A Staple of Nagoya Cuisine! 5 Recommended Places for Kishimen, Nagoya’s Comfort Food
Nagoya is a treasure trove of famous foods like hitsumabushi (chopped kabayaki eel on rice), tenmusu (rice ball with fried shrimp filling), miso nikomi udon (udon noodles cooked in a miso paste broth) and more! Here are some of the best shops to eat kishimen that are friendly to beginners of Japanese cuisine and are sure to become favorites.
May 26 2017
So what is kishimen?PIXTA
Kishimen is one of Nagoya’s most famous dishes along with hitsumabushi (chopped kabayaki eel on rice) and tebasaki (fried chicken wings). Boiled, flat udon noodles is eaten in a broth seasoned with tamari (a kind of soy sauce with a strong flavor and color). This way of eating it is said to have been around for roughly 120 years. It’s made the same as regular udon: water and wheat flour kneaded with salt but unlike regular udon, it’s flatter with a shorter cooking time. This reduces the springiness of the noodles and makes it more tender and easier to swallow.
Typically it’s boiled and placed in a hot broth together with fried chicken (or other fried foods) and garnished with green onion and bonito flakes. The real pleasure of kishimen is that there are so many ways to enjoy it eating it. For example, curry kishimen, kishimen cooked in miso and in the summer, zaru kishimen (cold kishimen served with dipping sauce) and chilled kishimen.
1. Miya Kishimen Jingu Branch [Atsuta-ku, Nagoya]
This kishimen restaurant branch is located on the grounds of Atsuta Jingu, one of Japan’s 3 great shrines. It’s such a popular restaurant that there’s always a queue at lunchtime. Since the inside of the restaurant is actually a tent, on clear days you can enjoy feeling the breeze outside as you eat. The Miya-kishimen (650 yen) on the menu board comes topped with spinach, shiitake and a slice of kamaboko (fish cake) with “Miya” written on it so you can enjoy it just from its appearance alone.
Miya Kishimen has a number of sister branches and at the Miya Kishimen Ihei branch, which is about a 20 minute walk from the shrine branch, you can have full-fledged kishimen kaiseki-ryori (a traditional course meal). The atmosphere is different from the shrine branch and is a lot more relaxed so it’s recommended for anyone who wants to leisurely enjoy their kishimen. In addition to the seasonal kishimen dish (¥850~), there are also the omotenashi courses ranging from 2,000-5,000 yen (the 5,000 yen course requires a prior reservation) where you can enjoy a different style of kishimen cuisine.
Also you’ll be glad to know that Miya Kishimen Ihei stays open much later than the shrine branch.
[About Miya Kishimen Jingu Branch]
Opening Hours: 9:00AM～16:30PM (Weekdays), 9:00AM～17:00PM (Weekends/Holidays)
Closed: Open all year round (※ Special business hours: open 22:00 PM on December 31 to 5:00 AM the next day, open 22:00 PM on January 4 to 5:00 AM the next day)
Access: 3 minute walk from Jingumae station on the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line
Address: Atsuta Shrine Grounds, 1-1-1, Jingu, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken （Google Map）
[About Miya Kishimen Ihei Branch]
Opening Hours: 11:00AM～14:00PM 17:00PM～20:00PM (Weekdays), 11:00AM～20:00PM (Weekends/Holidays)
Closed: Mondays (※Closed on Tuesdays if it's a holiday), New year's holiday
Access: 9 minute walk from Kanayama station on the JR Tokaido main line.
Address: 2-5-24, Sawakami, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken（Google Map）
2. Nagoyajo Kishimentei [Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi]
This is a kishimen speciality restaurant on the grounds of Nagoya Castle. You can enjoy traditional kishimen together with the view of the seasonal scenery of Nagoya Castle. It’s a self-service method where you place your order by purchasing a meal ticket from the ticket machine and handing it in at the counter. When your number is called you go to pick it up.
