The mountainous region of Togakushi is perfect for growing buckwheat. Processed together with pure mountain water, the result is high quality soba noodles. After checking out several restaurants in the area, we decided on Yamaguchiya Togakushi Soba restaurant because there were ample parking spaces, the price was reasonable, and kid's sets were available.
The restaurant interior was bright, clean and generally inviting. Despite a packed house, service was fast and efficient, and each of our orders prepared with care. Although budget conscious visitors might balk at the price, the soba noodles were slightly sweet, perfectly al dente and the tsuyuu excellent. It ranks among the best soba I have ever had. Splurge a bit and add wild vegetable tempura to your meal (vegetables vary according to the season). Half the building is a gift shop selling various soba-related items.
Take a bus for Togakushi from JR Nagano Station and get off at bus stop "Chusha-daimon." Parking spaces 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.