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 is a famous soba restaurant chain with many branches in Niigata whose head office is in the city of Tokamachi.

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 is a regional soba noodle that originated in the Uonuma area in Niigata Prefecture.

One of the main characteristics of Hegi Soba is to use seaweed called “Funori (布海苔)” when making, and the noodles are served on a wooden rectangle tray called “Hegi (へぎ)”.

Kojimaya’s Soba Dish

Soba Cha (そば茶) and 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 in a minute after we took our seats, he served us a cup of buckwheat tea “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 5 side dishes.

Gosai Soba (五菜蕎麦)

Gosai Soba (五菜蕎麦)
Kojimaya Gosai Soba

The 5 side dishes for Gosai Soba were Yasai (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

After the Gosai Soba came to me, I poured broth for the soba noodles from the small ceramic pitcher like a sake bottle 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.

Actually, the tray comes with two ceramic cups, one is used for eating soba in the normal manner, while the other is for eating soba with side dishes.

The noodles have a nice fragrance of buckwheat, offer 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 saw us almost finishing eating the dishes, he served us “Soba Yu (そば湯)”, the hot water in which soba noodles have been boiled.

Soba yu is mixed with soba soup

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

The soba restaurant, Kojimaya was very crowded as usual, but we could really 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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