the halal version, and this restaurant doesn't provide that.)

I think the "Kaijin pull" for me was the fact that it's a place that's regularly occupied by locals as well as tourists; if the locals line up for it, you know it's good.

Speaking of lining up, that's definitely something Shah and I had to do: there was anywhere from three to fifteen people lining up in front us on the staircase or even out onto the street every time we went to Kaijin, so if you're there during peak hours, just get ready to do a little bit of waiting!

[ Lining up outside ]

[ Never not a full house ]

[ Their English menu ]

I always order the same thing: the seafood based ramen with no rice ball , which is the second item on the menu. I did order the rice ball the first time I went there and I actually finished the whole lot, which impressed Shah. I mean, look at that BIGGG bowl. I'm known as that person who simply cannot finish her food when she eats out (my tummy space is smaller than most people, plus I eat real slow) so obviously Kaijin ramen just really rocks my boat. Kaijin is especially spot-on during the cold days of winter and the colder days of autumn and spring.

You can either choose the normal noodle portion (mine) or the large one (Shah's, always), with no extra charge added for the latter. I also liked to add extra leeks, which you'll have to pay extra for (and as a leeks-lover, I have to say the leeks breath afterwards has always been totally worth it).

Shah has long loved spicy ramen, way before he met me. The first time we went to Kaijin, he ordered number 3 on the menu, with the hottest spiciness level, which was a BIG MISTAKE, guys. I know some of you will be like how Shah was, thinking "I like hot. How hot can their hot be, right?" and let me tell you that it is f-r-e-a-k-i-n hot and spicy. TOO hot and spicy, OKKK. I swear, it's almost like they purposely threw in a whole bagful of chilli flakes just to be like "See how you like our hot NOW".

Again, I know some of you will not be convinced if I tell you to NOT order the hottest level of spiciness they offer, and by all means, go ahead and try it out. Hopefully Kaijin has decided not to torture over-confident newcomers like they did us.

Shah went back to 'mild' the second time around, but decided to try out the 'medium' level the third time, and, nope, still too hot, he's sticking to 'mild' from now on.

One thing about Kaijin, though: it was hard for us to find. A friend of mine from France who visited Tokyo had a hard time locating it too, so I thought I'd take a few photos of how to get there, and hopefully this can help more people to find Kaijin!

Take the JR Yamanote line to Shinjuku station and leave through the Southeast exit. You will be exiting from the staircase or the escalator seen in the top-left photo down here.

You will see a GAP store on your left and these two overlapped buildings in front of you. Now, you want to go for the building at the back. I've indicated that row of building using the yellow flicker illustration on the red awning/signboard in the bottom-right photo above.

Cross the little roads to get to that side. You will see the huge Taito Station to the left, but we want to look for the little staircase entry before Taito Station. See the "Lad's" sign there? The stairs that lead to Kaijin is right next to it.

You will see this sign at the base nearby:

Now go up the stairs and you'll find the cutest little ramen shop called Kaijin!

Please let me know if the instructions above helps, or don't help. Good luck in finding Kaijin, and if you have the time, share with me how your Kaijin experience went!


  1. Oh...I LOVE food!
    That shot of the Ramen noodles in the soup base made my mouth water.
    We have a great (cheap) local noodle bar that makes the most beautiful food.
    I don't normally read/comment on food related posts, but this one? I had too!
    I wish I was joining you for a bowl.

    1. I wish so, too. That would have been quite a great, enjoyable meal with you, I think! xxoo


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Hi, I'm Liyana

I'm a modest blogger based in Malaysia. Here on The Good Weekender, you can find journals of my evolving modest personal style, based on the art of looking casually stylish while still remaining modest, and doing it all on a budget.