For the most part, enjoying a tasty bowl of noodles comes with no strings attached. In this case, a Japanese restaurant went for a viral moment by selling a unique type of noodles that come complete with the Buddhist Sutra printed on them.
Nittanosho Kanzantei, a small eatery in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, has garnered a lot of attention online for an item they don’t even have listed on their menu. The restaurant’s “sacred noodles” are only available as a souvenir. That’s right, you have to do the leg work on this one.
The noodles are cut into thick rectangular sheets with the unique addition of large, caligraphy-like characters printed on them with edible ingredients. Even after cooking up a pot, the writing will still remain visible so you can say a prayer while eating at the same time.
To get the text to show up on the noodles, they are printed using a mixture of bamboo charcoal and edible caramel coloring that was derived from wheat. According to the Nittanosho Kanzantei website, the text does fade a bit after cooking but it still should be perfectly visible. It’s recommended the noodles are simmered with seasonable vegetables like cabbage and carrots.
A pack of the noodles contains the entire 260-character Heart Sutra, which is one of Buddhism’s most sacred texts. They also come with a booklet that features the full text with furigana letters to help read the most difficult kanji, as well as an updated language translation guide for people unfamiliar with sutras.
These sacred noodles are only sold in Gunma Prefecture. A three-serving pack comes with dashi seasoning for added taste and goes for around $12.