The Difference: Hiyamugi vs Somen Noodles

When it comes to cold summer noodles, many Japanese people will probably think of “Somen (素麺)” as a noodle dish that is perfect for the hot summer season.

Somen NoodlesSomen Noodles

In addition to Somen noodles, there is actually one more type of wheat noodle that we Japanese often consume during the summertime, which is called “Hiyamugi (冷麦)”.

Hiyamugi is a Japanese noodle made with the same ingredients as Somen and looks just like the Somen noodles. Thus, many people can’t clearly tell how the 2 types of noodles differ from each other.

Have you ever seen both Hiyamugi and Somen noodles? If your answer is yes, what do you think is the difference between them?

The Difference: Somen vs Hiyamugi Noodles

Hiyamugi Noodles

As I mentioned above, Somen and Hiyamugi are made from the same ingredients, that is, wheat flour, water, and salt, with which Udon noodles actually can also be made.

Then, what is the difference between them?

Machine-Made Dried Hiyamugi, Somen, and Udon

According to the Japanese site, when Hiyamugi, Somen, and Udon noodles are manufactured by machine and dried, the difference between them only depends on the thickness, as shown below.

Machin-Made Dried Hiyamugi, Somen, and Udon
Type Thickness
Udon noodles Long diameter: 1.7 mm or more
Hiyamugi noodles Long diameter: 1.3 mm to less than 1.7 mm
Somen noodles Long diameter: less than 1.3 mm

Hand-Made Dried Hiyamugi and Somen

Meanwhile, when Hiyamugi and Somen are produced by hand labor and dried, their definitions are actually the same, that is, what has a long diameter of less than 1.7 mm.

From this, it could be said that hand-made dried Hiyamugi and Somen noodles are essentially the same things.


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.

2 Responses

  1. August 24, 2018

    […] noodles are made by machine, the differences in their diameter are very clear (there’s a chart in this page when you scroll down a bit). However, when they’re handmade, there’s almost no difference […]

  2. September 30, 2021

    […] ceramic and has a deep interior. The capacity limit is 34 oz. It is perfect for ramen, soba, somen, hiyamugi and udon noodles. There are 4 bowls in each set, which can be put in the dishwasher for easy […]

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