The Japan’s 3 Best Somen Noodles Brands

It is getting warmer and warmer day by day in Japan.Accordingly, when I go shopping at a convenience store near my house, these days I see several kinds of pre-made cold ramen noodles lined up on the shelf.

When it comes to Japanese noodle dishes that are served cold, Tsukemen noodles and Somen noodles are representatives of such noodle dishes, and they are perfect for summer.

Tsukemen (つけ麺) consists of wheat noodles and the soup for dipping the noodles, so the noodles and soup are served separately.It is said that the noodle dish was created by a ramen shop in Tokyo, Taishoken (大勝軒), in 1955.Hence, Tsukemen is a modern Japanese noodle dish.

On the other hand, Somen (素麺) is a traditional Japanese noodle surprisingly with over one thousand years of history.It is the fine white noodle made from wheat flour.Since Somen are dried noodles in general, it is boiled first.After that, we cool down the noodles with water with ice or running water, and then wash them by hand in order to remove the sliminess.We usually eat chilled Somen noodles, dipping them in cold Mentsuyu soup in a cup.

The Japan’s 3 Best Somen Noodles Brands

As Somen has such a long history, there are various brands of Somen noodles in Japan.Among those Somen brands, have you ever heard of the Japan’s 3 best Somen noodles (三大そうめん) that are widely and generally known in Japan? Today, I want to introduce the 3 brands known as the Japan’s 3 best Somen noodles.

Ibonoito (揖保乃糸)

Ibonoito (揖保乃糸) is the most famous Somen brand in Japan, which is known as the Japan’s best-selling hand made Somen.It is said that the origin dates back to more than 600 years ago, and this Somen is produced around the city of Tatsuno, Shisou and Himeji, located in the middle basin of Ibo river, in Hyogo Prefecture.Ibonoito Somen features its smooth and chewy texture and the original flavor of wheat.

Miwa Somen (三輪素麺)

Image : Wikipedia

Miwa Somen (三輪素麵) is the Somen noodle produced in the Miwa region around the city of Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, and known as a specialty of the region.This Somen has the longest history of about 1300 years among all Somen brands in Japan.Therefore it can be said that Somen has its roots in this Somen.Miwa Somen is annually made only for a limited time during the winter season, from November to March.This Somen features its unique, chewy texture and hardly breaks into pieces.Hence, this Somen is suitable for being served hot.

Shodoshima Somen (小豆島そうめん)

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Shodoshima Somen (小豆島そうめん) is the hand-stretched Somen produced on Shodo-Shima Island in Kagawa Prefecture.The most striking feature of this Somen is that sesame oil is used when the Somen noodles are stretched by hand.Thus this Somen has a yellowish color and unique flavor that are somewhat different from those of other Somen brands.


I'm Japanese living in Niigata Prefecture,Japan.I want to introduce things about Japan,especially unique Japanese products,sightseeing places,my daily life and Japanese culture.

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