Top Choice Noodles in Nagahama


With its tatami room and garden, this intimate, 200-plus-year-old restaurant positively oozes 'old Japan' charm. The signature dish is yakisaba-sōmen (grilled mackerel over thin noodles), which is also available in …
Top Choice Udon in Osaka

Imai Honten

Step into an oasis of calm amid Dōtombori's chaos to be welcomed by kimono-clad staff at one of the area's oldest and most revered udon specialists. Try kitsune udon – noodles topped with soup-soaked slices of fried…
Noodles in Kinosaki Onsen


This soba and udon specialist has been in business for half a century and shows it, with atmospheric woodwork and walls festooned with old farm and home implements. Go for dishes like kamozaru (chilled soba with duc…
Soba in Osaka

Denki Soba

The soba, which is actually quite good, is only nominally part of the experience here. The rest is the atmosphere – carefully orchestrated by the proprietor who mixes ambient sounds on analogue synths – and the inte…
Noodles in Osaka

Umeda Hagakure

Two storeys underground and three decades old, this shop is cramped and workmanlike, but locals queue for udon noodles made before your eyes. Cold noodles are the speciality; try refreshing nama-jōyu (with soy sauce…
Udon in Osaka

Mimiu Honten

Mimiu is the originator of a beloved local speciality called udonsuki (hot pot dish of simmering chicken, clams, prawns and seasonal vegetables). After the dashi (broth) has been thoroughly flavoured by all the abov…
Noodles in Himeji


They make their own noodles at this homey, cheerful little joint on the main street a few minutes' walk from the castle. It's not fancy, but it serves an honest, tasty bowl of udon with your choice of toppings to po…
Noodles in Miyama-Chō


This thatched-roof place on the road to Kayabuki-no-Sato serves simple but tasty noodle dishes as well as nabe (hotpot) dishes. Look for it behind the cluster of shrubs and pines.
Noodles in Hikone


Our favourite spot on Yumekyō-bashi Castle Rd is this little darkwood- and plaster-walled soba place serving specialities like nishin-soba (soba with herring) and dishes made with local Ōmi beef. From the castle end…