The Ultimate Farm-to-Table Foray into Soba Noodles

Try your hand at making soba with a local expert in Chino

Buckwheat soba noodles have been a staple of the Japanese diet since the Edo period (1603-1868), and Nagano has long been one of the best places in Japan to enjoy this time-honored dish. Head to the mountainous heartland of this culinary staple to immerse yourself in long-standing tradition through a hands-on workshop led by a local artisan. Born and raised in the foothills of the nearby Yatsugatake Mountains, Yoshitaka Morozumi has mastered each stage of the production process to share delicious soba noodles at his family-run restaurant on the shores of pristine Lake Shirakaba.

Join this master noodle maker as he shares deep insight into the fundamentals of making delicious soba—from soil quality and weather conditions to drying and milling the flour, and finally, boiling the noodles. Equipped with this knowledge, you'll have the opportunity to make your own plate of soba under expert guidance. Knead the mix of freshly-milled flour and soba powder into springy dough, stretching it out before creating finely sliced noodles.

Finally, sit down to sample the fruits of your labor and compare them to those of the master. Opt for a full-course meal and enjoy the nutty, earthy flavors of soba along with scrumptious home-made dishes such as crisp tempura, crunchy pickles, and a savory, nourishing miso hot pot.

An English-speaking guide will be present at all times so you can feel free to ask any questions that come to mind. Those with time to spare can opt to stay a night at the family's inn, Minshuku Asahigaoka, and soak up the area's natural wonders with a canoe or cycle tour around Lake Shirakaba.

Transport can be arranged to and from Chino Station. With rich cultural traditions and spectacular nature, Chino is easily accessed in just over two hours by the Limited Express Azusa train from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, or a mere thirty minutes by limited express train from Matsumoto City.

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