The noodle garden of Banshu

The noodle garden of Banshu

If you thought noodles were all made in dour factories, think again

In Banshu, four hours west of Tokyo, noodles are literally hung out to dry. went to see how one particular noodle, called Ibonoito somen, is produced.

The noodles are hung in order to stretch them, using a tool called a hata. They are slowly pulled to reach between 1.6 and two meters. The tricky part is achieving this in adverse weather conditions and against changing winds.

Eventually the noodles will have only 13 percent water content. The full 11-step process can be seen here.

Noodles are usually considered a cheap food in Japan, but you can also splash US$100 on some if you want to try a luxury variety.

Meanwhile U.S. citizen Ivan Orkin has made his name in Japan with his own restaurant as a ramen specialist revered by locals and critics.


Robert Michael Poole is a specialist on the Japanese music and entertainment scene.

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