PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Honda Shoten - 100 Years of Traditional Raw Soba Making

  • 2 min read


Honda Shoten Soba

They say great things come in threes and this true even in Japan, especially when it come to soba.

Honda Shoten Soba

Japan is said to have three great soba (buckwheat noodles):

These soba have been eaten since ancient times and the way of making them have been inherited and passed down from generations.

Honda Shoten Soba

Izumo soba tends to be darker than regular soba with a stronger aroma and flavor, which comes from grinding the buckwheat noodles with its husk. The flour milling method is called "Hikigurumi" or "one-meal milling", and involves thoroughly kneading the buckwheat seeds into the noodles to produce a more textured and richer flavored soba that has a higher nutritional content than common soba.

Honda Shoten Soba

Honda Shoten uses 100 years of traditional raw soba making methods to create their additive-free, homemade soba made from freshly ground domestic buckwheat flour. The quality is noticeable in the taste and texture, as well as the lack of odor when boiled (this can be common in other soba).

Their noodles are made within an hour of milling in order to preserve the flavor and by leveraging the expertise of generations of soba makers, they've created this natural soba that doesn't require refrigeration yet maintains a freshness when stored at room temperature. 

Honda Shoten Soba

Warigo soba
"Warigo soba"

There are two traditional ways of eating Izumo soba.

The first is having the noodles served in a three-tiered stack, which is called "Warigo soba". This has been done since the Edo period when people would carry their soba to enjoy outdoors. The soup and spices are added first to the top tier of noodles and once those noodles have been eaten, the remaining soup is poured into the second tier to be enjoyed. Once the noodles from the second tier are finished, the soup is transferred once again to the remaining third tier of noodles and then completely enjoyed.

Each tier will have its own distinct taste that changes as you enjoy the different tiers.

Honda Shoten Soba

"Kamaage soba"

The second method is called "Kamaage soba". The soba noodles are boiled, then removed from the hot soba water and put into a bowl without soup. A soup of the hot soba water combined with soy sauce and spices is served on the side, allowing you to adjust the ratio of noddles and soup to your liking. This is a common way to enjoy soba at soba stands.

Hiyashi Chuka
"Hiyashi Chuka"
Photo courtesy of No Recipes

However, Honda Shoten has provided us with a third way of enjoying traditional soba that is perfect on a hot summer's day: using Izumo soba to make a refreshingly cold noodle dish. One of the most popular cold noodle dishes is Hiyashi Chuka, which translates into“chilled Chinese noodle”. Cold noodles are topped with slices of shrimp, ham, chicken or crab, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and a refreshing vinegar soy dressing. Delicious and refreshing!

Learn more about Honda Shoten at

Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Search our shop