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Chibuneya – Japanese Udon

A structure that tickles a woman’s fancy

In a corner of Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture, where the sight of children walking energetically on their way home from school is impressive, there is a shop overflowing with gentleness that blends in well with the atmosphere. Chifunoya won the grand prize in the creative category of the KANSAI 1 Week Udon Udon Grand Prix. Chifunoya originally ran a set meal shop in the local area for more than 35 years.
However, through an encounter with Yamato, it made the leap to a noodle speciality restaurant about four years ago.
Some people may have a masculine image of an ‘udon shop’, but Chifunoya, run by a mother, daughter and female staff alone, is a shop filled with feminine warmth that dispels such impressions.

●I became aware of the deliciousness of udon and got hooked, and that’s when I started my udon tour.

Daughter: “I’ve been working in a set meal shop for a long time, but I wanted to focus more on udon, so I asked my brother to go to an udon school in Yamato.”
The mother and daughter who work in the shop find it difficult to take time off.
So his younger brother took the plunge and attended an udon school in Kagawa instead.
He says he used to read Mr Fujii’s newsletter and blog, “Creating an Udon, Soba and Ramen shop that won’t fail”.
Mother: “We have a lot of regular customers, so at first, people who came for the set menus were disappointed when we changed to an udon restaurant.
But I still liked udon.
I was very happy when they told me, ‘I discovered the taste of udon here [at Chifunoya] and got hooked, and that’s how I started my udon tour’.”

●Concern.

Daughter: “I was told (by Fujii) that the counter should be made lower, so this was made by cutting down the original counter and rebuilding it.
The interior of the shop also has a soft and gentle impression.
The interior of the restaurant also has a soft and gentle impression, and the meticulous attention to detail that is unique to a restaurant run by a woman is evident not only in the appearance of the restaurant but also in the menu.

Daughter: ‘There are many women among our customers, so I often devise menus with more vegetables.
Also, we have a lot of regular customers, so I often create limited-time-only menus so that they can enjoy the seasonality of the food.
The freshness of the ingredients doesn’t decline if it’s only for a limited time.”

●Structure to tickle a woman’s fancy

As the creator is a woman, the menu at Senfuya has a composition that tickles women’s fancy.
Incidentally, the delicious soft-serve ice cream in the shop is ‘put there because we want to eat it (laughs)’ (laughs).

Daughter: “The only things I think are difficult when it’s just women are carrying the flour and oiling the machines.
But so far the machines have never broken down.
Yamato also has a lot of female staff, and I feel like I’m friends with everyone.
By the way, when I said that it was difficult to clean the powder from the gaps between the machines, Ms Ota (a female staff member in charge of the Kansai area in Yamato) sent me a vacuum cleaner with a thin nozzle the next day!
I was really surprised (laughs)!
They always respond immediately, don’t they?
I haven’t thanked her yet, so it would be great if you could tell her for me (laughs).”

●The dazzling smiles of mothers and daughters

When I told her that it is wonderful that a mother and daughter have a shop together, she replied: ‘Nothing is good, they fight all the time!
But, above all, the smiles on the faces of Tsuruta-san’s mother and daughter are dazzling!

Daughter: “Thanks to you, we’ve won awards, been featured in magazines, and been introduced on the blogs of udon lovers, and we’re doing our best.

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