Iya, one of the three major mystical regions of Japan, lies deep in the mountains of the western-most region of Tokushima Prefecture. Though there is a marked difference in temperature between night and day, it is basically a cold region, which is ideal for growing cold-loving soba (buckwheat). As it has been grown here since time immemorial, the area now yields high-quality soba seeds.
So, it’s no surprise that the local gourmet cuisine is soba noodles.
Very little binder is used when making Iya soba, so it is remarkably easy to slice thinly and has a smooth texture. It is also thicker and shorter than regular soba. However, the number of restaurants selling thinner and longer Iya soba has increased in recent years.
To research this article, we went to try out the Iya soba at Seiryu no Sobadokoro Iyabijin, a restaurant near Kazurabashi Bridge, the most famous tourist spot in Iya.
As the name Seiryu (clear stream) suggests, the beautiful Iya River flows just below the restaurant. Well, “just” below might be an overstatement, it’s actually pretty far down.
The terrace is nice and refreshing, and there is also a ‘peeing-boy’ statue there. Or rather, a ‘peeing tanuki’ (Japanese racoon dog) statue.
This is how the Iya River looks from his perspective! Although the scenery is amazing, it’s high enough to make a person who’s afraid of heights (like me) shiver and tremble!
Luckily, I managed to pull myself together and try the soba. I ordered the bokeagesoba off their famous menu. Bokeage is a gigantic piece of aburaage (deep-fried tofu) that’s sold at the local supermarket.
A hearty piece of bokeage, made from local iwatofu, is placed on top of the noodles. Now, this is the kind of food you can get no other place.
The large and thick bokeage is beyond delicious.
Both the flour and the noodles are handmade, and the noodles are smooth with a rich flavor and sweetness.
Be sure to drop by and try out the Iya soba & bokeage combination when you come and visit Kazurabashi Bridge.
Seiryu no Sobadokoro Iyabijin
Address: 9-3 Nishiiyayamamura Zentoku, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture
Open: 8:00～17:00 everyday
Closed: No regular holidays
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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