Shinshu Soba: Hot & Cold

Soba (bulkwheat noodles) is one of the traditional Japanese food with hundreds of years of history, dating back to 300 B.C. when soba was consumed in non-noodle form like dumplings. Then it was cut into noodle form called soba kiri during the Edo Period (1603-1868). While there are many theories about the origin of soba but surely there is a record of soba kiri developed in Nagano Prefecture.

With the rich volcanic ash soil and the temperature range in highland, Nagano Prefecture has a vast area of wonderful natural environment for growing buckwheat and many other agricultural products. The Shinshu produced soba is considered one of the best in Japan.

If you go to tourism office and ask for recommendation for soba restaurant, the answer is: “They are everywhere. All good.” I stayed near the Nagano station, there are 2 soba restaurants in Midori shopping mall.

Kusabue, Shinshu soba 信州蕎麥麵之草笛
Kusabue is one of the good ones with a few shops, some franchise I think. This one in Midori at Nagano Station is directly managed by the brand.
信州蕎麥麵之草笛有幾間分店,這間在長野站 Midori 商場內的是直營店。
Kusabue, Shinshu soba 信州蕎麥麵之草笛
At certain time of the days, you may see the soba making process through the glass window outside the restaurant.
Kusabue, Shinshu soba 信州蕎麥麵之草笛
The noodle shop is pretty big with quite a number of tables and chairs. A long counter table style is in the middle.
Kusabue, Shinshu soba 信州蕎麥麵之草笛
The menu is very simple, with very few choices of soba noodles: plain, with mushrooms, or tempura. You may choose cold or hot soba. This is a cold tempura set.
Kusabue, Shinshu soba 信州蕎麥麵之草笛
The hot version of tempura soba.
Kusabue, Shinshu soba 信州蕎麥麵之草笛
It was cold that day. I want something warm. The trick is to eat fast if you don’t want the tempura to be completely soaked.

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