Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waseda chapter.

Before jumping into the food (don’t worry, I want to too), a warm welcome to the first installment of this series! I’m Sofia, year-long exchange student at Waseda University who’s stated more than once that 25% of the reason I’m in Tokyo is for the food. I’m Filipino-American (explaining the food obsession), and a design student at the University of Washington (hence heavy focus on visual explanations). Being Filipino-American, growing up in The Netherlands, and having a mom who’s the literal best cook in the world (100% objective statement) I understand the power food has to connect, whether it be to the homeland, family, or to a completely unfamiliar culture. I’m also a student, which means I’m on that student budget. The only rule in this food series is that the dish has to be under 1000¥ (~€7.5 or ~$9). Luckily, this still leaves unlimited possibilities for mind-blowingly delish food — so hold onto your butts.

A delicious nap-inducing bowl of ramen: what better place to start? This is Kokoroba Ramen, specializing in Hakata-style, or tonkotsu ramen in the ramen hub that is Takadanobaba. Enough details, now let’s fawn over this cheap and delicious meal.

Just take a moment to look at this beauty. The tender pork, meat separating from the fat at the mere tap of a chopstick. The thin noodles peeking up shyly. That good egg. And of course, the creamy broth that I believe makes tonkotsu ramen so bomb. This powerful broth is made from pork bones stewed for a small eternity in a pot big enough for you to climb inside. Those bones and time give the broth that light color and straight-to-the-brain fatty power. All I can do after a bowl of this is nap. Unfortunately in this case I had a class to attend — would not recommend.

Kokoroba makes my student wallet happy by serving a free second round of noodles, or ‘kaedama’ at lunchtime. Unfortunately, I’m out after one bowl, but my food companion was up for the task. If you’re still conscious after a whole bowl, go for it!

Overall, 10/10 would go again, especially considering it’s dangerously only a six-minute walk from Waseda. Tonkotsu is only a once-a-week max type of meal because of its after-effects, but the rice bowls and gyoza on their menu make it seem like this could easily be a regular spot for a lil’ lunchy. Kokoroba is killing the game. Case closed.


Kokoroba Ramen

2-10–15 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169–0051


Third-culture kid: Filipino-American eating her way through Tokyo after growing up in the Netherlands. Studying design at the University of Washington.