I always said that the best soba I have ever had is soba made from newly harvested buckwheat that you can only eat once a year in the fall at the Chichibu Shinsoba Matsuri. We still make that yearly pilgrimage to Chichibu. However, my answer changed after visiting Soba Shin Ida (そば心 ゐ田). This is, hands-down, the best soba I have ever had in my almost decade-long stay in Japan. While the restaurant offers a variety of soba sets, there is really only one thing that you must absolutely order: Cold soba with duck meat that you will grill at the table. I hesitated ordering duck. I've had duck that was too tough and gamey. But the friendly master soba maker insists this is the best the restaurant has to offer. And it is. It is in eating the soba that I learned the word 風味 (fuumi which means "superb taste"), as in soba's 風味. The duck was tender and did not have any gamey smell or taste at all. If you're lucky enough to have the master soba maker serve your meal, he will teach you how to cook the meat and enjoy your soba at least five different ways.
From Tsukuba Station (Tsukuba Express), take the Tsukuba Northbound Shuttle (つくバス北部シャトル). Get off at the last stop Tsukuba Yamaguchi (筑波山口). The restaurant is about a 20 minute uphill from there. Parking spaces are available.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.