Food

A Japanese noodle from the Edo period in Saitama!? The Ippon Udon

2019.06.12
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Ippon Udon, a single piece of Udon noodle

Can't really imagine whta this is going to be like when you just hear the name of this dish.
Ippon (A strand of ...) Udon.

An ordinary bowl of udon will look something like that one you might have seen in this article we wrote before.

Noodles inside a nice warm broth made of katsuo-bushi【鰹節:かつおぶし】(Bonito flakes) and konbu【昆布:こんぶ】(Japanese Kelp), soy sauce based flavour.

Anyway, no point thinking about it when it's just right in front of you.

Let's go to see it for ourselves.
  • The Hanyu Parking Area (PA) along the Tohokujidousha-do
    The Hanyu Parking Area (PA) along the Tohokujidousha-do
    We are here at the Hanyu PA, in Saitama.

    This PA is different from the others, and that is becasue this place is a reproduction of a cityscape from the Edo period.

    An instant time travel just an hour away from Tokyo!
  • Gotetsu
    Gotetsu
    Gotetsu【五鉄:ごてつ】 is where they serve this unique dish.
    This restaurant, produced by "Tamahide"【玉ひで】, a Japanese chicken specialty restaurant, has been in business since the 1760's.

    By the way, these kind of restaurants or shops that have been in business for over a century, are called Shinise【老舗:しにせ】in Japan, and is definitely part of the Jpanese culture. 
  • Nothing like we imagined...
    Nothing like we imagined...
    That is one massive piece of ... udon?

    Not so sure what to call it, but they call it an udon, so it must be a kind of udon.

    Taking a look at what is inside, there's the big piece of Udon, shredded spring onion and an Onsen Tamago (温泉たまご), Japanese soft boiled egg.

    The sauce seems dark but not too strong in flavour, the texture is like a mochi 【餅:もち】 ricecake.
    Try it as it is first, then break the egg yolk and taste the difference.  It makes the dish more rich,  creamy and milds down the flavour a bit..mmm
    Then mix in the spring onion to add a spicy bite!

    Enjoy the changes in the flavours!

So, what's it all about with this Udon?

For those who are curious about why Gotetsu made this one of a kind udon, it might be easier to briefly explain the background about this venue that's within this PA.

This venue, called the "Onihei Edo Dokoro", is not only a reproduction of the Edo period towns, but a town from a story called "Onihei Hankacho", a famous Japanese novel written by Shotaro Ikenami.
That's where the name "Onihei" comes from.

And in that story, there's this restaurant called "Gotetsu", and they sereved this dish called "Ippon Udon".

That's why everyone is making a fuss about this Udon!
So next time you travel towards Saitama, don't for get to stop by at this unique PA to try the Udon from the past!
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