Train Station Noodles

Chris Kirkland

Westerners who have eaten at one of the many noodle eateries throughout Japan will no doubt be familiar with the local custom of noisy slurping. I personally love this little gem of cultural difference, it’s always fascinating to see a custom that in one country is perfectly normal and acceptable and in another is borderline obscene. Anyway whether or not you are particularly bothered by noisy noodle slurping, you will no doubt find yourself hankering after some Soba, Udon or Ramen noodles at some point and so I’d like to bring your cheapo attention to a reliable source of soupy noodle delight.

While train stations aren’t exactly the most peaceful and relaxing environment, they are a fairly reliable source of reasonably good and of course cheap Soba, Udon and Ramen outlets, as well as other inner-station eateries. You’re probably not going to find yourself saying to your friends, “Hey lets have dinner tonight at that stading soba place at the JR station in Ikebukuro”, but you will invariably find yourself passing through train stations on a regular basis, so it’s worth a look in for sure.

Prices range from the ridiculously cheap, like Donbei in Shibuya station at 200yen (which admittedly is actually pot noodle) to cheap, where you’ll struggle to pay more than 500yen for a more old school soba/udon eatery as pictured above.

Visiting Tokyo soon? Don’t leave without downloading our ebook!
33% off coupon code: GK3SSSL5.

Whilst Soba, Udon and Ramen eateries are ubiquitous throughout Tokyo and Japan, the train station have got to be one of the reliably cheapest options. It’s worth noting that some (non train station) Soba eateries can be somewhat classy and while still relatively cheap for a quality dining experience (up to 2000yen) are beyond the everyday eating cheapo budget.

Menu Tips

One draw back for non Japanese cheapo is that these delightful eateries may not have an english menu, so here’s a few common Soba and Udon dishes:

Love slurping soba noodles so much you want to make them yourself? Learn the traditional Japanese art of making buckwheat noodles with an experienced soba click here for details
Promoted

Kitsune きつね (“fox soba”): Topped with fried Soba
Tsukimi つきみ or 月見 (“moon-viewing soba”): Topped with raw egg
Sansai さんさい or 山菜 (“mountain vegetables soba”): Topped with or wild vegetables such as warabi, zenmai and takenoko
Tenpura てんぷら or 天ぷら: Topped with tempura, usually one or two prawns
Tororo とろろ: Topped with tororo, the puree of yamaimo (a potato-like vegetable with a mucilaginous texture)

The wikipedia Soba article has a more exhaustive list.

At Soba/Udon eateries the dishes are usually all available as either Soba or Udon.

Vegetarian note – Soba/Udon broth is usually fish based and Ramen usually pork based.



Happy Slurping!

Station Soba
Photo by Kevin Jaako used under CC

Watch this next

New Video: A Beginner's Guide to Akihabara

Ready to experience Japan's Otaku ground zero? Anime, gaming, maid cafes, get your bearings amongst the weird and wonderful.




Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox






5 Responses to “Train Station Noodles”

  1. Guest

    Like Chef kitty!   -D

  2. Guest

    Like Chef kitty!   -D

  3. farkennel

    I have a big appetite(average size bloke but afflicted with extreme gluttony)and would like to know about cheapo feeds in Tokyo where the emphasis is on quantity rather than quality….can you help a poor aussie out? I`ll be in Tokyo in September,so I`ll assume the prices will be a bit more.


Questions or comments about this article? Start a thread on our community forum