Tawaraya – a famous restaurant in Kyoto is always crowded and noodles here are likely to sell out soon. What makes this restaurant so hot is the dish Special Noodles (Japanese: 名物 たわらやうどん) which serves only one long, thick noodle in a bowl. You had better book in advance to have a taste of this udon.

Kyoto travel guide Tawaraya udon (4)
The Special Noodles./ Source: gzn.jp

Japanese are famed all over the world for noodles. Among an abundance of types of noodles, Udon, Soba and Ramen are the three most worth recommending. It is hard to tell which one is the best, because everyone has a particular taste of food, you know. However, if you have a thing for traditionally thick noodles, then Udon must be your first choice.

Kyoto travel guide Tawaraya udon (1)
A set of “giant” noodles./ Source: livedoor

Udon is made from wheat flour and it is the thickest noodles of Japan. A typical noodle has a diameter of about 1 cm, equivalent to a chopstick. But it is not the case in Tawaraya restaurant. The noodle here may be the biggest one you have ever seen in your life. It is so big that only one fit in a bowl.

Kyoto travel guide Tawaraya udon (2)
Much bigger than usual noodles./ Source: livedoor

Despite its special size, the noodle is not crumblingly mushy yet very chewy thanks to the chef’s distinguished art of cooking. Every morning, the chefs make a batch of noodles and use it for the day. Nevertheless, since the time they came up with the idea of Special Noodles, the restaurant always run out of noodles to sell. That is the reason why customers should book in advance in case there are no noodles left when coming.

Kyoto travel guide Tawaraya udon (3)
Chef making a batch of noodles./ Source: Wikipedia

Along with the extraordinary size, Special Noodles still offers the traditional taste of Japanese noodles. The soup is simply flavoured with a little of salt. Hence, the purely savory taste makes it easy to eat and hard to stop.

Noteworthy info about Tawaraya (たわらや)

Kyoto travel guide Tawaraya udon (5)
Tawaraya restaurant./ Source: kyotodekuraso
  • Address: Ommaedori Imakoji-Sagaru Bakurocho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 918, Japan
  • Open time: 11:00 – 16:00
  • Regular closing day: every Tuesday
  • Tel: 075-463-4974 (Booking available)
  • Online menu: (in English and Japanese) http://www.geocities.jp/tawaraya_udon/t-menu.htm
  • Price for Special Noodles (Japanese: 名物 たわらやうどん): 730 Yen, equivalent to $ 6.54

How to get there?

From Kyoto Station, catch the city bus 50 or the express bus 101 (also called Raku Bus recommended for visitors); get off in front of Kitano Tenmangū, walk about 1 minute and you reach Tawaraya restaurant.

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