Sanuki Udon Chain in Aomori

Udon, thick white noodles made from wheat are very popular food Japanese people enjoy eating all seasons but especially in winter.  Aomori doesn’t really have authentic Udon culture, but Kagawa (in Shikoku Island) people are so very picky and serious about Udon.   I used to work with a boss who was from Kagawa-ken(prefecture).   He always wanted to eat Udon, and my co-worker introduced some restaurants in Aomori-City.  After my boss went to 5 or 6 Udon restaurants, he said “I don’t think I’ve ever had any noodles I call Udon in Aomori” with heavy irony.

Until recently, people in Aomori were not aware of the difference between Udon we usually buy from supermarkets and Sanuki(old name of Kagawa) Udon which people in Kagawa eat.   I actually had Sanuki Udon about 5 years ago when I traveled around west area of Japan.  It was SO DELICIOUS with firm but chewy texture…totally different from what I thought was Udon in my life.  Since then I’ve been a big fan of Sanuki Udon.

BTW this blog aims to introduce something charming and typical about Aomori, and I know introducing Sanuki Udon “chain” restaurant is not really cool. But I wanted to give the future foreign visitors to Aomori or Japan the idea of going to the reasonable Udon restaurants which should be better than going to the world’s largest hamburger chain to save the food expenses….

This is a new restaurant opened 2 months ago.  I checked the website and there were 321 chains of this Udon restaurant all over Japan.

Udon restaurant

This place is run on the cafeteria principle.

Udon Counter

First you order Udon, (choosing helping size, hot/cold, with broth or not etc..) then you can pick some options of various veggies or seafood tempra, rice balls and Inari(Sushi rice wrapped in fried tofu ).  The lowest Udon price is 280yen, and most optional food are 100 yen/pcs.

Toppings, Seasoning and Chinese Spoons "Help Yourself"

Here is my Udon Dinner – 480yen!

Torotama Udon(Udon topped with half boiled egg and grated chinese yam) and Squid Tempura

I wanted to take other food pictures for foreign readers who might be scared of chinese yam or squid, but a staff told me not to take too many pictures. I didn’t quite understand why, but had to keep it on the down low anyway.

It was tasty. Personally I felt the noodles were boiled too long.  It might have a slight change by who would be boiling the noodles, so I think I have to go there again for the second try.

If you want to learn how to order in this kind of self service Sanuki Udon places in Japanese, you could look up the Kagawa-ken pages of “Japan” guide book published by Lonely Planet.   It has the great explanations and instructions about Sanuki Udon.

Marugame Seimen

2-3-25 Daini-Tonyacho Aomori-shi

11:00a.m.-9:30p.m. (last orders)

No English Menu

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