The Japan’s 3 Best Udon Noodles Brands

When I think of representative Japanese noodle dishes, what come to mind are the Japan’s 3 major noodle dishes, namely, Ramen, Soba, and Udon.These are popular not only in Japan, but also in the world.

Among them, speaking of Udon noodles, have you ever heard that there exist several kinds of Udon brands that are called “the Japan’s 3 Best Udon Noodles”?


The Japan’s 3 Best Udon Brands

I am going straight to the point.It is generally said that Sanuki Udon (讃岐うどん) and Inaniwa Udon (稲庭うどん) are two brands of the Japan’s 3 Best Udon noodles, which are specialty foods of Kagawa Prefecture and Akita Prefecture respectively.

However, when it comes to the last one, 4 local Udon brands are picked up as possible candidates.They are Mizusawa Udon (水沢うどん) from Gunma Prefecture, Goto Udon (五島うどん) from Nagasaki Prefecture, Himi Udon (氷見うどん) from Toyama Prefecture, and Kishimen (きしめん) from Aichi Prefecture.

The features of the 6 Japan’s local Udon brands

Actually, the Udon selected as the rest depends on the selection criteria, so the opinion varies from person to person, but today I want to explain the features of the above 6 local Udon noodles brands that are considered the possible candidates for “the Japan’s 3 Best Udon Noodles”

Sanuki Udon (讃岐うどん)

Sanuki Udon is the Udon brand that Kagawa boasts, and the prefecture is known as the Japan’s top consumer of Udon noodles.The striking feature of Sanuki Udon is that it is thick and very chewy.The soup stock made with small sardines is rich in aroma and seasoned with soy sauce.The leading Japanese Udon restaurant chain, Marugame-Seimen (丸亀製麺) with about 800 Udon specialty restaurants throughout Japan is well-known for providing Sanuki Udon.

Inaniwa Udon (稲庭うどん)

Inaniwa Udon has its origin in southern Akita Prefecture.This Udon was the item presented to feudal lords and the Imperial royal family of Japan for a long time and ordinary people weren’t able to have the udon noodles until 1972.Inaniwa Udon are fine wheat noodles stretched by hand with no use of oil and characterized by its smooth and slippery plate feeling.

Mizusawa Udon (水沢うどん)

The production area of Mizusawa Udon is in and around the town of Ikaho, Gunma Prefecture, which is famous for its hot spring.This Udon has a clear white color and features its somewhat thin, chewy noodles.Mizusawa Udon is commonly served cold and eaten dipping in soy sauce based soup or sesame sauce.

Goto Udon (五島うどん)

Goto Udon is known as a specialty food of Nagasaki Prefecture, and it is said that the origin dates back to more than 1000 years ago.The round and thin shaped wheat noodle has an unique texture with smoothness and chewiness.This Udon tastes good on the way down and is characterized by its flavor because it is made using camellia oil.The noodles hardly become soggy over time.

Himi Udon (氷見うどん)

As the Udon name indicates, Himi Udon is the Udon brand enjoyed in and around the city of Himi, Toyama Prefecture.This Udon also has a long history and it is said that the origin dates back to the mid Edo period, about 300 years ago.The noodle is thin yet very chewy and features its smooth and slippery palate feeling.This Udon is rich in flavor as it is made using no oil.

Kishimen (きしめん)

Image : Wikipedia

Kishimen is known as one of the specialty foods of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, called Nagoya Meshi.This Udon has a flat shape that is different from general Udon noodles and features its smooth, slippery palate feeling.The texture is soft compared to general ones.

The Recommended Product from the Japan’s 3 Best Udon Noodles Brands

Yosuke Sato Inaniwa Udon, 300g

As I wrote above, it is generally said that Inaniwa Udon is one of the Japan’s 3 Best Udon Brands.This is why I want to introduce a recommended item from Inaniwa Udon.

Speaking of Inaniwa Udon specialty shops, Sato-Yosuke is probably the most famous.The shop has over 150 years of history and presented Inaniwa Udon noodles to the Imperial royal family of Japan.

As a matter of fact, the Inaniwa Udon noodles of Sato-Yosuke won 13th place in the popularity contest of Japan’s delicious souvenirs that was held a few years ago by a Japanese TV program.


I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

1 Response

  1. September 6, 2017

    […] 3 major Udon noodles in Japan,as I wrote about them before,if you are interested in them,refer to my past article […]

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