Araki Soba: A treasure in Yamagata

Araki Soba: A treasure in Yamagata

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

While in Yamagata, don’t miss the chance to try the region’s soba. The Murayama district is known for many soba joints packed in the area and called “soba road.”

Among a lot of soba joints in the district, Araki Soba is considered the best, and was named by prominent French gourmet project, “La Liste,” as one of the world’s top 1,000 restaurants in 2015.

The joint was housed in a 180-year old civil house with a straw-thatched roof. We enjoyed its special atmosphere with old shinning black wooden floor and ceiling and traditional hearth constructed in the center of room.

The dark grey, thick soba noodles came in a long wooden box, which, according to a staffer, is done because locals usually ate soba by sharing them in the box after their work on the farm.  

It was indeed the hardest and most chewy noodle I have ever experienced in my life. At first, I felt as if I wasn’t going to be able to finish, but as I got used to it, I became obsessed with its authentic taste and sweet aroma, and finished them off in no time. The broth made from stock of herring really went well with the extremely chewy noodle.

Read a related article here.

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