This next blog is dedicated to Udon, one of my favorite Japanese foods because of its simplicity and taste. The popular wheat based noodle is served in many different ways, both hot and cold. There is no where in Japan more famous for its udon then in Kagawa. Located north of Tokushima and also on the island of Shikoku – Kagawa was once known as Sanuki. Thus, the old name of the province stuck with the locally made udon. Ironically, the origin of udon is credited to none other than Kobo Daishi. According to historians, the founder of the 88 Temple Pilgrimage traveled to China in the 9th century to study buddhism. When he returned, he also brought back the knowledge of udon to his farming neighbors in the Sanuki region of Japan. As experts in refining imported culture, udon has come to be recognized in the world as Japanese food today. In recent year’s the popularity of the food has even inspired the making of a Japanese movie about Sanuki Udon shot in Kagawa ken – appropriately titled, Udon. On my recent trips to Kagawa to visit the 88 Temples in its prefecture, I’ve made a conscious effort to consume as much Sanuki Udon as I can. With over 1000 Sanuki Udon restaurants in the prefecture, I’ve avoided all chain establishments and have tried to visit only the “mom and pop shops.” Let me tell you… there’s nothing more satisfying than granny bringing a home-made bowl of udon to your table after a long day of temple visiting. It’s like she knows you’ve earned it… Check out my gallery below of Sanuki Udon restaurants I’ve visited in Kagawa.
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