Enjoying local specialties is always one of the highlights when you are on a trip. My favorite Japanese dish is soba. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and they usually come in two different forms: soba served alongside a cold soy sauce-based dipping sauce and soba served in a warm noodle broth. I really love the refreshing flavors of soba.
Located in Taito Ward near the Kaminarimon gate, the soba restaurant "Namiki Yabusoba" has been open since 1913. This restaurant has been around for a long time and has a stellar reputation for its delicious food. It is often featured in the media and has even appeared in a famous gourmet manga in Japan. If you walk south from the Kaminarimon gate for around three minutes, you will see a white Japanese-style building that has a sign with the Japanese kanji character "yabu(藪)."
An English menu is available in the restaurant, which makes ordering a breeze even for tourists. If you want to try the most basic soba dish, please order "zarusoba." This is the simplest way of enjoying soba where you dip the soba noodles into the cold dipping sauce. When the soba arrives, try it on its own first before dipping the noodles into the sauce.
This allows you to savor the deep flavors and sweetness of the soba noodles. After that, go ahead and dip them in the sauce! Pour some dipping sauce into a small bowl known as a "soba-choko," dip a suitable amount of soba noodles in it and enjoy them!
Soba noodles are very easy on the palate and you will finish them in no time. You can also try adding green onions or wasabi to add a different dimension to the taste of soba. Besides "zarusoba," this restaurant also serves other kinds of soba such as "yamakake soba" (soba topped with grated yam), a tempura soba set, warm "kakesoba," etc.
Namiki Yabusoba is very popular with Japanese people who visit Asakusa as well as the local residents of Asakusa. If you want to try this restaurant without having to stand in line, it's best to drop by outside of peak hours.
Address: 2-11-9, Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
*Please check in advance for business hours and holidays.