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It’s a rainy evening in Tokyo. I’m looking for a place to have a late dinner after taking in the Tokyo night view from the Shibuya Sky Observatory. My first thought was to try monjayaki, a famous Tokyo dish. so I checked out Moheji, a restaurant in Shibuya Scramble Square, the building that houses the observatory. However, there were too many customers waiting. So I gave up and looked for another restaurant. Which turned out to be Tsurudontan Shibuya, located in the same building.

Tsurudontan Shibuya

Tsurudontan Shibuya is a famous udon restaurant in Shibuya Scramble Square, with chain restaurants all over Japan. I had originally heard that the wait was huge. But since it was late in the evening, it seemed like there wasn’t much of a wait.

1. Tsurudontan Shibuya Location

Tsurudontan Shibuya is located on the 13th floor of Shibuya Scramble Square. There is also a ticket office for the Shibuya Sky Observatory on the 14th floor. So it’s a great place to visit together. I did the Shibuya Sky, then took the escalator directly to the restaurant.

2. Tsurudontan Shibuya Opening Hours

  • 11 AM -11 PM

3. Restaurant Waiting

I visited Tsurudontan at around 9pm, which is a late time for dinner. Despite the late hour, there was a decent wait, but the store is spacious and the turnover isn’t bad, so the line dwindled quickly. I waited for about 30 minutes before I was shown to a table. And although there were bar tables for one person, I was seated for two.

Tsurudontan Shibuya Waiting

Aslo the Shibuya branch of Tsurudontan is known for having a great view of the Shibuya Scramble intersection. If you want a seat with a view of the popular adult area, you can talk to the staff managing the wait staff and they’ll let you know if a seat with a view becomes available after you wait a bit longer.

4. How to Order / Tablets

At Tsurudontan, you can order from the menu via tablet. However, to my dismay, the tablet language was only Japanese. I was told that Korean menus are available separately. So you can request one from the staff when you are shown to your table.

However, I tried ordering on my tablet using the Google Translate app, which had pictures of the menu so I could get a general idea of what I was looking at and place my order.

But there’s a lot of different menu items and a lot of options to choose from, and the Google Translate app often doesn’t translate correctly, so it’s hard to get an accurate picture.

This led to me ordering the wrong thing, which was the noodle selection. At Tsuru Dongtan, you can choose between thick and thin noodles, and I wanted to choose the thicker udon noodles because they have more elasticity. However, the translation didn’t translate correctly because it said normal noodles and one said thin noodles, so I chose the one that didn’t translate correctly because I thought normal noodles were thin noodles. It turned out to be thin udon noodles.

Another feature of Tsuru Dongtan is that you can order up to 3 times the amount of noodles for free. (If you want to add more noodles after the initial order, you have to pay extra.) So I hesitated and ordered 2 times the amount, but it was a lot of noodles even for me, a big eater.

5. Tsurudontan Sesutoya Udon Noodles

I chose the udon noodles with tempura on top. It had a lot of ingredients and was priced at 1,980 yen.

Tsurudontan Shibuya udon noodles with tempura on top

After a short wait, the restaurant served the udon in a huge bowl, as is typical of Tsurodon Tan, which is famous for its washbasin udon. I ordered double the noodles, so the portion size was quite large.

When I ordered, the picture showed the tempura on top of the udon, but they actually served it separately, which was even better because you could eat the tempura crunchy.

They topped the udon noodles with beef, wakame seaweed, and an egg, which was a nice touch. The udon broth was what you’d expect, with a sweet soy sauce that reminded me of sukiyaki or bulgogi. I didn’t think it was particularly delicious, but it was bland enough that I think everyone could enjoy it. There was also sweet yubu inside, so I enjoyed it.

And the thin udon noodles that I unintentionally ordered didn’t have the bouncy flavor that you would expect from thicker Japanese udon noodles, but they were delicious noodles that were quite bouncy even though they were thin.

However, because the noodles were thin and there were too many of them, the soup had a slightly watery taste, which was disappointing. I think thicker noodles would have paired better with this kind of soup. Next time, I’d like to order thicker noodles.

Tsurudontan is a chain with locations all over Japan, not just in Tokyo. I visited Tsurudontan, a famous udon restaurant in Shibuya Scramble Square, and although I didn’t get the thick Japanese udon noodles due to my ordering mistake, I still had a delicious dinner. With so many options to choose from, it’s a place I’d like to visit again and again. Next time, I’d like to try the cod roe cream udon, which is said to be the most popular dish at Tsurudontan.