Kagawa’s Food Culture Derived from Soy Sauce

  • text : Kazu Sasaki from GOOD NEWS
  • photo : Masahide Nakamura from Setouchi Camera
  • edit : Seiji Takeuchi from

chapter 4「Soy sauce and somen (thin wheat noodles) draws out good taste of each other」


Kagawa is a land that flourishes with noodle cultures, not only with udon noodles, but also with thin wheat noodles called Somen. The Kagawa’s thin wheat noodle is considered to be one of the three major thin noodles of Japan. There are many thin noodle producers based in Shodoshima Island. The recipe for thin wheat noodles is believed to have reached Shodoshima Island about 400 years ago. So it is understandable that there are both factories for sesame oil, used for stretching thin wheat noodles, and breweries of soy sauce necessary for making the dipping sauce. This situation has played a significant role in the development of thin wheat noodles as an industry. Shodoshima islanders are quite familiar with thin wheat noodles, having them in cold or warm throughout the year. They also enjoy the texture of u-shaped edges of the noodles produced when the noodles are cut, called Fushi, by serving them in miso soup.


President Masaki Takahashi considers the dipping sauce based on Shodoshima’s soy sauce to be the best choice for Shodoshima’s thin wheat noodles

Shodoshima’s thin wheat noodles are actually famous, but it is too bad for tourists because only a few restaurants on the island offers them. They are too common to be served on the menu. Worried about such a circumstance, Sakube serves thin wheat noodles at his restaurant, right next to the factory. Sakube, originally a thin wheat noodle manufacturer, but at the same time, serves thin wheat noodles produced at the factory all year round. Receiving a good reputation because of the noodle’s firmness and smoothness when swallowing, not only tourists, but also islanders become regular customers. The dipping sauce made from Shodoshima’s soy sauce brings about the flavor of Sakube’s taste. President Masaki Takahashi expresses how the noodles and soy sauce of Shodoshima fit together well, saying: “If you want to enjoy tasty thin wheat noodles, the best choice is to use Shodoshima’s soy sauce cultivated under the same climate.” According to him, both of the thin wheat noodles and the soy sauce draw out the good taste of each other. By the way, thin wheat noodles remind us of the summer season. But Takahashi recommends to eat cold thin wheat noodles in the winter. Customers seem to love eating cold thin wheat noodles in a warm room, so that cold thin wheat noodles are very popular in Sakube even during the winter.


Shodoshima Tenobe Somen - Sakube

3936 Ikeda, Shodoshima-cho, Shozu-gun, Kagawa Prefecture
Tel: +81 879 75 1663
Operating hours: 10am - 3:30pm
Closed on: Irregular

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