Many of Tokyo’s finest restaurants are so hidden away you hardly know they’re even there. But there’s little chance of missing Maruka. In the unlikely event that you fail to spot the large white noren curtain across the entrance, you won’t miss the long line leading up to it.

Year-round, rain or shine, you can expect to wait outside that doorway — often for 45 minutes or more. What’s the deal? And is it worth it, just for a meal that will take a quarter of that time to finish? The answer depends on how much you like udon noodles.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.