Soba, a traditional Japanese buckwheat noodle, can be enjoyed simply with dipping broth, or in more complex soups and with fried dishes. Sample the full array of preparations at the many delicious, affordable soba specialists around Nikko.
Nikko — a true soba town
Nikko enjoys a special fondness for soba, as its climate and natural water creates pristine buckwheat used to make the highest-quality noodles. As a result, Nikko has come to be known for its soba and there are now over 100 restaurants where skilled chefs serve handmade buckwheat noodles.
Soba shops are ubiquitous across Nikko, and can be found from more urban areas to the most rural countryside. Some shops serve the noodles in a simple, everyday style, with sides for dipping and flavor such as green onion and wasabi. Other shops serve more fanciful soba spreads, topping their noodles with savory nori seaweed and pairing them with seasonal tempura. A staple of enjoying soba in Nikko is sobayu, a post-meal tradition where the chef brings the water the noodles were boiled in and pours some into your dipping broth. The water and broth swirl into a warming soup that is light to taste but full of vitamins and minerals.
At the close of each November, the Nikko Soba Festival comes into full swing. Visitors to this lively celebration will be able to try various soba dishes native to Nikko and soba from across Japan as well. Traditional entertainment native to the Nikko area is also on display.