23 February, 2011

Tasting Izushi Sara-soba in Izushi

   Izushi is a town in Toyooka city, located in northeastern part of Hyogo prefecture. Back in the day, this town prospered as a castle town of the former Izushi Clan. Many of the buildings that were built during that time still exist today, giving the town a nostalgic atmosphere. Also known as Little Kyoto of Tajima, the area is designated as an important traditional architecture preservation district. Izushi is also famous for its soba noodles, and there are about fifty soba noodle restaurants in the area.

              View of Izushi Castle Town                              Toyooka City Mascot, Gen-san Rice-Cracker
 I found this rice cracker with Toyooka City’s mascot, Gen-san, on a street lined with souvenir stores. They also sold different Izushi souvenirs, like soba noodles and Izushi-yaki pottery.

                          Izushi Sara-soba                              Izushi Pottery Plates 

What is Izushi Soba?
  The history of Izushi Soba began in the Edo period (1603-1868), and by the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, the style of serving soba on a small plate of Izushi pottery was established. There is also the tradition that not only green onions and wasabi but also yams and eggs are added as seasonings

  One order of soba is served on five plates. Soba has nice texture, and the smell of fresh soba fills your mouth after every bite. By adding different seasonings, you can change up the flavors. This style is fairly unique, even in Japan where soba is served all across the country. I’m sure Izushi soba will be popular with soba experts and even people who have never had soba before. Come and try this delicious dish!


  I also visited Izushi’s symbol, Shinkoro. It’s a clock tower that was built in the early Meiji era, and it is still working to this day. The snow-covered Shinkoro was a beautiful sight.

 I walked around the castle town area, but there is still a lot more to see in Izushi.
From a soba-tasting tour to visiting the castle ruins, there are many ways to enjoy this great town. 

Izushi-cho Official Tourism Guide   http://www.izushi.co.jp/index.html (Japanese
Izushi Sara-Soba Cooperative Association  http://www.izushi.jp/sarasoba/ (Japanese)

Izushi Castle RuinsShinkoro Spot Link

Soo (Hyogo Tourism Association)