Hirobun Nagashi Somen (ひろ文)

Bridget Peh

Mar 6, 2017

I suppose ramen, soba, and udon are Japanese noodles already very familiar to us. But there is actually one type of noodle I bet many haven't heard before, Nagashi Somen (流し素麺)!

Nagashi Somen is a unique way of serving the thin white noodle via flowing cold water, conventionally slide down from sliced bamboo pipe. Diners will have to use chopstick to pick up the noodles as they float down from the bamboo pipe, dip them into cold dipping sauce before eating, as would the way they eat cold soba.

The most famous Nagashi Somen can be found at Hirobun restaurant, situated in Kibune, Kyoto. They only serve Nagashi Somen in the Summer, when you can sit on a platform "Kawadoko (川床)" with the river as background while having fun enjoying your noodle in a bizarre manner. But you will have to be skillful and quick though, noodles that aren't caught will not be re-cycled. And when you see the red somen coming, that means it's your final chance before giving up your seat to others in the queue. Chances are, you will not feel full after the session, but it's the experience you are after anyway.

Because of the tedious set up, the restaurant can only accommodate about 8 diners for Nagashi Somen at any one time, and each session takes around 15 minutes. But expect to wait 90 ~ 120 minutes in the queue, and you'd better make sure you understand your queue number in Japanese.

Getting there:

Hirobun is located deep inside the mountains and some 50 minutes drive away from city center. Hence getting there is by no means easy. You can take Eizan Electric Railway Kurama Line to Kibuneguchi, from where you will have to transfer a local bus for Kibune. You will then need to walk approximately 800 meters to Hirobun after you alight.

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