Second to last Jiro today. I was on vacation this week and the week was leading up to this. If you have to wait on line outside for 30-60 mins, I figured today was the day. Weather has been unseasonably comfortable and not humid the last couple of days. Ramen Jiro Moriya is the only Jiro branch in Ibaraki-ken. You can get to Moriya very conveniently by taking the Tsukuba Express from Akihabara, I believe it is the 15th stop from Akihabara. Once you get to Moriya, you can then change to the Kantetsu Joso line and take it in the direction of Toride just one stop, to Minami Moriya Station. Then it is a pleasant 10-15 minute walk from the station through a seemingly middle-to-upper-middle-class residential neighborhood, videos of which someone was kind enough to post on Youtube here (the back way) and (the front way)here. Some of these semi-city folk have some pretty impressive vegetable gardens. In any case after arriving at the Ramen Jiro, there is actually a parking lot and the line spills out into it. Inside this is easily the largest Jiro I have ever been to, with the possible exception of Ikebukero. Very roomy, with two line of chairs on opposite sides of the room. The one to your left when you walk into the place is the first one that you will be waiting on, with the last seat right next to the water dispenser and the mirror. (there are two dispensers). Note that the mirror says "From the Mita Hon Ten" on it. The ticket machine will be on your right and I recommend that you get the sho buta single or double. This place has all of the hallmarks of being a Jiro classic: juicy pork and good cuts, not all dried up. Noodles were very thin, not over- or under-cooked, although some people might ask for them a bit more al dente. The broth, or should I say gravy, was the best part. For most Jiros, the broth (while still very thick compared to regular ramen broth), is still thin enough where you can see the suspended fat, and if you let it sit for a while, the oil comes up to the surface and the real meat broth drops to the bottom. Not so with this Jiro - the abura, oil and broth are blended together in some weird way to form real pork gravy - I really felt like that's what I was eating. Unbelievably thick, like some sort of pork stew gravy. Three people behind the extremely roomy counter, first time I have seen that in a long time. Tea/water vending machine outside. At this shop there is no sign up listing the no-charge toppings, however I know that you can ask for more/less garlic, veggies and abura. I realize this is way out of the way, but I have to recommend it.
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