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What You Should not Miss in the City of Nikko

What is Nikko Soba?

Characteristics of Nikko Soba

Imaichi
Nikko
Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Oku-Kinu Onsen
Oku-Nikko
Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Oku-Kinu Onsen

Soba (buckwheat noodles) is one of the local dishes representing Nikko. The city of Nikko, an area blessed with an abundance of nature, is known as one of the best soba production area, because its climate is good for growing the highest-quality buckwheat seeds. In addition, the Nikko mountains supply the highly praised water, which is essential for soba making; the water is combined with skillful techniques of soba chefs and the magnificent nature, producing good taste soba. Relish good taste soba in Nikko, called as a “town of soba,” where more than 100 restaurants serve handmade soba.

  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Participate in Soba Festival

Nikko Soba Festival

Imaichi

You can relish soba (buckwheat noodles) produced not only in Nikko, a famous area that produces buckwheat, but also in other areas. Visitors can also enjoy street stands to sell tools for soba dish and Nikko’s local products, as well as performance of traditional local entertainments.

Make Soba by Yourself

Experience Soba Making

Imaichi

Nikko’s handmade soba using Nikko-produced highly-praised soba buckwheat flour enjoys popularity in Japan, thanks to its aroma and taste. In this one hour seminar, you can learn how to make soba, and taste the soba you made along with tempura of vegetables in season.

Relish Handmade Soba at Local Soba Restaurants

Imaichi

Sobadokoro Hotokuan

Imaichi

A soba restaurant with quiet atmosphere that is located in the Suginamikikoen Park. While viewing the cedar path and water mills of the world, you can taste authentic hand-made soba.

  • Term
    Regular holiday: January 1 to 3
  • Time
    11:00 - 16:00 (November to March, closed at 15:00)
  • Place
  • Contact
    Sobadokoro Hotokuan
    +81-288-21-4973

Nikko no Sho, Handmade Soba Restaurant

Imaichi

A soba restaurant that serves high-quality handmade soba. The soba made from Nikko’s high-quality water and selected soba seeds gives the sensation of soba going down the throat as well as good buckwheat scent. Customers can also experience soba making. (Reservation required)

Kekkoduke-Honpo at Imaichi Interchange

Imaichi

A waterwheel is a land mark of this restaurant. In the restaurant housed in a souvenir shop, you can relish local cuisine including soba made from the buckwheat seeds produced in the local farms and ground here.

Koshiro-Namegawaan

Imaichi

This restaurant serves handmade soba cooked just after grinding Nikko-produced local soba seeds here. Because this place utilizes a former villa owned by an old local family, scenery of its garden is also magnificent.

  • Term
    Regular holiday: Every Thursday
  • Time
    11:00 - 15:30 (January to March, closed at 14:30)
  • Place
  • Contact
    Koshiro-Namegawaan
    +81-288-27-3535

Nikko

Izumiya – Place for Yuba and Soba

Nikko

The specialty of this restaurant is Yubasoba, a dish in which three types of Nikko-produced yuba (bean curd skins) is put on top of soba. Its original cold Yubasoba is popular in summer, and soba with five types of yuba attracts many customers in winter.

  • Term
    Irregular Holidays
  • Time
    11:00 - 15:00 (Sundays and Holidays, closed at 16:00)
  • Place
  • Contact
    Izumiya – Place for Yuba and Soba
    +81-288-54-0085

Uoyo – Place for Handmade Fresh Buckwheat Noodles

Nikko

This restaurant serves handmade soba cooked just after grinding gensoba (unshelled buckwheat) here. For yubasoba, yuba (bean curd skin) supplied from Fujiya, well-established yuba shop, is used.

Kanman-no-Chaya

Nikko

This restaurant serves, in a limited quantity, handmade soba cooked just after grinding Tochigi-produced gensoba (unshelled buckwheat) here. Dango (dumpling) made from buckwheat flour is also popular.

  • Term
    Regular holiday: Every Wednesday (If any national holiday falls on Wednesday, the restaurant is closed next day), and period from January through March
  • Time
    11:00 - 15:00
  • Place
  • Contact
    +81-288-54-0713

Hayashiya

Nikko

This handmade soba restaurant serves a variety of soba dishes including tempura soba and yuba soba. Dashi (stock) for soba is taken from dried bonito and mackerel in a delicate manner.

