Long chutes made of halved bamboo stalks stream fresh, cool, water carrying bite-sized bundles of chilled somen noodles. From here, I was close enough to observe the bamboo slide and hear the gleeful laughter, now audible over the rushing river. Visiting Hidaka (Japan’s Secret Korea) and Hiking the Mt. To be transported to summertime Japan for a moment, take a look at this short, lovely video of a family enjoying nagashi somen. Fish swimming in the clear pond and the small shrine on site offer a great visual backdrop. This unique, spectacular dining experience is called nagashi somen, or flowing noodles, and is a popular summer treat all across Japan. Somen are a type of very thin wheat noodle, usually less than 1.3mm in diameter. Number Twenty!’, and I was relocated up to the second waiting area. At Tosenkyo Somen Nagashi, circular trays are used. With nagashi somen, all components of the meal are chilled and refreshing: the water flowing through the bamboo, the noodles themselves and the tasty dipping broth. Conventional nagashi somen restaurants would offer flowing somen sliding down in bamboo poles. We visited Hirobun in July because nagashi somen is only available during the summer months. Tosenkyo Somen Nagashi can be easily reached from Ibusuki Onsen and the Chiran area. The chef, at the highest point, drops small bundles of cooked somen (thin, white, rice noodles) into the water where they float downstream to be deftly scooped up with chopsticks, dipped in a broth and promptly eaten. The staff ushered me to the first waiting area where I could begin to enjoy the breezy benefits of kawadoko dining. From this point, you can walk into town or take the #33 bus two stops (five minutes). Tosen Gorge can be reached by bus in 55 minutes or car in 25 minutes from Ibusuki Station. However, there were already people eating, waiting downstairs and queuing on the street so I would suggest getting there even earlier to beat the crowds, particularly if you’re hungry. Despite the capacity for home convenience, the traditional style of sending noodles down bamboo chutes has an enduring appeal.

In the town of Takachiho in southern Japan, in 1959, the 'House of Chiho' restaurant came up with the idea of nagashi (flowing) somen in order to capitalize on the pure, local spring water. Well, sort of; I gave the signal to my neighbours to help themselves to any I missed, which they happily did. As I descended, the river grew louder and the temperature dropped. Nagashi somen has become so popular that appliances to facilitate the flowing water can be purchased for home use.

For this reason, it is a little more laid back than other spots. Wondering how to cool off in Japan’s humid summer?

I only had a moment to enjoy (and photograph) my adorable place setting and the stunning view, before the noodles started flowing. Logan and I first tried nagashi somen at a restaurant called Hirobun. This style of dining has long been popular in Kyoto as a means of cooling down in summer. Eating Nagashi Somen is a summer tradition in Japan, and it’s often seen at festivals or in restaurants. Tosenkyo Somen Nagashi is particularly busy in August, so make sure to book in advance to avoid the lines. I really recommend you this Nagashi somen. The noodles, swimming in chilled water and soaked in savoury broth, made for a slippery, fresh combination. The group of three friends to my right shared the next track, receiving three bundles of noodles for every one of mine. And over and over again for fifteen minutes. Tosen Gorge has one of Japan's top 100 natural springs, An innovative serving method makes this easy even for those not particularly adept with chopsticks. Hastily grabbing my chopsticks, I scooped up the first bundle, dunked it into the cool broth and enjoyed the refreshing taste of summer. Check the website closer to your visit. All Rights Reserved. What is Somen (素麺)? Tosen Gorge has one of Japan's top 100 natural springs and provides pure natural spring water for this culinary experience. In the winter, they are eaten hot, typically as part of a soup dish called nyumen, and in the summer they are eaten cold with a dipping sauce. Not to mention the price, low compared to the multi-course fancy menus at other establishments.

Heat, culture, chaos: the real Gion Matsuri. ©2020 by Philadelphia Osaka Trading Co., LLC, MAIDO Restaurant is resuming dine-in service with restrictions.

I’d read that Hirobun started serving at 11.00am, so I arrived 20 minutes early to beat the crowd. Nagashi somen is one of Kagoshima's most famous summer snacks, and Ibusuki is particularly well known for this delicious dish. To start with, diners sit alongside a gently sloped bamboo waterslide. From there, head upstairs to the bus area in search of #52 bound for Kurama (via Kibuneguchi). Check the website closer to your visit. Some of the oldest kawadoko riverside dining in Kyoto can be found right in the city along the Kamogawa River.

There, perched just above the river’s surface, is a popular kawadoko (river dining) restaurant named Hirobun where you can beat the city heat and dine in style. Perhaps you’re munching your way through a Japanese food checklist and hoping to try something new?

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