- November 05 2015
Feel Hungry After Trekking? Eat Togakushi Soba In Nagano Prefecture
What is Soba, Anyway?
Soba is one of the most popular noodle dishes with Japanese people, but the dish is not yet well known among people overseas.
Ramen and Udon noodles are made of wheat, but Soba noodle is made of buckwheat.
It can be served in hot soy sauce based soup like Ramen,
or served chilled with a dipping sauce and some toppings.
Togakushi Soba, The One Of Three Major Soba
Nagano Prefecture has a famous group of shrines called Togakushi Shrine. Togakushi Soba is another famous thing in this prefecture which is one of three major types of Soba noodles in Japan.
Nagano is a foresty prefecture with pure water that produces a great quality buckwheat. You can find restaurants serving Togakushi Soba around the Togakushi trekking area.
Let us introduce one of the restaurants, Naosuke. It is located in front of the Torii (a gate) of Okusha at Togakushi Shrine.
Do you doubt its quality because this is in such a touristy area? No no no! This restaurant maintains good quality Soba noodles that have attracted many people since they opening their business.
The restaurant was renovated in 2010, so it looks very pretty inside and out!
Enjoy Togakushi Soba !
Here is the famous Togakushi noodle! It costs about 1,000 yen.
This is shredded radish called Daikon Oroshi, which often comes as a condiment to add unique, stimulating flavour to your dish.
Daikon Oroshi in Nagano Prefecture generally has a very strong flavour which may be too strong for you...so take it slow by mixing in your dipping sauce.
I love its strong flavour, so I put it a lot in my sauce, though!
After you make your own mixture of dipping sauce, it is time to dip Soba noodles and eat! Mmm…! It is very different from the Soba noodles sold at Soba stands in Tokyo! Togakushi Soba isn’t cheap like the 300 yen version found at the stand, but it goes down very smoothly in my throat and it is so flavourful! Sometimes, you get what you pay for!
I added some assorted Tempura.
After all the noodles are in your stomach, add boiling water to the Soba noodles (it is called Sobayu) in your dipping sauce and drink it like soup (when it cools down)...that’s the way connoisseurs enjoy Soba. This helps your digestion by making your stomach warm.
Buckwheat is not only for noodles! The picture below is called Soba-gaki, which is like rice cake. Cut it to pieces with chopsticks, dip it in the sauce and eat. It has a unique chewy texture!
If you like Shochu (Japanese distilled spirit), try Soba flavoured Shochu with Sobayu!
This mixed drink has a very mellow texture and smooth taste. If you have never tried Shochu, this is a good way to start!
If you have room for dessert, step out and have some soft-served ice cream! The green one on the left is striped bamboo flavoured and the gray one on the right is Soba flavoured!
These two are uniquely Japanese flavours. Striped bamboo flavour was just like green tea, and Soba was like hazelnut flavour. I liked Soba flavour better personally.
Soba restaurants in Togakushi area close when they’ve exhausted their Soba noodles for the day, sometimes closing around 2pm. If you see the area is busy, make sure you go there early before it is all sold out!
Soba is one of Japan’s soul foods! Why not try some during your visit to Togakushi, Nagano Prefecture? If you are interested in more information about Togakushi, please refer here!