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Fukuoka's long history with udon noodles

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Did you know that there is a theory which suggests that Fukuoka is the birthplace of udon? The key figure in this story is Syouichi Kokushi (聖一国師), a Japanese Buddhist monk who is said to have bought flour milling technology to Fukuoka, Japan after visiting Song period China. This helped the flour production industry in Hakata really take off. Wheat flour then became available to the common people, and this provided the basis for Hakata's udon culture to flourish. A stone monument was built in 承天寺 (Jōten-ji Temple, established in 1242) to recognize the area's connection to noodles. The memorial even has an inscription that reads the "Birthplace of Udon and Soba Noodles." Various udon dishes spread out from Hakata and are now served all over the prefecture. Different parts of Fukuoka have put their own twist on these much loved noodles. The 'dogidogi udon' and 'yaki udon,' variations were developed in the north part of the prefecture, while 'Chikugo udon' emerged towards the south. Make sure to sample all of them and see which one you like best!
TEXT BY: Yuichiro Yamada

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