The ultimate soba experience

October 28th, 2018 by
Category: Cuisine, Experience

Distilled in one plate of noodles an unwavering commitment to quality.

The master

Meet a soba master who embodies the philosophy of  “from field to table”. In order to achieve top quality with his soba, he has mastered the whole production process from farming to cooking. Who better to introduce you to soba tradition in Nagano?

The master is a local, born and raised in one of the villages perched on the foot of the mountains. In the mountainous Nagano prefecture, where cultivating rice used to be a constant challenge, soba (“buckwheat”) was an irreplaceable resource. This was even more the case in the master’s mountain village where many farmers used to cultivate it almost as a form of insurance in case they had a bad rice harvest.

Always familiar with this ingredient since he was child, when he grew up to inherit his father’s farm and soba restaurant the master committed to produce the best soba he could. He reached the conclusion that to guarantee the best quality, he were to take the entire process in his own hands. That’s why now he takes care of the farming (from preparing the soil to harvesting the grains), manipulation (all the way to the milling) and cooking process by himself.

Lake Shirakaba

For this activity you will head to Lake Shirakaba, the reservoir used by the master’s village to grow rice. On the shore of the “lake” stands the minshuku run by the master and his family. You can either take a bus from Chino station or our staff can give you a lift up there.

Learn from the expert

Once arrived at the minshuku, it’s time to learn everything there is to know about soba. The master will share his intimate knowledge with you, explaining how soba is made, what makes good soba and what are the roots of its tradition in Nagano. He will also show you the machines he uses to turn soba grains into flour. An English-speaking guide will be with you all the time to facilitate communication and allow you to ask as many questions as you like.


More kneading









With your newly-acquired knowledge, you can now face soba making. The master will follow you step by step, sharing all the secrets for perfect soba noodles. You will knead the freshly-milled flour, stretch the dough and finally cut the noodles.


…and wrap



The activity will conclude with a compare tasting of your soba and the master’s.

(*With an extra 1,500 yen you can upgrade to a rich soba-based dinner)

Dinner (1-night stay option)

You can also combine this activity with a full-board stay at the master’s minshuku. In which case you can enjoy not only yours and the master’s noodles, but also soba gaki, hand-made miso hot pot, home-grown vegetable tempura, salad, rice and so on. Of course, breakfast on the following morning will also be made with the same delicious vegetables and rice grown by the master.

Minshuku guestroom

Period: all year
Access: about 30 min from JR Chino station
Time: ① 3h or ② 1-night stay with full board
Capacity: Min. 2 persons Max. 8 persons

①Soba experience + 1-night stay with dinner and breakfast included
12,000 JPY (tax excl.)/ person (in standard room, 2 persons 1 room)
12,900 JPY (tax excl.)/ person (in room with unit bath, 2 persons 1 room)
Includes: activity cost, stay in minshuku, dinner, breakfast, English-speaking guide


②Soba experience
6,500 JPY (tax excl.)/ person
6,000 JPY (tax excl.)/ person (3+ participants)
5,500 JPY (tax excl.)/ person (6+ participants)
Includes: activity cost, soba meal, English-speaking guide
*Upgrade to lunch with an extra 1,500 yen/ person

Prices vary for children under 13
Vegetarian and vegan options are available.
Please inform us in advance if you have any allergy or special dietary requirements.
For further information, contact Chino Tabi at

4 Responses to “The ultimate soba experience

  1. We are planning a trip to Nagano and my wife and I are intersted in participating in the soba making session and staying overnight at the minshuku around mid- to late October. What time would we have to be in Chino?

  2. Thank your for the comment!
    The activity usually starts around 2 pm, but we can adjust to your needs and have a later start.
    It takes about 30~40min to get to Lake Shirakaba from Chino station, so if you are coming by train, you should be in Chino around 13:30 (to start at 14:00) or 14:30~15:00 (to start after 15:00).

    Let me know if you have any other questions.


  3. My wife and I would like to book the soba making experience and the overnight stay in the room with the bath for Sunday, October 20. We will be staying in Nagano on Saturday and will visit Matsumoto before heading to Chino. We should have no trouble making the 2pm session. Let me know how to book . Thanks.

  4. Hi Nealson,
    thank you for the comment. Our team will contact you through e-mail about the reservation.


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