Coronavirus News - How is Japan dealing with COVID-19? - Kagawa Prefecture

Shikoku / chugoku Culture News 2020.05.28
With Japanese coronavirus cases appearing in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and all over the world, updates on Japan's COVID-19 situation being few and far between, and Japan travel plans being canceled left and right, the JAPANKURU team wanted to find out just how places all over Japan were tackling the coronavirus problem, and making it through this difficult period. So we asked! Today, we're bringing you the latest news from one of Japan's 47 prefectures, and one of the best places to eat udon noodles, Kagawa.
So, Kagawa, how are you doing?

In Japan, "Kagawa" is synonymous with the region's famous noodle variety, Sanuki udon (讃岐うどん). There are somewhere around 700 udon shops in Kagawa Prefecture alone, even more locations than convenience stores. Sanuki udon is a dish at the heart of Kagawa, a piece of edible culture beloved and supported by the region's locals. However, it's not just that udon is more popular in Kagawa, and more delicious, than anywhere else in Japan.

The very roots of udon and udon culture are found in Kagawa, a region once known as "Sanuki," thanks to a climate and geography perfect for producing ingredients necessary for the dish: flour, soy sauce, and the "iriko" (いりこ) sardines used in dashi soup broth. When visitors came to what is now Kagawa back in Japan's Edo period (1603~1868) for shrine visits and "Konpiramairi" (こんぴら詣り) pilgrimages, they went home spreading news and giving enthusiastic reviews of the Sanuki udon they had eaten, and the dish's reputation flourished. In more recent years, thanks to the influence of the 1970 World Expo in Osaka and the opening of the Setoo Bridge connecting Kagawa and mainland Japan, countless travelers visit the area searching out great udon and famous noodle shops. It's no surprise that Kagawa has been established as the "Udon Prefecture" in Japan!

These days you'll find all sorts of interesting and unique udon-based dishes in Kagawa, and to help travelers find the most delicious udon in the prefecture, there are even udon buses and udon taxis. All over the region, udon culture and tourism continues to develop, with noodle-related workshops and travel experiences.

When we asked how Kagawa Prefecture, the home of Sanuki udon, was doing during this difficult time, they were clearly more committed to the dish than ever! "Don't dismiss it as just udon. Your eyes will be opened and your whole concept of udon will be transformed, we promise!"
  • Kagawa's world-famous Sanuki udon.

  • One of the ingredients that propped up the development of Sanuki udon: soy sauce (醤油).

  • Another ingredient we can thank for the delicious texture of Sanuki udon: wheat!

  • The Sanuki Udon Burger

  • A unique take on a French classic (or a Harajuku specialty) - an udon crepe.

  • Perhaps the most innovative take on udon is udon ice cream.

  • While everyone's home planning their next trips, Kagawa is thinking of new ways to show visitors the beauty of Sanuki udon, like cooking workshops and ways to tour the area's best noodle shops (udon taxis or this udon bus)!

    Take a look at this video from Kagawa to see just how delicious the udon can be! ⇩

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