Local Restaurants Gourmet Report in Japan Udon Tanigawa Rice Store, Golden Kamatama Udon

Tanigawa Rice Store, Golden Kamatama Udon

谷川米穀店 黄金の釜玉うどん

Is the udon shop in the country a rice shop?

How many years have passed since Kagawa Prefecture began to call itself “Udon Prefecture”? There are many udon shops in Kagawa prefecture. There are shops that open early in the morning, short hours only during lunchtime in the daytime, and some even finish in two and a half hours. I felt that udon restaurants in Kagawa prefecture are basically “self-service”. Boil the noodles yourself, add the soup sauce, take it home and eat. There are also restaurants where you can cook the condiments yourself.

There are various udon shops in Takamatsu city. When I asked an acquaintance for recommendations, it was “Takesei.” This shop seems to serve fresh fried tempura. But, I had to cook udon myself. However, I dared to search the suburbs udon shop online. I found “Tanigawa Rice Store”. The place is the prefectural border with Tokushima Prefecture. Business hours are only two and a half hours from 11:00 to 13:30. Closes when udon is sold out. What a mysterious udon restaurant! I have to go eat.

I’m heading to “Mannocho” from Marugame City. It may be a beautiful place in early summer or autumn. While I was enjoying the scenery of the Doki River, my car goes into the mountains. About 30 minutes I arrived at my destination. Hmm? According to the car navigation system, it’s here, but I can’t find a udon shop. I saw some cars going down a narrow street, so when I thought about it, there was a parking lot. In the daytime on weekdays, and even in such a mountain, the parking lot for more than 10 cars was almost full. I got out of the car and went down the slope. A udon shop is a private house in a hidden place. I can’t find a sign.

Udon  Shop
Udon Shop

No wonder I can’t find this.

Golden Kamatama Udon

I opened the udon shop door. There was a counter seat inside the udon shop, and there was a manual on how to eat udon.

How to eat Udon

First the staff asked me about the order. I need to answer four questions.

“Udon or Soba?” —> “Udon”
“Hot or cold?” —> “Hot”
“Large or small?” —> “Large”
“Do you want raw eggs?” —> “Yes.”

The order is over. Just wait. The udon shop is full. There is a chaise longue by the wall to wait for seats, but people who can’t wait eat udon there. At the back of the counter, a man who seems to be the master is making udon noodles. It’s handmade. There is a large kettle beside it and boiled udon is served.

Udon hot large
Udon warm large

The staff said. “Hot udon, ordered person”. It’s my turn. I went to the counter to pick up my udon. The egg yolk shines on the white canvas. I added soy sauce and shichimi to the udon noodles. I stir the hot udon with chopsticks. The pure white udon turns into a golden color. This is just like Carbonara, no, egg on the rice of Japanese style! I’m going all at once. Although it has a unique texture of Sanuki Udon, it has a fluffy, chewy texture that is unique to a kettle. I can’t stop eating. I ate all at once.

I’m afraid to add vinegar to udon

I heard the words that cool me down.

“Ordered refill, small udon~”

I looked around. The aunt of the udon shop serves udon noodles one after another. Customers are receiving udon one after another. Oops! I realized I made a big mistake. Don’t order large udon here. It is a manner to enjoy different tastes by first ordering a small udon and then replacing it. Everything is an experience. Nothing speaks well from the beginning. Humans grow by repeating failures.

When I recovered from the shock and tried to regain my composure, the aunt next door sprinkled vinegar on the udon. What? !! Udon and vinegar? !! I know only Chinese in Shaanxi have ever done that. I also imitated her, picked up vinegar and turned around my udon. The taste was… subtle. Everything is an experience, Nothing speaks… the same sentence before.

I'm afraid to add vinegar to udon
I’m afraid to add vinegar to udon

Chinese man and Nabeyaki Udon

Nearly 20 years ago, I traveled from Tokyo to Izu with five Chinese. It was a business trip. On the way back from Izu, it’s definitely near Odawara. We all talked about wanting to eat nabe-yaki udon noodles, and we went into the soba restaurant that passed by. Everyone ordered a hot pot udon. Only one Chinese had a suspicious face while chewing hot udon. He said.

“I want chili and vinegar.”

Shichimi is good for pepper. But why do you want vinegar? The Chinese attendant said.

“This guy is from Shaanxi. He can’t eat anything unless it’s sour and spicy!”

I was wondering if I really needed vinegar, but I ordered it from the soba shop owner.

The landlady also had a strange look and brought in a small bowl of vinegar. Chinese vinegar is a mild black vinegar. However, Japanese vinegar is highly pure grain vinegar. He put all the vinegar in a pan with plenty of Shichimi without hesitation. Stir and cook udon. And he said.


Everyone denies.

“没有~(No no)”

One Chinese said.

“I’m sorry if misunderstood, but not all Chinese people taste it like this. He’s a Shaanxi man, so everything is sour and spicy!”

I thought. This is a business trip. Is it okay to have such a dissatisfied host? Well, don’t worry, he says nabeyaki udon is delicious.

Beginners make a mistake

I finished eating udon and paid the bill. Udon large 280 + egg 50 yen = 330 yen. cheap. I left the udon shop and looked around. I heard the murmur of the stream. The air is good. Before I entered the udon shop, my head was full of udon. I didn’t realize it was such a peaceful and comfortable place. I realized that the udon eaten in a place rich in nature is exceptionally good.

Golden Kamatama Udon
Golden Kamatama Udon

I looked back at my meal. First, order a small udon and enjoy the udon. Then, I order udon small again. Next time, sprinkle with pepper and vinegar and eat. It’s like eating two bowls of rice without a side dish. Just a mass of carbohydrates. Delicious, but not good for your health.Kagawa Prefecture has the third highest number of deaths due to diabetes in Japan, and the number of patients receiving medical treatment is the second highest. It is also known as the “diabetes worst prefecture”.

Was the Chinese right?

“Oh, I see!” Suddenly, a flash ran in my mind.

Kamatama udon gradation
Kamatama udon gradation

The subtle taste of the udon that I made with vinegar was due to the lack of spiciness! I had to add the famous chili pepper Tsukudani to the udon. Isn’t the Shaanxi Chinese doing it? Chinese were not the only ones to eat udon sour and spicy, even in Japan. What have I learned from my experience?

I was frightened by my stupidity. I was disappointed that I couldn’t taste 100% udon. As expected, Shaanxi Province, which is said to be the home of China, which is the home of noodles. One day I would come back to this store again and vow to heart that I should try it again this time.

Tanigawa Rice Store (谷川米穀店)

Manno-cho, Kagawa

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