A Noodle Feast Experience in Shikoku

Shikoku – the kingdom of noodles – is proud of its many different types of local noodles. Why not come and try them? You will experience eating methods and productions methods that are unique to this area, and you will have a delicious and enjoyable up-close experience of the culture of noodles in Shikoku.

Learn about the popularity of Sanuki udon at a super-popular store

Tanikawa Beikokuten

The big break for Sanuki udon (thick noodles) came in the 1990s, when many tourists came to Kagawa prefecture to try the udon. Since then, this local food has gone beyond being a gourmet dish and has become a kind of leisure experience that attracts many people. Why do people love Sanuki udon? The reason for the popularity of Sanuki udon will become clear as we introduce Tanikawa Beikokuten, a famous store that started this trend.

One of the attractions is to queue while enjoying the tranquil surroundings of this gorge

Customers in the small store offer their seats to one another as they enjoy the exquisite noodles

Enjoy eating at a noodle production factory near a stream

Tanikawa Beikokuten was originally a small wholesale noodle production factory that began to allow local people to eat the udon in a corner of the store. Although the location next to a stream in a gorge might be considered to be unsuitable for a restaurant, many people come and queue here on Saturdays.

In fact, one of the reasons for the popularity of Sanuki udon is that people enjoy the adventure of searching in such a remote place for this store that is like eating in the corner of a noodle production factory. For people from outside the prefecture, the rustic buildings, the serene atmosphere, and particularly the inconvenience of it all creates a fresh experience. At Tanikawa Beikokuten, which has particularly tranquil scenery even in comparison to other Sanuki udon stores, customers offer their seats to one another in the small store as they happily slurp the udon noodles.

A self-service experience that is unique to Sanuki

Almost half of the udon stores in Kagawa prefecture are self-service style restaurants where the customer has to do some kind of work. At Tanikawa Beikokuten, which used to be a noodle production factory, the customers take a bowl, add negi (Welsh onion) and soy sauce, and tidy up their bowls after eating. You can get a second helping without having to queue up for a second time at this store, where one of the attractions is the cosy way in which the shop assistants treat the customers. The self-service method, which stood out for being so rare when the boom first started, is still popular today as an experience that offers a touch of human kindness that is unique to these stores.

Getting a second helping at the family-run cosy restaurant is just like visiting a the house of a relative

Exceptional noodles that you cannot taste elsewhere

Above all, you will be amazed by the delicious noodles at Tanikawa Beikokuten that are both springy and yet firm. It is a point of pride that, even without the addition of a soup stock, the flavor of the udon noodles can be enjoyed just by adding soy sauce in the same way as sashimi. The flavors and prices while on a Sanuki udon tour are impressive. Each store has different attractions, so many people enjoy eating at as many of the udon stores as possible. Start your fascinating Sanuki udon tour with a visit to the head store of Yamagoe Udon, which has many different attractive features.

Some people go back for multiple servings of these noodles that have a soy sauce base that is accented with vinegar, egg, or the famous pickled green chillies (may not be available in spring and summer as they are pickled in August)

Tanikawa Beikokuten

Address:
1490, Kawahigashi, Manno, Nakatado, Kagawa prefecture;
Fee:
Small 150 yen, Large 280 yen, Egg 50 yen;
Hours:
Around 11:00AM to 13:00PM (or until the noodles are sold out);
Closed:
Sundays (speical closures on other days);
TEL:
+81-877-84-2409

Traditional soba production in a remote area deep in the mountains

Ancient soba making experience (Okuiya Menme Juku)

The experience starts with the 80-year old method of grinding the soba flour in a stone mortar

Soba noodles that you make yourself taste exceptional. Local dishes made using seasonal Okuiya ingredients accompany the noodles

Experience the soba culture handed down in Iya

Although there is a strong association between Shikoku and udon noodles, Iya, a remote region deep in the mountains in the west of Tokushima prefecture, has made a name for itself with famous soba (buckwheat) noodles. Buckwheat is commonly cultivated in Iya where soba noodles have been made as a typical home food for many years. At the Okuiya Menme Juku experience workshop in Okuiya, which is even more remote than Iya, you can experience making and eating your own Iya soba, which has been a part of life in Iya since long ago.

