Taste of Japan: Slurp some radish soba in Echizen

Taste of Japan: Slurp some radish soba in Echizen

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

As you peruse Echizen’s traditional townhomes, shrines and temples on Teramachi Street, stop in for a bowl of soba steeped in over 600 years of history.

Urushiya, nestled among the traditional buildings and has been in business since 1861. The restaurant serves up Echizen Soba Noodles, which unlike standard noodles, are made using the whole buckwheat fruit. These special noodles are paired with ground radish, sliced negi onion and katsuobushi bonito flakes. This local specialty has enamored local foodies and tourists alike for decades!

Even the emperor of Showa had a tasty bowl when he visited Urushiya in 1947.

During my visit, it was easy to see why this humble soba joint has endured the test of time. The wooden exterior leads into an elegant wooden interior with urushi lacquered beams and pillars. The antique furniture and craft art displays create the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a meal with years of history behind it. From the dining hall on the first floor, diners can also enjoy a view of the beautiful courtyard.

My party, however, dined on the second floor in a room with fusuma sliding doors. Our set meals were a sample of a matcha version of the famous Echizen soba and many local delicacies, including shrimp tempura, vegetable tempura, and broiled mackerel sushi.

The dishes were cooked to perfection. The tempura was crisp, flavorful and went well with the sobamiso roasted buckwheat, miso and seasoning sauce. The broiled mackerel was refreshingly sweet and tangy. Then, the star of the meal arrived: the matcha Echizen soba, glistening green with a hint of green tea emanating from the bowl.

You know, at Urushiya, soba is enjoyed by dipping it into a broth of spicy radish juice and soy sauce, instead of sprinkling them over the noodles. According to our server, the medley of flavors of the noodles and broth are better appreciated if you dip the noodles into the broth instead of serving all the ingredients together in one bowl. Following her advice, I sampled a noodle with the radish broth by dipping. The buckwheat aroma and punchy radish flavor burst in my mouth with every bite. It was delicious! I never thought that soba noodles can match that well with grounded radish.

To kick up the umami factor, you can change up the toppings as you enjoy the noodles. First, sample the noodles as served, then with negi onion and bonito flakes, and finally, with all the toppings and radish broth. With each addition (or subtraction) of ingredients, you can experience the changes in the mouthfeel and taste of the beloved Echizen Soba Noodle.

Dining at Urushiya added a nice, new food experience to our tour in the Hokuriku region. So, don’t miss this wonderful soba joint when you enjoy Fukui’s sights and great eats.

As Urushiya has private rooms for groups of 2 to 24 people, you can also use the tasty soba joint for any occasion of celebrations.

Location: 1-4-26 Kyomachi, Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture
Hours: Thu – Tue, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., 5:30 – 9 p.m.
Tel: 0778-21-0105

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web