Translated by Hanni T.
Namikiyabu Soba: a 100 Year-Old Soba Shop Loved By Everyone! (Asakusa)
Written by 森山 あみか
The historical "Namikiyabu Soba" is located 150 meters away from the Kaminarimon Gate, a must-see Asakusa tourist spot for anyone with an appetite!
For tourists visiting Asakusa, Sensoji's Kaminarimon Gate is an absolute must-see spot. ''Namikiyabu soba'', one of the most historical soba (buckwheat noodle) stores in Japan, is located around 150m away from the Kaminarimon Gate.
Founded in 1913, ''Namikiyabu Soba'' is One of the Greatest Soba Shops in Japan
"Namikiyabu Soba" was established in 1913 and it is one of the greatest shinise(※1) soba shops in Tokyo. The super famous store has appeared on television shows, magazines and even manga (Japanese comic books). It is almost impossible to not know of this shop if you are a soba lover.
※1…Shinise - A long-established store with good reputation.
At the entrance of the shop, a huge, almost imposing sign reading ''Yabu'' hangs atop the shop.
It gets really crowded during lunch time and oftentimes there is a queue. It'd be better if you visit the shop after finishing sightseeing around Asakusa, probably after 15:00.
From the side of the store, the Kaminarimon Gate can be seen as pictured above.
Passing Through the Entrance Appears a Tranquil Space, Full of Japanese Spirit
After passing through the entrance, there'll be a tatami style Japanese sitting area to your left hand side.
On the right hand side, table seats are also available.
Water was served once we sat down and relaxed. In Japan, water usually comes with meals without extra charge.
The menu is hung on the wall as pictured above. We ordered the basic''Zaru soba''(750 yen) and the positively reviewed ''Yamakake soba'' (1000 yen).
''Zaru soba'' Allows You to Enjoy the Natural Flavor of Soba.
First of all, we started from the simple ''Zaru soba''. Soba is served on a tray that drains well.
Soak the soba inside the special dipping sauce and then it's ready to eat. You can also eat it with wasabi and spring onions if preferred. The dipping sauce is not so sweet and has strong-flavor due to the soy bean sauce. The refreshing taste allows one to enjoy the scent of soba noodles.
Ladies' Favorite: the Healthy ''Yamakake Soba''
For people who want to enjoy the grated yam, ''Tororo'', ''Yamakake soba'' here is their best choice. The cold soba is covered heavily by ''Tororo''. The "Tororo" was already perfectly seasoned with dipping sauce. The black thing that can be seen in the middle of the picture is thoroughly flavored seaweed.
Since Namikiyabu's soba noodles have the best natural scent, they can be consumed just fine with just salt. With adequate firmness, the noodles do go down well!
Finally, add the soba yu (the water that soba noodles had simmered in) into the dipping sauce. For soba lovers, it is customary to finish the dish with soba yu.
The fantastic balance is created by mixing the natural scent of soba and the special dipping sauce. It is less sweet, so the aftertaste is quite refreshing and perfect for finishing the meal.
There are many shops with reputable origins in Asakusa. Amongst all these shops, Namikiyabu soba has been loved by people through all generations. The secret of its popularity must be its decent taste and warm treatment towards guests.
It has been mentioned in guidebooks very often. If you want to know more about Japan, or Tokyo's soba noodles, then Namikiyabu soba has to be on your must-visit list.
Address: 2-11-9 Kaminarimon, Taitō-ku, Tokyo-to
Business Hours :Weekdays 11:00-19:30
Wi-Fi: Not available
Credit Cards: Accepted
Multi-language menus: English menu available
Nearest Station: 7-min walk from Asakusa/Tawaharacho station of Ginza Line / A-5-min walking from Asakusa station of Tsukuba express
Price range: 1,000-1,900Yen
Official HP: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/3124405/
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