  • Term
    Regular holiday: Every Thursday
  • Time
    10:00 - 15:00 (Saturdays and Sundays, closed at 16:00)
  • Place
  • Contact
    +81-288-54-0884

Kinugawa - Kawaji Onsen

Kodaimura – Place for Soba Made from Stone-Ground Buckwheat Flour

Kinugawa - Kawaji Onsen

This restaurant sticks to the tradition to cook soba just after grinding the buckwheat seeds produced in its farm and serve it in a “mushi soba” style, which was popular in the beginning of Edo Period. You can relish the taste that only juwari-soba (soba made with only soba flour) can offer.

Oku-Nikko

Katsura – Place for Handmade Soba

Oku-Nikko

This restaurant serves Toichi-soba (soba made with the special soba flour mixed in proportion that the ratio of the selected buckwheat flour produced in the local farms to thickener is 10 to 1). You can relish the soba with dashi (stock) for soba taken from dried bonito. Its location where you can have a whole view of the Chuzenji Lake also attracts many customers.

Yashusobadokoro Inariya

Oku-Nikko

This restaurant is located by the Lake Chuzenji. You can relish the soba with dashi (stock) for soba taken from various ingredients including dried mackerel, dried bonito fillets and Rishiri konbu (Rishiri kelp).

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Oku-Kinu Onsen

Heikesoba Shioya

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Oku-Kinu Onsen

Soba served in this restaurant is made by hand by using buckwheat flour ground in the restaurant and has characteristic of being thick and elastic, and having good scent. Heike Soba in which mountain vegetables and maitake mushroom are put on the top of soba is recommended.

  • Term
    Irregular Holidays
  • Time
    11:00 - 15:00
  • Place
  • Contact
    Heikesoba Shioya
    +81-288-98-0434

Yamashimaya

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Oku-Kinu Onsen

Soba is served in the eating facility of a private inn. Dishes called Ochudo-ryori, which uses ingredients including mountain vegetables, mushrooms and river fishes, are also popular.

Nakaya Shokudo

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Oku-Kinu Onsen

This restaurant serves soba made from homemade buckwheat flour along with homemade tsuyu (broth). Mori soba (cold soba with dipping sauce) with mountain vegetable and mushrooms of the season is recommended.

  • Term
    Irregular Holidays
  • Time
    10:00 - 16:00
  • Place
  • Contact
    Nakaya Shokudo
    +81-288-98-0205

Oshokujidokoro Sanmi

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Oku-Kinu Onsen

This restaurant is located in front of the Jao Watarfall, a scenic place. Nihachi soba (soba made with two parts wheat flour to eight parts soba flour) is made by hand with spring water to offer excellent food texture and the sensation of soba going down the throat. For spice, home-made wasabi (Japanese horseradish) is used.

  • Term
    Irregular Holidays. Closed on January to mid-March
  • Time
    10:00 - 16:00
  • Place
  • Contact
    Oshokujidokoro Sanmi
    +81-288-97-1515

Tips about Soba

Types of Soba

Nihachi soba: soba noodles made with two parts thickener such as wheat flour to eight parts buckwheat flour.
Juwari soba: soba noodles made with only buckwheat flour.

Popular Menu of Soba

Mori Soba: Soba chilled by cold water after boiling is served on a wicker basket or in a shallow steaming basket. The soba is served with dipping sauce and spice.
Kake Soba: Soba chilled by cold water after boiling is served in hot broth.
Yuba Soba: Yuba, local cuisine made by picking up the skin of gently boiled soybean milk, is generally put on the top of kake soba.
Tempura Soba: When soba is served in the form of mori soba, tempura is placed on the side of the soba. When soba is served in the form of kake soba, tempura is put on the top of the soba.

How to Eat Mori Soba

Pinch a morsel of soba with chopsticks and dip the soba in soup before you eat. If wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and spring onion used as spice is put on the soba before you eat, the flavor of the spice is enhanced further. When you eat soba, slurp the noodles to enjoy the scent of buckwheat. When you finish the noodles, pour sobayu (hot water left after soba was boiled) to the source and drink the diluted source. There is no custom in the Kansai region to drink sobayu, which is highly nutritious: this custom is characteristic in the Kanto region.

Related Information

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