Kojimaya: The Best Hegi Soba Restaurant in Niigata

Today, I went out dining at Kojimaya (小嶋屋) to enjoy its buckwheat noodles with my family.

Kojimaya/小嶋屋 is a renowned soba restaurant chain with many locations in Niigata, whose head office is in Tokamachi City.

In the past, the restaurant has presented its buckwheat noodles called Hegi Soba (へぎそば) to the imperial royal family of Japan several times.

What is Hegi Soba?

Hegi Soba buckwheat noodles

Hegi Soba/へぎそば is a regional soba noodle that originated in the Uonuma area in Niigata Prefecture.

One of the main characteristics of Hegi Soba is using seaweed called Funori (布海苔) when making, whose resulting noodles are served on a wooden rectangle tray called Hegi (へぎ).

Kojimaya’s Soba Dish

Soba Cha (そば茶) & Yuzu Shichimi (ゆず七味)buckwheat tea and Yuzu shichimi

Once we entered the soba restaurant Kojimaya, a waiter led us to a table, and a minute after we took our seats, he served us a cup of buckwheat tea or Soba-Cha (そば茶).

Sipping the piping-hot buckwheat tea, we chose and decided what to eat from the menu, and I ordered Gosai Soba (五菜蕎麦), buckwheat noodles with five side dishes.

Gosai Soba (五菜蕎麦)

Gosai Soba (五菜蕎麦)
Niigata Tokamachi Kojimaya Gosai Soba

The five dishes for Gosai Soba were Yasai (野菜: vegetable) Tempura, grated radish or Daikon Oroshi, grated yam or Tororo, boiled spinach, and cooked wild vegetables, which are usually eaten with soba noodles one by one.

Soba soup Wasabi and finely chopped spring onions and Yuzu shichimi

With the Gosai Soba served, I poured broth for the buckwheat noodles from the Sake bottle-like ceramic pitcher into the cup.

Then I sprinkled Yuzu Shichimi (ゆず七味), a spice mix of Shichimi Togarashi and Yuzu citrus, and lastly added in wasabi and finely chopped green onions.

As you can see, the tray comes with two ceramic cups: one is used for eating soba as usual, while the other is for eating soba with side dishes.

The buckwheat noodles have an aromatic fragrance, offering a pleasantly bouncy texture, making a perfect pair with the dashi-rich soba Tsuyu broth.

Soba Yu (そば湯)

Soba Yu

Soon after the waiter noticed we almost finished eating the dishes, he served us Soba Yu (そば湯), the hot water in which soba noodles had been boiled.

Soba yu is mixed with soba soup

We diluted our soba broth with the translucent whitish buckwheat water and finished the dishes.

At the time, the soba restaurant Kojimaya was very crowded, but we could fully enjoy the authentic Hegi Soba noodles!


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

1 Response

  1. September 5, 2017

    […] Hegi Soba is a specialty of Niigata Prefecture that are made using a marine plant called glue plant as a thickener for buckwheat flour.The Japanese word,’Hegi (へぎ)’ means the name of wooden container for the Soba noodles. (If you want to know about Hegi Soba in detail,refer to my past article,please.) […]

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