So if you’re looking for some Japanese food to try when you’re in Japan, you may give a taste to soba.
These are among the popular types of noodles to eat in Japan.
The normal way to eat these noodles is to dip it a sauce called “tsuyu.” This is somewhat of a salty sauce.
Soba can be prepared hot or cold.
When thinking about “soba” usually it can be thought of as the hot soba. In summer, cold soba can become more popular, and this is called “zaru-soba.”
While you can find soba across Japan, including in Tokyo and Kyoto, it is somewhat of a specialty in the Nagano region. Nagano is an easy bus ride from Tokyo, and you can get a train there too, including with your JR pass. You might plan to stay at least a night or 2. There are hostels in Nagano city.
Where to eat soba
And how much does it cost?
You can commonly find soba at restaurants in Japan.
This includes regular sit-down restaurants that serve all kinds of food…
And it also includes vending machine restaurants!
And you also might find a noodle shop with soba right at the train station too.
There are also specialty shops that make soba their main focus.
At restaurants, soba might be 600 to 800 yen (US$6-8).
For a little extra cost, you also might be able to find a soba meal set that comes with another type of Japanese food.
For example, soba with tempura. Tempura is fried food, and it’s common to get a soba meal with fried shrimp.
Convenience stores and grocery stores
You can also commonly find soba at convenience stores and grocery stores ready-to-eat for maybe around 300 to 400 yen (US$3-4). It’s a packaged cheap meal idea – ready to eat!
Making soba on your own
If you’ll be staying at a hostel in Japan, or another type of accommodation with access to a kitchen, it’s also possible to buy just the uncooked noodles at a store (they come in bundles), and then prepare them in a kitchen.
This is a pretty easy meal to prepare, but you also want to make sure you buy the tsuyu sauce to flavor it with. If you buy tsuyu at the store (also typically available at convenience stores) then you’ll want to water it down.
Soba prepared right in front of you
In Nagano, you might be able to find a restaurant facing the street to watch soba being made!
And if you find that you really like soba when you try it, you can even find cooking classes in Japan that will teach you how you can eat soba at home!
HAPPY EATING SOBA NOODLES IN JAPAN!
How to spend winter in Japan
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)
Food in JapanIf you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)
And also have a look at some of these cooking classes in Japan too.
When the JR pass is worth itIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure. See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
Create your Japan itinerary
- 10 day Japan winter itinerary
- 5 day Kyoto itinerary
- Cost of climbing Mt Fuji from Tokyo
- Where to go for famous Mt Fuji views as seen in pictures
- Know before you go to Hiroshima
- One day in Miyajima with famous floating torii views
- 3 days in Okinawa, Japan's tropical islands
- Cherry blossom photo walk
- When is the JR pass worth it for train travel?
- Tokyo to Kyoto train
- Hostels in Japan