Fresh Soba Noodles in Nagano Japan Travel

Fresh Soba Noodles in Japan

The train stations in Japan are spectacular. Tokyo’s public transit system is incredible, but I was blown away by just how immaculate and huge each major station really is. Shinjuku Station in Tokyo is the #3 largest train station in the world, with 36 platforms and 200 exits. It serves over 3 million people each day and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s busiest transport hub. Almost every station was so crowded, we were literally packed like sardines not only inside the train cars but outside the train cars, too! Just trying to make our way through the waves of people to one of the many exits was a struggle. (I absolutely loved it, though!)

At Nagano Station which is an hour outside of Tokyo but still busier than ever, there were a ton of great places to eat and a four-story shopping center where I spent a few solo hours browsing for clothes while Adam worked in one of the many coffee shops there. In one of the restaurant windows, there was a man making fresh soba noodles. We caught him just as he was getting the dough out to get started, so we hung around and watched the whole process.

I thought I’d share the photos because it was so fascinating and one of the coolest things we saw while in Japan. Soba noodles are served in almost every restaurant there (or so it seemed), so it was interesting to watch how they’re made. There’s an art to it, that’s for sure.

“Soba usually refers to thin noodles made from buckwheat flour, or buckwheat and wheat flours (Nagano soba). They contrast to thick wheat noodles, called udon. In Japan, the word can refer to any thin noodle. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce or in hot broth as a noodle soup. In Japan, soba noodles are served in a variety of settings: they are a popular inexpensive fast food at railway stations throughout Japan, but are also served by expensive specialty restaurants. Markets sell dried noodles and men-tsuyu, or instant noodle broth, to make home preparation easy. There are a wide variety of dishes, both hot for winter and cold for summer, using these noodles.” [wiki]

For reference, this is how soba noodles are usually served. (This photo was from dinner the night we soaked in the private onsen in Nagano.) Most of the time they’re cold and come with a bowl on the side full of dipping sauce. It was definitely Adam’s favorite dish in Japan. Mmmm, I love carbs.

Here’s more footage of the process that Adam shot on his GoPro.

Have you ever eaten soba noodles? What are your thoughts?

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  • Reply
    June 25, 2016 at 5:19 AM

    oh my gosh that’s so neat! What skills that dude has – nice to be able to capture it all too :)

    • Reply
      June 25, 2016 at 7:57 AM

      Agreed, we were blown away!

  • Reply
    Craig Aude
    June 25, 2016 at 8:02 AM

    An artist in an unusual setting. An artist, none the less. Thanks!

  • Reply
    McKenzie Allyshia
    June 26, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    Wow, that is incredible! How neat you were able to watch :) I have never had soba noodles but I would love to give them a try one day!

  • Reply
    Mitzie Mee
    July 11, 2016 at 6:18 AM

    I love soba noodles, especially the cold ones (zaru soba) you eat during the summer. I’ve never seen how they are made though. How cool that you managed to capture the process:)

    • Reply
      July 12, 2016 at 6:56 PM

      Soba noodles aren’t my favorite, but my boyfriend loves them and it was so cool getting to see how they’re made!

  • Reply
    September 19, 2017 at 10:22 PM

    I’m not sure if I’d had soba noodles here in South Korea yet….I probably have and don’t know it :D What else does Adam do with his GoPro Footage? Does he blog as well? Love reading your posts.

    • Reply
      September 20, 2017 at 9:11 AM

      He used to make videos quite often actually, but he hasn’t in a long time! Mostly mountain biking stuff. He doesn’t have a blog, but I wish he’d get back into photography/videography again! And thanks so much, Katie. You’re the best!

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