Their specialty Zaru Kishimen is easy-to-slurp kishimen that is dipped in broth. It’s recommended to take the first bite of the noodles alone, then take the second bite and onwards together with your preferred toppings like spring onions or nori. For hot summers, the summer-limited Hiyashi Kishimen (700 yen), which is kishimen on shaved ice, is pretty popular. They also offer other Nagoya specialty foods a la carte like Miso Kushikatsu (skewered meat and vegetables) for 400 yen.
[About Nagoyajo Kishimentei]
Opening Hours: 10:00AM～4:00PM
Closed: December 29th - January 1st
Access: 5 minute walk from Exit 7 at Shiyakusho station on the Meijo Subway line
Address: Nagoya Castle Grounds, 1-1, Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken（Google Map）
3. Kishimen Yoshida Esca Branch [Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi]
This is a store where you can have old-fashioned kishimen. It is managed by the Yoshida Noodle Manufacturers, which was established in 1890. The noodles made from wheat flour and salt are known for being tender yet springy in texture. The recommended menu item is the Ebi Oroshi Kishimen (1,180 yen). It’s a shrimp dish with a daring portion of crispy, fried tempura shrimp that matches perfectly with the refreshing kishimen. You can also buy some as souvenirs at the shop so you can enjoy the flavor even after you’ve returned home.
Despite being such a famous noodle shop, the only branches are the Esca branch and Sennonji branch. The Esca branch is well located in the underground shopping center that’s directly from the shinkansen exit at Nagoya Station! How about trying this as your first meal after arriving in Nagoya?
[About Kishimen Yoshida Esca Branch]
Opening Hours: 11:00AM～21:00PM
Closed: January 1st
Access: Esca Underground Shopping Center at Nagoya station on the JR Meitetsu line.
Address: 6-9, Tsubaki-cho, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken (Google Map)
HP: www.yoshidamen.co.jp(Japanese Only)
4. Ekikama Kishimen [Nakano-ku, Nagoya-shi]
This restaurant is full of creative dishes and their menu board has Nagoya Cochin-iri Miso Kishimen (chicken miso kishimen made with Nagoya Cochin) for 910 yen. “Nagoya Cochin” is a breed of Nagoya chicken that is known for its good consistency with a deep umami flavor and is combined with miso to make a chicken miso. There’s also Cochin Nanban Kishimen (1,030 yen) and you can choose between salt or soy sauce flavor as well as many other limited-time dishes so you can look forward to something new no matter how many times you go. It’s extremely convenient to access as it’s located just from the central exit gates at Nagoya Station.
[About Ekikama Kishimen]
Opening Hours: 7:00AM～23:00PM
Closed: Open all year-round
Access: 1 minute walk from the central ticket gate exit at JR Meitetsu Nagoya Station.
Address: Nagoya Chuo-dori, 1-1-14, Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi-ken (Google Map)
HP: www.jrt-food-service.co.jp(Japanese Only)
5. Kishimen Sumiyoshi [Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi]
This is a tachikui (eating while standing) style kishimen restaurant, recommended for anyone who wants to learn about Japanese culture from experience. Since it is located at JR Nagoya station which has 7 train platforms, it is always crowded from lunchtime to late at night with students and salarymen on their way home. The ordering style is where you buy a meal ticket yourself and hand it over at the kitchen. The usual Kishimen menu option is simply topped with katsuoboshi (bonito flakes), green onion and fried tofu so it’s only 350 yen. This cheap and speedy tachigui kishimen shop will make a good travel memory.
[About Kishimen Sumiyoshi]
Opening Hours:7:00AM～21:30PM（Differs by store）
Closed: Open all year
Access: All platforms at JR Nagoya Station on the Meitetsu line.
Address: Inside Nagoya station, 1-1-4, Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi (Google Map)
HP: jt-s.net/shop-genre (Japanese only)
With Nagoya’s famous dish kishimen, you can look forward to enjoying a wide variety of dishes from the everyday to the seasonal specials. There are restaurants directly accessible from Nagoya station, veteran shops with their distinct charm and more, so go out and find your favorite!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.