The menu at Udon Kaisha offers a brief history of Japanese noodles, including the house specialties of udon and ramen. According to this restaurant, neither udon nor ramen are native to Japan. Buddhist monk Kukai introduced the thick and filling noodle known as udon to Japan in the ninth century, and ramen made its way across the sea from China. Chinese Buddhist monks also brought over shoyu some 200 years earlier. Miso, however, is native to Japan, having found its origins in Hokkaido, where the locals created this healthful soup base by subjecting both soybeans and rice to fermentation.