Taste perfect noodles on Nakadori IslandShinkamigoto, Goto Islands
Did you know there is more than one type of udon noodle made in Japan? On the Goto Islands, in Nagasaki Prefecture, udon masters have been carefully crafting the light, silken, chewy texture of Goto udon for more than a millennia. As the westernmost point of Kyushu, the Goto Islands also played a part in the Japanese missions to Tang China, where explorers learned of the continent’s civilisation and culture. Over 200 years, 36 missions were sent, with the Goto Islands being the first stop on their way home. Goto udon is one of the things they brought back, and how it is made here has remained unchanged for a thousand years.
Mitsuaki Ota is the fourth-generation owner of the Ota Udon Shop, located on Nakadori Island, and he uses the same ingredients, processes and even tools as his predecessors. The key ingredients defining Goto udon are spring water, oil from the camellia that grows wild across the Goto Islands, and locally produced salt. When it comes to production, Goto udon is stretched rather than cut into their noodle form. The stretching process is lots of fun to try, and it's surprising how long the noodles can become. The best thing, however, is how they taste.
You can get to Nakadori Island on Kyushu Shosen high-speed ferries from either Nagasaki or Sasebo.