gethiroshima

Marugame Seimen: Kamaage Udon Noodle Chain

Over five hundred noodle affordable shops across Japan

gethiroshima
JJ Walsh   - 3 min read

Kamaage Udon is a national noodle chain that originated in Hyogo prefecture in the mid 1980s and has not only established itself around Japan with 747 shops but also has shops in China, Thailand, Seoul, Sydney and has just opened up its latest venture in Waikiki. There are now 20 shops in Hiroshima. The one I went to is near the Kami-Yasu Astram stop that you would get off at if you are taking the Astram monorail line to the Asa Zoo.

Despite the website having a great English, Chinese and Korean page, visiting the shop is a little confusing if you don't speak Japanese. Luckily there are many pictures and it is easy to see all the food and point and order. After ordering which udon dish you want, choose the size of the portion: large=dai or regular=futsu, then choose if you want it served hot=atsui or cold=samui. Take a small plate on your tray if you want to add on any side-menu items like rice balls or deep-fried vegetables, fish or dumplings. At the end of the cafeteria-style self-serve counter, you will pay and then there is a dispenser for the hot dashi broth - so if you ordered a hot portion, this is where you fill up your bowl. Some shops do the soup for you, but others like this store do not. Next to the cashier, you will also be able to add grated shoga ginger (lovely garnish on hot noodles), and chopped negi spring onions- a Japanese staple hot noodle topping.

Once you have your food, find a seat and then head back to fill up a ceramic cup with hot tea and the glass for cold water or cold tea. On the tables, there are waribashi disposable chopsticks, shoyu sauce to add to the udon broth if you like, hot red peppers to spice it up and salt and pepper.

This shop is open from early in the morning (7:30 am) to late at night - last order at 9:30 pm, every day of the year. It's possible to fill up on noodles and side-dishes for around 500 yen, all flour and ingredients used are domestically sourced and the noodles are all hand-made on the premises. With this simple, healthy, fast and cheap combination, it's no wonder this chain has become so popular so quickly not only in Japan but in other countries as well.

JJ Walsh

JJ Walsh @joy.walsh

I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fan...