Watching Shoji, the chef at Shojiya, made me realize that making soba is an art that involves passion for this Japanese buckwheat noodle, mastership of the ingredients and tools, plus a good portion of muscle power. This young soba chef trained at a well-known Tokyo soba restaurant and their overseas branch in New York before returning to the family business in Yamagata. His father, the 4th generation soba master runs the main family restaurant while the son, the 5th generation soba master, runs a branch. Of course he speaks English well and he is able to explain all you want to know about soba. Freshly made right in front of your eyes and according to the family recipe, soba at Shojiya is the ultimate soba experience in Yamagata City, and I dare say, well beyond.
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Celebrating my 10th year anniversary in Japan in May 2018, the country that I call home now. I lived in crazy Tokyo for 6 years and since 2011 I call the Kii Peninsula (Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama) my home. I have visited all 47 prefectures of Japan and for the last 4 years I have worked as a guide for foreign visitors. My special interest is in Japanese nature and spirituality. I love spending time in the forest and mountains and I love visiting temples and shrines. I am also a licensed guide for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails and for Koyasan, the Buddhist monastery, in addition to being a practitioner and guide for Shinrin Yoku (Forest Therapy). In recent years I have taken visitors to walk the Kumano Kodo trails, the Nakasendo trail, the 88 temple pilgrimage trail around Shikoku Island and to Dewa Sanzan, the three sacred mountains in Yamagata Prefecture. If you look for nature and spirituality in your trip to Japan, then Wakayama, Nara and Yamagata Prefectures are ideal places to get started!