Noodles often take the place of rice in a meal. However, the Japanese appetite for rice is so strong that many restaurants even serve noodles-rice combination sets.

  • Soba with sliced duck breast, negi (scallions) and mitsuba
  • Traditional Japanese noodles are usually served chilled with a dipping sauce, or in a hot soy-dashi broth.
  • Soba - Thin brown buckwheat noodles. Also known as Nihon-soba ("Japanese soba"). In Okinawa, soba likely refers to Okinawa soba (see below).
  • Udon - Thick white wheat noodles served with various toppings, usually in a hot soy-dashi broth, or sometimes in a Japanese curry soup.
  • Somen - Thin white wheat noodles served chilled with a dipping sauce. Hot Somen is called Nyumen. Chinese-influenced noodles are served in a meat or chicken broth and have only appeared in the last 100 years or so.
  • Ramen - Thin light yellow noodles served in hot chicken or pork broth with various toppings; of Chinese origin, it is a popular and common item in Japan. Also known as Shina-soba or Chuka-soba (both mean "Chinese-style soba")
  • Champon - Yellow noodles of medium thickness served with a great variety of seafood and vegetable toppings in a hot chicken broth which originated in Nagasaki as a cheap food for students
  • Okinawa soba - Thick wheat-flour noodles served in Okinawa, often served in a hot broth with soki, steamed pork. Akin to a cross between udon and ramen.
  • Zaru Soba - Soba noodles served cold
  • Yaki Soba - Fried Chinese noodles
  • Yaki Udon - Fried udon noodles