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Kyoto-born Udon Noodles with Abundant Relishes and Seasonings

In 1967, Omen opened its door in the neighborhood of the world-famous Ginkaku-ji Temple. ''Omen'' is a traditional local specialty udon noodle dish from Gunma Prefecture which was almost unknown in Kyoto and the Kansai region in those days. After 50 years, ''Omen'' has become one of the best udon noodle restaurants in Kyoto and is loved by both locals and tourists.

What makes Omen different and unique is that the noodles are served with a wide variety of different kinds of relishes and seasonings. Kinpira (simmered and sweetened burdock root), white radish, myoga herb, green leaf vegetables, chopped green onion, and a bowlful of aromatic sesame are the standards along with a few more seasonal specials. The abundance of relishes and seasonings will be a feast for your eyes!

Of course, the vital ingredient is the udon noodles themselves. Using a few different kinds of Japanese flour, the experienced udon master prepares the noodles with upmost care since the quantity of water and salt varies depending on the climate and season along with the length of fermentation and many other subtle elements solely to achieve the best noodles possible. Only Japanese flour emanates such a rich scent and chewy texture. Free of chemicals and additives, quality kelp and dried bonito are the key to their savory soup. Help yourself to as much of your favorite relishes as you want and savor their delicious noodles.

A set with tempura and saba (mackerel) sushi is also popular and the seasonal special is always worth trying. Omen's main shop is in the neighborhood of Ginkaku-ji Temple and two other branches are also near the major tourist areas: one near Kodai-ji Temple (just finished full refurbishment in April) and the other is on Shijo/Pontocho. The Seasonal Kodaiji Set is recommended (2,500 yen; salad, roast beef, tofu and other dishes with your choice of udon noodles). Experience one-of-a-kind ''Omen'' noodles, born in Kyoto.

Omen: 1,150 yen (chilled or hot)
*Omen with vegan-friendly soup (no animal products) is also available.
Omen with Saba Sushi: 1,900 yen
Omen with Tempura: 1,850 yen

Ginkakuji Main: Open: 11:00-21:00 (L.O. 20:30); Tel: 075-771-8994
Shijo Pontocho: Open: 11:30-15:00, 17:00-22:00 (L.O. 21:30); Tel: 075-253-0377
Kodaiji: Open: 11:00-21:00 (L.O. 20:30); Tel: 075-541-5007