Wasabi Soba in Yanaka

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HI351780      During Obon holidays I was in Tokyo where my family’s grave is. I had an interesting experience at a soba, or buckwheat noodle, restaurant near the grave yard when I visited there last week.

     Obon is a Buddhist festival to recognize ancestral sprits and many people take days off and visit their relatives’ graves during the period. HI351776

     My family grave is in an old historical place named Yanaka, where it is said that there are more than 60 temples. Yanaka has not only temples but also many Edo flavored shops and restaurants. So it’s a tourist attraction like Kyoto. 150x150_481823

     After visiting the grave, I enjoyed strolling in the area. There are many shops of senbei, or hard rice crackers, and Japanese antique shops around there. It was nice to even look around. Then I went to a soba restaurant with my family. 

     The soba restaurant, Kawamura, is well-established. I ordered wasabi soba. Wasabi is a kind of Japanese herb and is used as condiment, and tastes very sharp. So, the waitress who I ordered it asked me, “Ah…the soba is very strong…are you all right?” with a worried look. I got interested more in the soba by her words and said, “Yes. I’ll eat the soba, please!”HI351781

     The waitress brought me the soba after a while grinning and said, “You don’t suck in the soba, OK? Eat it carefully and slowly, please. Otherwise you’ll get a bad cough! Enjoy it!” And she went back to the kitchen looking back at me.

     Is it such a dangerous food? I tried to have a bite of the soba cautiously…谷中1

     The soba bit the nose! The taste was very good, but I had to eat it with tears in my eyes. Too strong! I couldn’t stop myself tearing. All the waitresses of the restaurant looked at me with smiles.

     One of the waitresses came to me and said, “Are you OK? I hope you did enjoy it! Have a nice day!” when I went out of the restaurant. I’d like to try the soba again someday!

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