If there were a "must-try when you come to Iya" ranking, there is one dish that would probably be in the Hall of Fame after being voted No. 1 for several years in a row.
That is Iya soba. Iya soba has appeared on this site several times and has been introduced several times. I like this ultimately simple and rustic soba. The reason why I like it so much is because it calms me down.
So this time, I would like to introduce a soba noodle restaurant deep in the mountains in Higashi-Iya. The name of the restaurant is
Higashi Iya specialty: Pure handmade soba (buckwheat noodle) Dojo
It's a good name, isn't it? The restaurant is run by three people: the owner, who smiles broadly, the friendly proprietress, and her sister, who is said to have "come back from the city to inherit the taste of the restaurant" in the surrounding area.
I had never had a chance to eat there, even though I was familiar with the place from work, so I decided to take advantage of my vacation to go there.
Soba. What is it? It is a sound that tickles the fancy of Japanese food lovers. I have no idea how to translate it into English, even though there is a specialized verb "takuru" for soba. Soba is truly a uniquely Japanese food culture.
Even I, who have not eaten so many meals in my life, feel a sense of tension or a little uplifted when I come to a soba restaurant. I guess it is because I feel as if I am performing a joyful ritual at the same time, even though I am simply coming to eat.
However, as I mentioned earlier, I was familiar with everyone at this soba dojo, so I walked through the curtain and looked up at the menu with a rather familiar "Hello! (I was a little nervous inside, though. lol)