Going on a culinary trip is a must-do when you visit Japan! We can proudly say that Japan is a food heaven. There are so many unique thematic restaurants that you can't find outside of Japan, such as a Hello Kitty cafe, a Pikachu cafe and many more!
This time, TokyoTreat wants to invite you to have another unforgettable and unique eating experience! Have you heard of flowing bamboo noodles (nagashi somen) in Kyoto? First of all, somen is different from ramen. Somen is a very thin, white noodle made from wheat flour. Japanese people like to eat cold somen, especially in summer. Nagashi itself comes from "nagasu" (流す) which means "to flow". So, you have to catch the flowing noodles that slide down from a sliced bamboo pipe filled with cold water if you want to eat it! You typically eat nagashi somen only in summer, so it's no wonder that restaurants that serve nagashi somen always get very crowded during summer.
Hirobun is one of the famous restaurants that serves nagashi somen in Kyoto, usually serving nagashi somen from May to September every year. This restaurant also has beautiful scenery, so you can eat delicious somen while enjoying the view!
To eat nagashi somen, you need to have expert level chopstick skills. When the noodles are released from inside the bamboo, you must be ready to catch and pick them up as fast as possible with your chopsticks. After you successfully catch the somen, you dip it in a special dipping sauce, called Tsuyu, and slurp the delicious noodles! And everything is totally hygienic, the bamboo will be changed every batch and the leftover noodles will not be recycled so you don’t need to worry!
If you see pinkish-red colored somen, it means your eating time is almost finished. You have to focus to catch the flowing noodles because it's your final chance to chow down on some delicious somen before giving up your seat to others in the queue. For this experience, it will cost you around 1,300 Yen (around $12 USD). We can’t guarantee that your stomach will be full, especially if you fail to catch most of the flowing noodles, but the experience and excitement will be worth it! ＼(≧▽≦)／
We posted a video about nagashi somen on our social media, which you can check here!
Looks so fun, right? If you have a chance to visit Japan in Summer, you should include a nagashi somen experience in your itinerary!
Are you curious about this flowing noodles experience and want to try it? Or, do you have another Japan experience that you're really curious about? Comment below in the comment box! We could write about it in our next article!