{Japan: Eat} Hanamaru Udon on a Rainy Day in Kumamoto

Sanuki Udon Hanamaru, Kumamoto

In a Nutshell:

  • Where: Sanuki Udon Hanamaru, Shimotori Arcade, Kumamoto
  • When: On a rainy day in May, 2012
  • *Notes: Website, over 300 locations in Japan, 1600 JPY for 2 large udons + kakiage + shrimp tempura + chicken karaage + korokke

Full Report:

After our very pleasant visit to Arisa, we felt like eating something filling and hot due to the rainy weather.  Luckily, our hotel, Nikko Kumamoto, was very close to two shopping arcades (Shimotori and Kamitori) packed with plenty of eateries.  From the hotel, we crossed the street to Shimotori Arcade and began our search for lunch.

Shimotori Arcade, Kumamoto

It didn’t take us long to spot an outlet of the popular udon chain, Hanamaru.  We had first spotted one in Tokyo a few years back, but we hadn’t gotten a chance to eat there then.  We climbed the stairs to the restaurant on the second floor and it was packed inside.  I’m guessing most people had the same idea as us and wanted something warm to fill their bellies with.  Unfortunately, the line was creeping forward really slowly due to a lack of workers.  There was one person on the cash register and another cooking and serving the udon.  Along the counter were a number of trays filled with various kinds of fried foods.  Plates are provided at the front on the line and you can serve yourself.


As you can see from the picture, the udon menu is overhead.  I decided to go with the Ontama-Bukkake udon and M got the Kitsune Udon.  We each also picked a couple of fried foods.  It all came out to only 1600 JPY or so, very reasonable for all that food —- which was very good by the way.  There are over 300 locations in Japan, with at least 4 in Tokyo (Shinjuku, Harajuku, Asakusa, Shibuya) so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.

sanuki udon hanamaru

Ontama-Bukkake + kakiage + shrimp tempura

Hanamaru Udon

Kitsune Udon + chicken karaage + korokke