Aoba is a chain of approximately 15 shops in Tokyo. It specializes in tsukemen and chuka soba similar to Taishoken. The Okachimachi branch is technically in Ueno but I list it under Okachimachi since it is almost right next to the JR Okachimachi Station. It's located in the Ramen Yokocho (横丁), which is a group of three shops in one building under the Yamanote line tracks. It's a very open and airy shop with a somewhat California look and new furniture and fixtures. Very simple ticket machine with four choices. The store was almost full but very quiet, most of the people were waiting and not eating yet. The counter stretches all the way around the shop to the back. Spoons but no tissues. I had the regular tsukemen, the broth was more like regular shoyu than Taishoken-style shoyu, and the noodles were quite a bit thinner, almost like somen thickness but not quite. The regular (futsu) size was quite a large amount, and was still a bit scary when the woman brought it over to my until I realized that there was one of those bamboo support things in the bottom of the bowl making it look bigger. I sat right next to the work room in the back and I saw what must have been the largest pot of cooking menma I have ever seen, it was like a 55-gallon drum almost. This place is decent but there are better options within 10 mins walk.
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