Cool down with cold noodles near Sasebo Naval Base

Tomoko Tanaka, Stripes Japan
Tomoko Tanaka, Stripes Japan

Cool down with cold noodles near Sasebo Naval Base

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Cool down this hot summer with some tasty cold Japanese noodles!

Near Sasebo Naval Base, head to Kujukushima Seaside Terrace inside the Hotel & Spa “Hanamizuki,” where they serve refreshing cold somen noodles.

Every weekend through September 25, visitors to the restaurant at the hotel can order Kaigun Dokutsu Tarai Somen, cold somen noodles served in a wooden tub.

Enjoy your meal while you enjoy the impressive restaurant housed in a manmade cave. The cave is one of over 20 caves dug during World War II by the Japanese Imperial Navy for an underground factory. The unfinished project was abandoned at the war's end, and some of the caves remained unused.

In 1976, Hanamizuki opened in the cave and started serving cold somen noodles to entertain visitors. As the temperature of 26-meter long cave is maintained at around 17 to 20 degrees Celsius even in the mid-summer, the cave makes a lovely, unusual setting for a good lunch.

In the cool cave, Hanamizuki offers renowned high-end local noodles homemade in the Shimabara region (Nagasaki Prefecture). These noodles have a smooth texture and pair well with the soy sauce-based dipping broth and local ingredients like wasabi, ginger, onion, cucumber and shrimp.

These delicious noodles will set you back 1,500 yen ($11) for a lunch set including two pieces of karaage fried chicken, an onigiri rice ball and a soft drink.

“The Shimabara somen noodles were very tasty and it was a really refreshing, unusual dining experience for me,” Tomoko Tanaka of the Stars and Stripes Sasebo Office, said.

The hotel and restaurant are about 15 minutes from Sasebo Naval Base and close to Umikirara Aquarium. Nearby, visitors can take in the beautiful views from Kujukushima, or 99 Islands, a 15-mile area off Sasebo City with over 208 islands.

Make sure to stop by for a refreshing lunch on your next weekend adventure before the summer soba noodles go away for the season!

Kaigun Dokutsu Tarai Somen
Location: Kujukushima Seaside Terrace, Hotel & Spa “Hanamizuki,” 1129 Kashimae Town, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture (15-minute drive from Sasebo Naval Base)
Hours: 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tel: 0956-28-5151

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