take-out window & rice-balls (Photo: gethiroshima)
- 2 min read

Chikara Udon Noodles

Popular Hiroshima chain- homemade noodles & rice-balls

Chikara (力) means 'strong' in Japanese which has been a good fit for this popular Hiroshima chain that first opened its doors before Japan became involved in WWII (1935) and survived through the destruction and rebuilding of Hiroshima. Add to this surviving the economic ups and downs of the last few decades; to still maintain 33 shops in the Hiroshima and Kure city areas, this is quite impressive.

Although there is little English on the menu in this shop, it is a very user-friendly establishment as there is food on display in the front window and the menu has great color pictures of the dishes.

All the noodles are freshly made and cooked-up hot and fresh when ordered. Rice donburi dishes are also available with toppings such as fried tempura, beef and egg. Most of the Chikara shops concentrate on Udon and Soba, but recently some stores also offer Ramen noodles too.

The musubi rice balls in the front display are a popular choice to accompany hot noodles or for a snack at any time of day. They come with different fillings: ume: sour plum, konbu: seasoned seaweed, sake: salmon, and sometimes tuna. There are also inari-zushi sweet bean curd covered rice balls and sekihan- rice with red azuki beans mixed in. Special maki-zushi is rice and vegetables wrapped into a cylinder shape with black nori seaweed sheets. It is sold around new year's and at the beginning of February in celebration of the Setsubun festivities ("Devil" out, good luck in).

For dessert, try the sweet bean zenzai soup or one of their specialty balls of sweetened bean blends called ohagi.

The front window is very popular for people heading out to picnics on nice days, back to the office for lunch, or busy parents heading home to prepare dinner for the family. The udon and soba noodle sets are especially handy for people wanting a heat-up-and-serve dinner option. They come with the noodles, chopped spring onion, dashi soup and other parts of the meal in organized little packets. Our favorite take-home meal is the kitsune udon pack which comes with a sweetened tofu bean curd to put on the top of the noodles.

Each shop has its own opening times, but most are open everyday between 10am and 7pm. It is a great option if you are looking for a filling, inexpensive meal at in-between times.

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve the site
Give Feedback

Leave a comment

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.