Since entering Fukui prefecture the night before, I have been seeing the words "Echizen Soba" everywhere. Upon knowing Fukui's famous soba product, we decided to have it for lunch. Driving along Fukui City's major road, we spotted a family restaurant with an almost full car park and decided to join the crowd.
Although it was quite dark inside, many tables were already occupied despite it not being lunch time yet. The menu was extensive, set meals with rice and soba, cold and hot soba, spring and summer set meals, as well as meals for children. There was even an all-you-can-eat soba plan available from 2pm on weekdays. If you are not into soba, there are also a few somen choices from spring to autumn.
In Fukui, buckwheat is usually grinded on a traditional mill stone slowly so it retains the flavor. As such, the soba had a stronger buckwheat taste than the usual ones. There are many others around, and every one is different. Do take time to find your own favorite Echizen soba!
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I still clearly remember the day I first landed in Japan, and since then it has been my goal to set foot in all 47 prefectures. I try to look for less touristy areas, preferring the countryside to the city. I'm always amazed by the many Haagen Dazs and ice cream flavors available only in Japan.