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Kagawa: The Udon Prefecture

Kagawa prefecture is perhaps not a name well known amongst foreigners or even Japanese. However, you must have heard of its nickname: “The prefecture of Udon”.


Of course you know “udon”, the thick white noodles that are so smooth you almost find them sliding down your throat directly. They are the third most popular noodle in Japan (the first being ramen while the second is soba) and the production of udon in Kagawa prefecture is the highest in the country. In terms of the ratio of population to the number of udon restaurants, Kagawa’s ratio is 3.4 times of that of the rest of the country.

Kagawa is famous for “sanuki” udon, the type of udon that has a square shape and flat edges. There are four ingredients that contribute to its taste: wheat, salt, soy sauce and dried sardine. Wheat is for making the udon noodles while the other three ingredients are for the soup base. All these ingredients can be obtained locally in the prefecture and they are of the finest quality.

With these ingredients as the base, the soup of udon is subtle and does not smell as strong as that of ramen. Therefore, you may not be able to smell its aroma when you wander around the streets of Kagawa – but with all the shops scattered around, it is impossible to not notice their presence.


As shown in the picture above, you will see the Japanese word for udon (うどん) everywhere. The restaurant type in this picture is “Self-udon(セルフのうどん)” and as its name suggests it is self-service: you order the noodles at the counter and take the toppings you like; then you pay before you eat. Besides this type, there is the regular style where you order at your table. There is also another type that you can only find in Kagawa: at the place where udon is directly produced. You can also eat udon you make by yourself in a “school of udon”!


 Like its “friends” ramen and soba, the list of ways to eat udon is endless: hot broth, cold broth, with meat, in curry etc. But if you want to devour the original taste and texture of the wheat, you can start by eating it in its plainest form: udon and soup (and perhaps with some spring onions).


Feeling hungry? Come to Kagawa prefecture and eat the udon! There are even udon buses and udon taxis to take you to the most famous udon restaurants in case you are overwhelmed with choices!


Reference: Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
Prefectural capital: Takamastsu
Airport: Takamatsu airport
Nakano School of Udon

Article by Eva

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