Overview

Kagawa Prefecture is the nation's udon noodle capital with numerous varieties of the dish available. Courtesy of its position by the Inland Sea, the prefecture is also blessed with some excellent seafood. The area also has a talent for innovation as can be seen with its chicken cuisine. Here is a quick look at just some of the local foods of Kagawa.

Sanuki udon

With so many styles to choose from, the chewy texture of Kagawa's Sanuki udon noodle makes it a clear number one with the dish now served as a staple across the country. The simplicity of the Sanuki style lends itself to a myriad ways of eating it, be it cold or hot with toppings ranging from rich tempura to a simple dashi stock and soup.

Sanuki udon noodles (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/raneko/2379869426/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">raneko / CC BY 2.0</a>)
Sanuki udon noodles (Photo: raneko / CC BY 2.0)

Iriko

Iriko are dried baby sardines and anchovies. Known as niboshi in other parts of Japan, iriko are a traditional Kagawa snack. Famously added to seasoned rice and then steamed to create the ever popular iriko-meshi dish, these little dried fish are also a staple when preparing broths.

Iriko dried sardines (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/28764853@N00/1701851536/in/photolist-pyiGr5-s2wMq-gkqSbq-gSEPAE-gSEYyk-k3NRKD-ijnQv-ijnSW-ijnVE-5WuCjv-qdRrox-qdKhhQ-qdT77v-qt1Y4L-mwhPzb-g3Mz9M-bRbS9P-jMgR7h-jMezf2-jMgRdQ-gkqqUb-g3M34S-s2wMk-k3NaYg-mwfXoc-k3NPd4-2eoee9p-qj4CRK-3AoraS-25aCBH4-k3QCnd-2eoee4V-C73dd" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">ketou-daisuki / CC BY-SA 2.0</a>)
Iriko dried sardines (Photo: ketou-daisuki / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Honetsuki-tori

Udon and seafood may be all the rage in Kagawa, but the madly delicious honestsuki-tori draws a line in the poultry sand. This chicken-on-the-bone dish is prepared with either a young or old chicken with both styles offer a very different taste. Traditionally flavoured with garlic and spice, the meat is baked until the skin turns crispy and the flesh juicy.

Honetsuki tori chicken (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/takoyaki_king/26725657740/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">George N / CC BY 2.0</a>)
Honetsuki tori chicken (Photo: George N / CC BY 2.0)

Shodoshima somen

Kagawa's Shodoshima Island is the home of one of the nation's top extremely thin somen noodle styles. Shodoshima somen has a history of some four hundred years and all of the ingredients are locally sourced. The key ingredient is sesame oil, giving the somen a distinctive fragrance. While eating it is a joy, watching the noodles being made by hand has an eerie beauty to it.

Shodoshima somen noodles (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kobakou/5720373889/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">kobakou / CC BY 2.0</a>)
Shodoshima somen noodles (Photo: kobakou / CC BY 2.0)