Soba noodles are a famous product of Tokamachi. The Soba Festival sees restaurants, both local and from other parts Japan, selling their homemade noodles side by side, giving lucky customer the chance to taste and compare.
Each shop has set up a small kitchen inside the central plaza of the contemporary art museum Kinare. Queues of hungry soba lover line up and the soba makers work frantically to serve up bowls of either hot or cold soba each costing just 300 yen.
The soba noodles are all delicious but it is really interesting to try different versions at the same sitting. The taste and texture of the noodles, as well as the topping and sauces all vary. These are subtle differences you may not notice when you go to a restaurant.
There were also lots of other stalls selling soba related snacks, other foods, locally grown vegetables and sakes made nearby. It was a real feast and the amount of soba being turned out was staggering.
It’s a great event to enjoy soba, and with the art gallery and the souvenir shops in Cross 10 close by it turns into a really good day out.