Driving towards the border of Kagawa and Tokushima prefecture, I’m heading for Okuboji Temple, which is temple No. 88 on the Shikoku pilgrimage trail. It’s famous as being the temple that marks the end of the pilgrimage, where the vow of the pilgrim rite ends, and despite being located deep in the mountains, the flow of visitors never stops.
Before actually paying a visit to the temple, first we’ll introduce a piece of famous Okuboji Temple gourmet. I heard that they have something that’s great to eat during the cold season, so I came to visit Yasobaan, a well-established restaurant by the temple gate.
Right before lunchtime the shop is nearly full. Blowing on hot food, sounds of slurping… What are they all eating?
All the customers were ordering “Uchikomi udon noodles”! First I take a sip of the hot, hot broth. De…delicious! The homemade broth finished with white miso paste has a very deep yet gentle flavor. The noodles, on the other hand, are a treat made using Kagawa-grown wheat, the Sanuki no yume variety, mixed and kneaded with the miracle-working-water that flows from the mountain behind Okuboji Temple. I’m surprised at how fragrant and chewy they are!
And take a look at this!
This close-up shot is of Sanuki olive beef. This time I ordered olive beef uchikomi udon noodles, so the dish is made using the Japanese black beef grown in Kagawa prefecture. As the cattle are fed olives, the texture of the meat is soft and the flavor light and refined. Even uchikomi udon noodles, which are a simple regional cuisine, become a luxurious dish by adding olive beef!
In the souvenir corner I discovered some broth that you can use to reproduce the same flavor at home! It’s a must-buy!
I was completely taken by the food, but you mustn’t of course forget to pay a visit to Okuboji Temple. I was told that once every 4 years, on a leap year, the pilgrimage route is reversed to bring good fortune. In other words, this year (2016), Okuboji Temple, which is usually the goal of the pilgrimage, becomes the starting point.
I drew a “Good Luck” fortune slip, so I feel like something good will happen! Do come for a visit to Okuboji Temple and have a taste of uchikomi udon noodles. Something good will surely come of it!
Location: (In front of Okuboji Temple) 93-1 Kanewari, Tawa, Sanuki city, Kagawa prefecture
Open: 8:00-17:00 (changes according to season)
Closed: No regular holidays except December 30 & 31
Check the link below for an uchikomi udon noodle recipe:
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
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