Zen, Alive. Fukui

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Fukui may not be full of large shopping malls or sightseeing destinations that attract large groups of tourists from overseas, but the lush environment, terroir and distinct climate of Fukui have led to the creation of our outstanding traditional slow food and sake cultures, while Fukui's history and climate have shaped our traditional arts and crafts. Our deep Zen-like spirituality has been handed down from generation to generation, becoming the cultural and historical heritage that lives on today.

Experiencing Fukui’s Food Culture with a Soba-making Hands-on Experience at

Echizen Soba Village


Today’s journey to make soba noodles began with a train ride to JR Takefu Station, followed by a 15-minute drive from there to Echizen Soba Village.

Echizen oroshi soba noodles are perhaps the best known of Fukui’s local dishes.


In Fukui, the standard for soba noodles is to serve them with a dashi-based soup that has plenty of grated daikon radish mixed in, and it’s always served cold — even in winter! As simple as this dish may be, it has a certain addicting quality: try it once, and you’re bound to want it again. In addition to being delicious, Echizen oroshi soba noodles are an iconic part of the diet behind Fukui’s famously long life expectancies, too.


There are many places in Fukui where you can make soba noodles. The place I visited today, Echizen Soba Village, offers hands-on experiences that anyone can join, twice a day.

Let’s get started!


This place is a great choice for beginners — they have friendly English-speaking staff to provide explanations.


First, you add water to buckwheat flour and bring it together into a ball, then you knead the ball until the surface is smooth.

Next, it’s time to roll out the noodle dough.


After we watched a video showing how to roll it out, the staff helped teach me how to use a rolling pin to roll it out to be about 40 cm in diameter.


Finally, I rolled and unrolled the dough around the rolling pin several times to stretch out the outside edge of the dough and give it “corners,” making sure to keep it flat and even. The closer you can get it to being perfectly square, the better!

The last step is cutting the noodles. The advice they gave me was to aim for about 2 mm wide, but one of the nice things about making your own noodles like this is that, if you want, you can cut them as wide as you like.


At this point, my work was done, about 40 minutes after I had started. The staff took care of cooking and serving the soba noodles I’d made.


Here’s how it came out! All that remains is to stir in the grated daikon radish, katsuo-bushi shaved dried bonito tuna, and green onion, and enjoy.


Soba noodles taste even better when you make them yourself!

Echizen oroshi soba noodles have long been a beloved local specialty of Fukui, a prefecture full of great foods and ingredients. The spirit of ZEN can be found in Fukui’s food culture — why not experience it for yourself?

【Echizen Soba Village】

Note: If you would like to do the hands-on soba noodle-making experience, visit the Echizen Soba Village website to make a reservation before you go.

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