Oh boy. Ramen at Sakurajima (桜島) in West ward (main branch)Sapporo, Japan is frigging awesome! I was first taken here by a friend when I first arrived in Japan back in 2007. It was her favourite ramen shop in Sapporo and now it's mine too. I went back there for a second time, five years later and I don't really know why I took such a long break from this place. Hang on, yes I do. It's because it's kinda far out of town and it's better if you can get someone to drive there. Or jump on the Tozai subway line to Hassamuminami and it's about a 20 minute walk. There is another branch in town, in Susukino.
The boss/owner is always working at the main branch. He has an awesome silver tash and looks serious as shit. I assume he is the dude on the Sakurajima logo. He's always behind the counter looking mean as shit, silently cooking his kakuni with a scowl that says "talk to me and I will slap your face with my kakuni, bitch!" (I'm sure he's a lovely guy). I was gonna ask him for a photo but I was too scared.
The soup is Tonkotsu which is pork bone soup, different from Sapporo Miso but still very good albeit different. What I really dig about Sakurajima Ramen is that they make their own kakuni (braised fatty pork) and it is so tender and mouth wateringly delicious. They are also very generous with the servings (at the West ward anyway). I had the "Sakurajima" ramen (880 yen) and got three large chunks of kakuni.
I struggled to finish it but I love kakuni so much I munched it all down knowing that I probably wouldn't be having dinner that evening. My friend couldn't finish hers (that doesn't happen often) so I gobbled up her left over kakuni too.
We both left stuffed and happy and I can safely say it is the best kakuni ramen I have had in Sapporo, Japan so far. I will not leave it another five years before I go back again, I promise you that.
Sakurajima (櫻島) Main branch:
Address: Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo, Nishi Ward, Nishino 4 Jo, ３丁目１−３８
Opening times: 1100 - 1900View Larger Map
Ramen Sakurajima (ラーメン櫻島) Susukino Branch:
Address:〒064-0805 Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, Minami 5 Jonishi, ４丁目
From Susukino station it's about a 2 minute walk.View Larger Map