The soba noodle dish, or simply soba, is a delectable feast for those who frequently visit Japan. However, it is worth noting that it has already been a staple dish among the locals for a long time now. Its fragrant aroma and its delicious taste are just some of the things people would remark to this dish. This is why soba making has been popular around the country.
For those who are interested to know how soba is made, you should understand that it is also a relatively simple dish to make. There are no artificial processes or ingredients put into the noodle. Everything has been processed in a natural way: from the preservation and production of oonozairai, a native strain of buckwheat, to the slicing of the dough into thick noodles. It could be a rigorous process to some, but many locals consider it as a form of meditation.
Still, it could not be denied that mastering the making of soba could be quite challenging. However, making one is a unique experience that you should really try when you are in Japan. If you are interested in experiencing soba making, there are places around Tokyo that could allow you to do so. On this article, we will identify five places to experience the art of soba making.
1. Edo Tokyo Soba-no-kai
One of the places in Tokyo where you could experience making genuine soba noodles is the Edo Tokyo Soba-no-kai. On this place, you will be able to try making authentic soba from buckwheat flour which has been freshly ground to ensure freshness and good taste. If you avail hands-on classes, you will be trained by an instructor who will demonstrate the method while guiding the whole class. Because of this, it would already be easy to make soba because you get to follow along with the instructor.
In order to reach Edo Tokyo Soba-no-kai, you could walk five minutes from the Keisei Tateishi station on the Keisei Oshiage Line. Hands-on classes usually start at two different time periods: 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. The Edo Tokyo Soba-no-kai is open every day except Monday and Tuesday. One-day hands-on classes typically cost 3,240 yen. Credit cards are accepted.
Name: Edo Tokyo Soba-no-kai
Address: 3-24-8, Higashitateishi, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Business hour: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Phone number: ＋81-3-3696-5351
Official website: http://edotokyosoba.com/
2. Tsukiji Soba Academy
The Tsukiji Soba Academy is another great place where you could immerse yourself in the traditional way of making authentic soba noodles. You will get to understand the processes and practices which are involved in the preparation of this staple Japanese dish. When you enroll at the Tsukiji Soba Academy, you will have the opportunity to learn soba making from a renowned master chef. You will also get to learn the detailed mazumizu techniques of the academy. After making your soba, you will have the chance to taste the fruits of your hard work.
The academy holds classes in small groups so that each individual participant will be given much attention in the making of the soba. The maximum size per group is seven people. This gives those who do not have any previous cooking experience yet to enjoy making soba in the most authentic way.
Name: Tsukiji Soba Academy
Address: 004 Hins”MINATO”, 3-18-14 Minato, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11:30 AM
Official website: http://soba.specialist.co.jp/
3. YANESEN Tourist Information & Culture Center
The YANESEN Tourist Information & Culture Center is a great avenue in Tokyo where foreign visitors could experience a variety of Japanese cultural activities and traditions. These include tea ceremonies, calligraphy, Kabuki, and Shamisen, among others. One of the most sought-after activities that tourists could experience at the center is making soba. The center offers courses that could be reserved on the day of the visit. For only 3,850 yen, you could already experience soba making and other activities such as pottery making, flower arrangement, ink painting, and Japanese cooking.
At YANESEN Tourist Information & Culture Center, you will surely get to have an authentic Edo experience in contemporary Tokyo. It is open every day from 9:30 AM up until 5:00 PM. The center is usually closed at the end of the year and during the New Year’s Eve.
Name: YANESEN Tourist Information & Culture Center
Address: Yanaka 3-13-7, Taitou-Ku , Tokyo,
Opening hours: 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM
Official website: http://www.ti-yanesen.jp/
4. Edo Teuchi-Soba Kyoshitu
Another excellent place for soba making in Tokyo is the Edo Teuchi-Soba Kyoshitu. It allows you to experience making soba by hand through a course following a series of activities. For the first time visitors, you will be asked to schedule a talk about buckwheat noodles. You will also be given a demonstration on how to make one. After which, you will be making your own soba by yourself. For those who have already been to the place, you will be making your soba noodles by yourself while you are receiving guidance from the lecturer.
For beginners, the tuition fee is 4,100 yen. There are promo tickets given to those who want to try it three times or five times more. Intermediate level and expert level fees are also given to those who have already tried making soba before. It is wise to reserve beforehand.
Name: Edo Teuchi-Soba Kyoshitu
Address: 3-5-7 Nishi-koiwa, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11:00 AM or 3:00 PM
Official website: http://edoteuchisoba.com/
5. Teuchi-soba Yanaka
The last place for making soba on our list is the Teuchi-soba Yanaka. In here, you could try having a soba noodle experience with your friends or families. Professionals will be guiding you carefully from the start of the process until the end. Beginners who have no knowledge in making soba could still have fun in making soba noodles inside this place because of the amenities they offer.
The Teuchi-soba Yanaka accepts more than two people at a time. They will be taught slowly and carefully so that they could thoroughly enjoy the traditional experience. If you want to do it by yourself, there are possible days on the weekend. The soba time is about 70 minutes so you should decide on your time.
Name: Teuchi-soba Yanaka
Address: 1-1-18 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 4:00 PM
Official website: http://www.yanaka-soba.com/index.html
Soba making is an intense art that involves meticulous processes and skills that involves meditation and emotions. However, if you are still new to the concept, you still have a chance to experience making soba. Tokyo is rich with avenues where you could try soba making, giving you the opportunity to try something you have not yet done before. After making your soba, you could delightfully prepare your noodles and have a feast of a lifetime.
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