Known as the Buddha of love, Aizen Myoo is enshrined at the central gate of Juraku-ji, temple number 7 of the Shikoku’s 88-temple pilgrimage, which is located in Donari town, Awa city, Tokushima prefecture.
The local gourmet in Donari area is tarai udon noodles.
Dear readers, when Shikoku and udon are mentioned, the first thing that may come to mind is Kagawa prefecture’s sanuki udon noodles. However, tarai udon noodles are loved just as much by local residents.
Just as the name suggests (‘tarai’ = wash basin), the freshly boiled udon noodles are poured straight from the pot into a washbasin-like container, and enjoyed by everyone together. Their heartiness is what makes them so good!
Named after Aizen Myoo, there is another udon noodle dish that is said to make love come true: rensei tarai udon (‘love fulfilling udon‘).
What makes these noodles different from average udon noodles is that there is just one pink noodle within the dish, which is set in the shape of a heart.
For this ‘love fulfilling noodle article’, we visited Tarai Udon Niimiya.
Located by prefectural mountain road 318, you can only find the restaurant sign and a parking area.
The actual restaurant is down at the bottom of these stairs.
As you walk down the stairs, a small clear-water stream and a restaurant with an air of nostalgia appears before your eyes.
In summer you can apparently fish here, too…
Let’s start by ordering udon at the meal ticket counter here.
After placing your order, you wait in the next-door tatami room for your udon noodles to cook.
Around 20 minutes later your love-fulfilling udon noodles arrive!
The soup stock, brimming with warmth, is made with sardines. Take some udon by sliding it from the basin to your bowl.
By doing this you remove some of the hot water from the noodles and prevent the stock from becoming watered down.
Well then, as there is only one crucial pink noodle, please eat it together with your love!
By eating the pink noodle from both ends at the same time, there will be a kiss waiting in the middle, making the dish double delicious!
For married couples who haven’t been doing too well lately, for couples who just keep fighting, and even for those of you who are in the middle of unrequited love, how about borrowing some of the strength of these love-fulfilling udon noodles?
Tarai Udon Niimiya
Address: 100-1 Kanbata, Miyagawauchi, Donari-cho, Awa city, Tokushima prefecture
Open: 11.00-19.30 (last order). Will close early, if sold out!
Closed: Mondays (If Monday is a public holiday, the restaurant is open)
Prices: Rensei Tarai Udon (for two) JPY1151
Home page: http://tabelog.com/tokushima/A3603/A360301/36002980/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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