It seems I’m often going to places I’d heard about for a long time but had never managed to get to. Well, here’s one more, a noodle shop that’s probably been here as long as a lot of us have been walking the planet.
Shinanoya udon restaurant, near the tracks going into Tajimi station, has been a favorite of locals for a long, long time. You’ll see when you enter, it’s about as close to a Showa-era homestyle cooking timeslip experience as you can get in a restaurant.
As it’s housed in a traditional long, narrow house, you may have to squeeze past other patrons, or even pass through the kitchen tucked along the side, to reach your seat, either at a table or on tatami mats. You may share a table with strangers, as well.
The menu is simple, with cold homemade buckwheat noodles, hot udon, and ramen your choices. The udon is thicker and chewier, with a little more resistance than normal udon. The soup has a stronger flavor, as well. To borrow a slogan, they do udon right.
In keeping with the down-home family atmosphere, the owner personally comes around multiple times to see how you’re enjoying your meal, and ask if there’s anything you need. Unusual for a Japanese restaurant.
Since it is small, you should have a backup place to eat in mind in case there’s a long line when you go. Also, I just noticed from the photo, Shinanoya seems to be open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30.