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TokyoTreat Japanese Snacks BlogWhat is Udon: Unique Noodles in Japan!

What is Udon: Unique Noodles in Japan!

James LauJames Lau
Published Time
Posted on 
March 14, 2023
Modified Time
Updated last 
March 30, 2023
What is udon with egg on top? It also has tempura shrimp.

Udon is a type of thick wheat noodle that is a staple in Japanese cuisine. People eat it in a variety of ways, with many unique and regional dishes that you can enjoy!


Himokawa udon is a beloved noodle dish from the Himokawa area of Saitama Prefecture in the Kanto region of Japan. It uses handmade udon noodles and a flavorful broth; this local specialty is a must-try for visitors. The noodles in this dish have an especially unique, chewy, and soft texture; people enjoy them both hot and cold!

A bamboo tray of flat and wide himokawa noodles with dipping broth on the side.
Himokawa udon resembles large sheets of silk. Image via Shutterstock

They are much wider than the usual udon noodles and come in sheets instead of strips. The noodles come in a dashi and soy sauce broth with a rich umami flavor! Toppings may include green onions, tempura bits, and sometimes meat or tofu.


Tsukimi udon is a traditional Japanese dish that people eat in autumn, during the moon-viewing season! This seasonal delicacy features noodles in a warm broth topped with raw egg and mushrooms, among other ingredients!

A bowl of tsukimi udon with raw egg, naruto fish cake and green onions.
People eat tsukimi udon during September! Image via Shutterstock

In addition, its broth uses dashi, soy sauce, and mirin, with simmered mushrooms and other seasonings. Moreover, its toppings include raw eggs, green onions, seaweed, or tempura bits! The eggs are essential because they resemble the moon and play a huge part in Japanese food during September!


Mimi udon is a dish popular in several regions of Japan, including Fukuoka, Sano City, and Utsunomiya City. The dish features small, ear-shaped noodles in a savory broth with various toppings!

A bowl of mimi udon, with noodles that look like ears.
Mimi udon is shaped like ears. Image via Shutterstock

The Japanese word “mimi” means “ear” in English. Its toppings include green onions, kamaboko (fish cake), pork, or chicken. Most people eat mimi udon as a snack or light meal. Although a popular dish amongst locals it has become more popular recent years the meal has become more popular amongst visitors too! This dish is a popular late-night snack in Fukuoka and street food all over Utsunomiya!

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Bungo udon originated in Oita Prefecture, Japan. It’s made with a unique blend of wheat flour and potato starch, which gives the noodles a unique texture and flavor!

The thick, chewy noodles come with a hot broth or dipping sauce, making it an extra delightful meal. Some typical toppings for bungo udon include green onions, tempura, and grated daikon radish.

On top of that, bungo udon uses a variety of dipping sauces, including tsuyu (a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and dashi), ponzu (a citrus-based sauce), and sesame sauce. The dipping sauces pair well with toppings to create different flavor combinations!


Kishimen is an udon noodle dish from Nagoya, Japan’s capital city of Aichi Prefecture. The noodles used in kishimen are flat and ribbon-like, similar to fettuccine, and have a chewy texture. They come in savory soy sauce, bonito, and other seasonings!

A bowl of kishimen udon. The broth is very savory and spicy.
Kishimen broth is very meaty and spicy! Image via Shutterstock

Furthermore, the kishimen broth is clear or cloudy, depending on the ingredients used. Some restaurants also serve kishimen with grated daikon radish and wasabi on the side, which mixes well broth for added flavor!


Tsuruoka udon is a regional specialty from Yamagata Prefecture. The noodles are chewy, thick, and rustic. The broth has a light and delicate flavor that makes the noodles shine.

Furthermore, toppings include grilled duck meat, mushrooms, green onions, and deep-fried tofu. Some restaurants also offer a version called “tsuyu-jiru,” a thicker and richer broth perfect for colder days!


Hoto udon is a hearty dish from Yamanashi Prefecture. Identically to lasagna noodles, the noodles are thick, flat, and have a chewy texture. They come in a miso-based broth with various vegetables, such as pumpkin, onions, and cabbage!

A hot pot of Hoto udon with vegetables and other toppings.
Hoto udon is very savory, with lots of toppings. Image via Shutterstock

The broth is thick and creamy, with a rich umami flavor from the miso paste. It’s a popular dish during the colder months and comes in large pots for sharing with family and friends. Some restaurants also serve it with toppings such as mushrooms, chicken, and mochi (a type of rice cake)!


Mizusawa udon originated in the Tohoku region in Mizusawa City, Iwate Prefecture. The noodles blend local wheat and potato starch, giving them a unique texture and flavor.

Additionally, this udon uses a hot broth from dried bonito flakes, soy sauce, and other seasonings. The dish is often topped with sliced scallions, tempura, or grated daikon radish!


What is udon from Ise City; it features thick noodles, raw egg and green onions with a thick broth.
Ise udon noodles are very thick. Image via Shutterstock

Ise udon is from Ise City, Mie Prefecture, in the Kansai region. The noodles; ingredients are wheat flour and salt water, giving them a firm, chewy texture. It typically comes in a hot broth from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin (a sweet rice wine). Finally, the dish is often topped with sliced scallions, grated ginger, or tempura!


What is udon from Wakayama; it uses green onions, pork and radishes.
Wakyama udon uses radish and pork. Image via Shutterstock

Wakayama udon originated in Wakayama Prefecture, in the Kansai region. The noodles are made from wheat flour and water, giving them a smooth, slightly elastic texture. It comes with sliced scallions, grated ginger, or tempura!


Inaniwa udon originated in Akita Prefecture, located in the Tohoku region. The dough is kneaded and stretched by hand, resulting in thin, flat noodles with a delicate texture.

A bowl of inaniwa udon has very thin noodles and a clear broth.
Inaniwa udon noodles are very thin. Image via Shutterstock

Afterward, the noodles are then air-dried for several days, which gives them a distinctive chewiness and flavor. Finally, its dipping sauce uses soy sauce, dashi, and mirin!

Udon is a beloved noodle dish in Japan that has many unique and regional variations! Whether you’re in the mood for something hearty and comforting or light and refreshing, there’s sure to be a type of udon that will satisfy your cravings!

Have you tried any of these dishes before? Which one did you like best? Let us know in the comments below!

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