Azuma is a tiny noodle shop in Ikeda.
On our way to Kyuanji last fall, the bus happened to stop at a light and while we were waiting for the light to change I noticed this huge line of people waiting to go into this shop.
If you remember, in Japan whenever you see a line, you can almost be certain that the people are waiting for something good to eat.
After googling, I found out that this tiny shop has been in business since 1864. Over 100 years! There was an apartment building that built around this building. You can kind of see it in the first photo.
Inside the shop there is a tatami mat area that seats 8. And there are about 20 more seats (tables and chairs) across from the tatami area.
When they are really busy, you'll have to share your table. This is called aiseki. For example, if there are only 2 in your party but you are sitting at a table for 4, you'll have to share with another pair.
This was actually our second trip to Azuma, the first time, I didn't have my camera.
Satoshi ordered the Azuma udon, 700 yen (about US$7). This was udon with aburage (fried tofu), mung beans, green onions and ground sesame seeds. He also ordered a musubi on the side, 100 yen (about US$1).
I on the other hand, ordered a cold noodle dish. The sasame kitsune udon, 750 yen (about US$7.50). This comes with a thinner udon noodle, tenkasu (the bits from tempura), grated ginger and a seasoned aburage (fried tofu).
Azuma also has a Sasame udon, 700 yen (about US$7), which has a thick sauce, the thinner udon noodles, kamaboko, grated ginger, some kelp and sliced aburage (fried tofu). This is a hot dish and Satoshi tried it on our last visit. He also tried their kayaku gohan on our last visit, vinegared rice with cooked veggies that are seasoned, diced and mixed into the rice. (This time around they were sold out by the time we went for lunch.)
If you are in the area, I would suggest going on a weekday, maybe after the lunch rush, the weekends are kind of chaotic here. We went during a weekday after the lunch rush, but we still had to wait for a table.
If we are in the area and in the mood for udon, we'll be back.