Sanuki Udon noodles' rules released! Kagawa locals tell you “How to behave at self-served udon shops”.


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  • Sanuki Udon noodles' rules released! Kagawa locals tell you “How to behave at self-served udon shops”.

The real pleasure of visiting Sanuki Udon is visiting a "self-served shop" where you can customize as you like. I wonder if some beginners are worried that it is difficult to understand the manners and the flow at udon shops because each shop has each style.

Let's simulate the flow from ordering to leaving udon shops at a full-self served shop with “Kake Udon”.

Start to simulate.

Pick up a tray and line up in an udon shop.

1. Ordering

"Kake, Large" An example for telling to order

Tell the shop staff your order and the number of udon balls, then they will give you a bowl with udon balls.


There are some different names for the number of balls in each shop such as extra large, large, medium, small, 3 balls, 2 balls, 1 ball. The amount of one udon ball is also different at each shop. Please look at the menu board or observe the person in front of you, then make your choice. There is also a system called “Hachitori” which means the size of the bowl a customer picks up shows the number of balls of udon.Be noted that it is against the manners to leave a lot of food unfinished. If you would like to go around multiple shops, maybe eating 1 ball (small) at one place is a good choice.

2. Pick up the side menus

Take a plate and select Onigiri (rice ball) or /and fried food you'd like to add on your udon.


Most Sanuki Udon shops have a various of side menus such as must-take Tempura (deep fried dish), Oden (simmered vegetables) and Onigiri (rice balls)
There are some shops that you take side menus after payment. In that case, please tell the cashier the side menu that you want at the time of payment.

3. Payment

Hold a tray with udon and side menus and pay at the cash register.

4. Parboil Udon

Move the udon ball to a strainer called "tebo" and put it into the hot water to parboil it. Shake it a couple of times, take it out and strain properly.


Warm the bowl with dropping hot water from tebo, locals usually warm their bowls in this way. After that, it is OK to return the water in the bowl to the pot.

5. Add dashi (soup stock)

Pour dashi (soup stock) over the udon from the tank or pan.


Don’t take tea instead of dashi by mistake.
If you leave a metal ladle in the pot, it will get very hot, so put it back when you have finished using it.

6. Add free condiments (toppings)

Add the condiments such as chopped green onions, grated ginger, tempura bits (deep fried flour) and sesame as you like by yourself.


You are allowed to put them as much as you like with the common decency.

7. Eat

Enjoy your udon. After eating, it is a good manner to leave the seat soon.


If you want to eat more, you have to line up again or there are some shops that allow to have a refill, where they can give you a priority for another one.

8. Returning tableware and leave

Return tableware to the return port. Please separate into tableware, chopsticks and leftover food according to the rule of each shop.

From ordering to finishing your udon (a chart by the type of udon shops)

Self udon shop

  1. Enter a shop
  2. Take a tray
  3. Order(what kind of udon and how many balls)
  4. Chose some side menus if you'd like (ex: Onigiri (rice ball) and Chikuwa tempura)
  5. Payment
  6. Parboil udon
  7. Pour soup stock and Put condiments(seasonings) on
  8. Have a seat and Eat
  9. Put away(Return your tableware)
  10. Leave the shop
Meal ticket shops
  1. Decide what kind of udon and how many balls
  2. Purchase a meal ticket
  3. Take side menus if you'd like
  4. Take a tray
  5. Hand over your ticket to the staff and receive your udon
  6. Have a seat and Eat
  7. Put away(Return your tableware)
  8. Leave the shop

general shops

  1. Have a seat
  2. Order
  3. Take side menus if you'd like
  4. Be served udon
  5. Eat
  6. Payment
  7. Leave the shop

Some general shops ask you to take side menu such as rice or oden by yourself.

Noodle factory

  1. Enter a shop
  2. Order
  3. Receive you udon
  4. Payment
  5. Have a seat and Eat
  6. Put away (Return your tableware)
  7. Leave the shop

Noted: Some shops have a slightly different flow. Please follow the factories rules flexibly.

Points for Pilgrimage of Sanuki Udon Noodles

Make sure the business hours and holydays.

Some noodle-making factories open for only several hours.
Even during business hours when udon balls run out, they will be closed.

We recommend researching in advance if they have menus you'd like.

To prevent the case, for example, "Oh, don't you have curry udon?"

Follow manners pleasantly.

  • Observe the manners in each shop while lining up.
  • Decide quickly what to eat while lining up .
  • Order one cup of udon per person except children, Don't share one cup with multiple people.
  • People who don't order are not allowed to enter.
  • Don't take a seat before ordering.
  • Take appropriate amount of condiments.
  • Don't bother the neighborhood around the shop. (parking lot, noise, road blockage)

If you would like to know more about Sanuki Udon, please check "Udon-ken Tabi-net"

To Udon Pilgrims

Great Priest Kukai's hometown, "Sanuki Udon no Kuni" is Udon Pilgrimage Sanctuary where you go around udon shops like a tour of visiting temples. It is a country where they believe that people are fundamentally good. So bills have also been self-reported.
In the self-served shops, you are allowed to take condiments as you like.
You can enjoy endless variations by multiplying the delicate combination of udon and dashi temperature, a wide variety of side menus, and the number of udon shops in Kagawa prefecture.

Eat Sanuki Udon properly, enjoyably and happily!

Gathering date:2020.11.26


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