Arashiyama Station sits in the outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. The area is synonymous with the Sagano Bamboo Forest and the monkeys that roam freely around the park.
Kyoto is old Japan and the culture capital of Japan. It stole my heart like how Japanese cuisine left a dent on my palate. Kyoto’s culture is only matched with its cuisine; the simple dedication to embrace your surroundings and embed it into your every day life. The colorful ingredients could only be influence with its vibrant temples and calm surroundings.
The most impressive thing about Japanese cuisine is the restaurants’ locations. It could be in a little market or a train station like the Arashiyama Station. Some of the best Japanese restaurants and cuisines are in train stations and unassuming locations, which is surprising for anyone to believe since Japan has the most Michelin stars in the world. The food quality has awarded Michelin stars to two ramen houses and a sukiyaki restaurant named Imafuku to name a few examples. Also, there’s Ichiran ramen next to the Shinjuku station.
My travels lead me to the Arashiyama Station for a break. Like all Japanese train station, Arashiyama Station has a few restaurants to choose from but I decided to pass on the sit down restaurants and try a quick option. My choice had the exterior of disappointing mall food in a run down town. The little booth is in the middle of the station.
The booth was occupied by a young female employee on social media and texting her friends while she giggled to herself. It reminded me of teenage love. As I approached the counter, she quickly put away her phone and took my order then went to work on my order. I decided on the curry udon as it looked the most spirited of the options.
The whole preparation took less than 10 minutes. I was sitting on a bench savoring the dainty noodles and slurping away. The comforting curry with the soft yet chewy udon mixed with tempura and garnish with green onions. After a long day in Kyoto, the udon tasted fantastic with its robust flavors in turn soothing my palate. The thick curry made the udon silky and it made me want to try every unassuming restaurant in every train station in Japan.
Check out our other Kyoto articles here.