Iya soba is so thick, short, and black that is barely resembles soba, which is due to the fact that it uses almost no fillers, such as wheat. For that reason, you can enjoy the actual flavor of the sweet Iya soba noodles on their own. The special feature of the Okuiya Menme Juku is that they produce soba using ancient, traditional techniques. This is a precious opportunity to experience tastes and a culture that has been handed down from generation to generation in a village in a remote area deep in the mountains.

Okuiya Menme Juku

Address:
84-1, Higashi Iya, Wakabayashi, Miyoshi, Tokushima;
Ancient handmade soba making experience fee:
2,500 yen per person;
Hours:
On appointment;
Closed:
N/A;
TEL:
+81-883-88-5625

Experience the amazing remote feeling while walking in Okuiya

Top: Ochiai Village is registered as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings. Bottom: The legend is that the defeated soldiers of the Heike clan built the Okuiya Double Vine Bridge after losing a war about 800 years ago

The more than 100 figures dotted around Kakashi no Sato were produced as a hobby by just one woman who lives in Nagoro

Okuiya offers the most remote feeling in all of Japan, which is an essential experience. This is best represented by Ochiai Village, where the rural Japanese scenery resembles the setting of a folk tale. Another must-see is the absolutely thrilling Okuiya Double Vine Bridge that hangs over a valley deep in the mountains. Another highlight is Kakashi no Sato. The more than 100 figures dotted around Nagoro village each have different facial expressions and are set up in different locations, such as waiting for the bus, and carrying out farm work. This surreal and somehow heart-warming scene is popular with tourists.

Ochiai Village

Address:
Ochiai. Higashi Iya, Miyoshi Tokushima;
TEL:
+81-883-76-0877 (Miyoshi City Tourism Association)

Okuiya Double Vine Bridge

Address:
620, Sugo, Higashi Iya, Miyoshi. Tokushima;
Fee:
Adults 550 yen, Children 350 yen;
Hours:
Sunrise to sunset;
Closed:
December 1 to March 31 (closed for winter);
TEL:
+81-883-76-0877 (Miyoshi City Tourism Association)

Kakashi no Sato

Address:
Sugeoi, Higashi Iya, Miyoshi, Tokushima;
TEL:
+81-883-76-0877 (Miyoshi City Tourism Association)

Be refreshed by Ehime nagashi-somen

Meisuitei

The somen noodles are scooped out at the right time as they flow past before being dipped in tsuyu and eaten

Kannon spring water, revered by locals as miraculous water that comes from limestone caves, is used for nagashi-somen

Somen noodles flowing in famous water

The attraction of somen noodles is that they slip and slide down the throat, and these noodles are used in nagashi-somen (flowing somen noodles) that flow in the water running down a pipe, which is a classic refreshing summer activity in Japan. Nagashi somen is popular in Ehime prefecture, where the Meisuitei store, which opens earlier than others at the end of April, is famous for using Kannon spring water (selected as one of Japan’s 100 exquisite and well conserved waters) in its nagashi somen. Enjoy the superior taste of the somen noodles listening to the chatter of the famous spring waters as BGM.

Meisuitei

Address:
3478, Uwacho Akanma, Seiyo, Ehime;
Fee:
Adults 600 yen, Elementary school students 300 yen, Children (2 years old and above) 100 yen;
Hours:
10:00AM to 17:00PM;
Period:
April 29 to September 10;No closures during opening period;
TEL:
+81-894-67-0013

Heikedani Somen nagashi

People come from far away to the site by the mountain stream for the delicious somen and the cool air

It will taste better topping with more seasonings

You can also eat freshly caught and grilled rainbow trout

Eat refreshing nagashi somen next to a stream

We recommend eating at Heikedani Somennagashi on the grounds near the mountain stream that is cool even during summer and where the noodles are plentifully accompanied with leeks, wasabi and onions. Another attraction here is the opportunity to try homemade dishes such as handmade pickles and Bara-zushi at the shop. There is also a fish pond on the grounds, and any rainbow trout caught in the pond can be cooked right there on a charcoal fire.

