To survive in Japan, you need to master hiragana and katakana as quickly as you can. However, if you are hungry, it is possible that you may not remember any of it.

Many Japanese restaurants don’t provide English menu so it may be difficult for you to order the food if you are not familiar with the Japanese writing system.

This time, let us help you to learn how to order soba/udon from food ordering machine.

  1. First, decide the food that you want to order. Try to remember the kanji written in the food display (if available). Common menu for udon and soba are kakiage ten (udon/soba topped with mixed vegetable tempura), chikuwa ten (udon/soba topped with fish cake tempura), tanuki (udon/soba topped with fried batter), kare (udon/soba with curry sauce), kake (plain udon/soba), zaru (cold soba/udon with dipping sauce), kitsune (udon/soba with fried tofu). soba-ticket-machine2
  2. Insert your money (See Picture 2-Slot number 3 is for coins and  Slot number 6 is for notes)
  3. Press the select button (if you want to order more than one portion, press the amount of food that you want to order in box number 1)
  4. If you finish with your order, press the black button in box number 4.
  5. Get your change in box number 5.
  6. Take your ticket from box number 2.


Pass your ticket to the kitchen staff.

And clearly tell him/her about your noodle choice.

If you want to eat udon, say “udon kudasai”

If you want to eat soba, say “soba kudasai”.


Please wait until the staff call you again *they will call you upon the menu name, so make sure you remember the name of your order.

After receiving your order, take it to the nearby standing corner/table. You can garnish your noodles with shichimi (seven color of chilli pepper). Don’t forget to get your free drink too! You can always get a free drink in this kind of udon/soba shops.

After the noodles are eaten, make sure you return everything back to the tray returns area.  Don’t forget to clean your table before leaving!

Hope this helps!


Enjoy your stay in Japan!







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