Heikedani Somen nagashi

Address:
8624-3, Honaicho Miyauchi, Yawatahama, Ehime;
Somen nagashi fee:
Adults 600 yen, Elementary school students 300 yen, Children 100 yen, Grilled trout (freshly caught and grilled trout) 300 yen per fish;
Hours:
9:00AM to 16:30PM;
Opening period:
April 29 to August 31;No closures during opening period;
TEL:
+81-894-36-2414 (Heikedani store)

Long-awaited breakthrough for local Shikoku ramen!

Sukiyaki ramen is now known all over Japan Tokushima ramen Ramen Todai Omichi Store

Tokushima ramen is now well known throughout Japan. It is also called “sukiyaki ramen” because of the sweet and salty flavor and the egg topping, and many people eat it with rice. The rich ramen served at the popular Ramen Todai store is particularly highly rated for going well with rice.

Ramen Todai Head Store

Address:
Omichi 1-36,Tokushima;
Fee:
Tokushima ramen 600 yen, kotteri ramen 650 yen;
Hours:
11:00AM to 4:00AM next day (closes once sold out);
Closed:
Open all year;
TEL:
+81-88-655-3775

The soul food boasted of in Ehime port Yawatahama chanpon Chanpon-tei Eagle

A boom is about to begin for the lightly flavored chanpon (soup noodles) of Yawatahama in Ehime, which is a unique take on the Nagasaki chanpon. Local ingredients and a clear chicken soup are used in the chanpon at Chanpon-tei Eagle, which has been popular for a long time for its superior taste.

Chanpon-tei Eagle

Address:
358-2 Nakanomachi, Yawatahama, Ehime;
Fee:
Chanpon 580 yen;
Hours:
11:30AM to 21:00PM;
Closed:
Wednesdays;
TEL:
+81-894-22-2492

A super-popular ramen store that has adopted the noodle culture of Sanuki Sanuki ramen Hamando

Hamando ramen was created after the store founder, who was determined to try as many of the udon and ramen dishes in Kagawa as possible, set out to create ramen that could rival Sanuki udon and that took on the “DNA” of Kagawa. The firm noodles and the sardine-flavored dashi is unique to Sanuki. This highly popular store is now well known throughout Japan.

Hamando

Address:
3873-1 Minocho Omi, Mitoyo, Kagawa;
Fee:
Hamando ramen 780 yen;
Hours:
11:00AM to 15:00PM;
Closed:
Wednesdays;
TEL:
+81-875-72-1985

A traditional street food feast Susaki nabeyaki ramen Mayumi-no-mise

Susaki’s famous nabeyaki ramen is offered with the hospitable idea that “it stays hot until the last mouthful!” The straight noodles mix in with the stock made from chicken bones and soy sauce to create a refreshing flavor. The original flavor that was so popular with people who used to visit this store when it was a street eatery has been handed down in the area, including at the Mayumi-no-mise store.

Mayumi-no-mise

Address:
10-14, Sakae, Susaki, Kochi;
Fee:
Nabeyaki ramen 600 yen;
Hours:
11:00AM to 17:00PM on weekdays, 11:00AM to 21:00PM on weekends/holidays (closes once the soup/noodles are sold out);
Closed:
Wednesdays (open on national holidays);
TEL:
+81-889-42-9026

Tokushima Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

75 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 4※

Takamatsu Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

80 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

Matsuyama Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

95 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

From Nagoya Chubu Airport

70 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 3※

From Osaka Itami Airport

55 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 9※

Kochi Airport

From Tokyo Haneda Airport

90 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 5※

From Osaka Itami Airport

45 minutes

Number of departures per day: Approx. 6※

*Information correct as of February 25 2016

Details correct as of the end of January 2016.