Buckwheat flowers are generally known to be white but there is very unusual field of red buckwheat flowers in Minowa town, Kamiina gun, Nagano. It’s called “Aka soba no Sato” in Japanese, and since the field is the biggest in Japan, a lot of TV media and magazines are reporting about this area these days.
The history of this red buckwheat started in the 1970’s. A professor of Shinshu University heard about the red buckwheat flower in the Himalayas so he visited and needed to travel 4000 meters high up into the mountains. There he found the field and wanted to bring the beautiful flowers back to Japan. After years and years of breeding he succeeded in making this red buckwheat flower.
This place used to be corn, chesnuts, wheat, and buckwheat fields. In 1997, the buckwheat association in Minowa started to sow red buckwheat. Then in 2006, The red buckwheat group started in Kami-furuta district. They have a lot of “Omotenashi” hospitality spirit.
From 15th Sep to 7th Oct they open a seasonal Soba restaurant (Only open during this time of year!) and you can enjoy “Red soba noodles” and also white soba noodles. They are very popular. Watch out though, it’s first come first served!
On 29th and 30th September there is “The Akasoba flower festival.”
You can enjoy soba noodles freshly made in front of you and buy local vegetables and products.
( in Japanese)
Accsess by train: JR Iida line, Ina-matsushima station.
From station, 20mins by taxi.(0265-79-2455 Minowa taxi)
Highway bus stop: Chuo-expressway Minowa.
From bus stop, 10mins by taxi.(0265-79-2455 Minowa taxi)
Car park: Available nearby (Free of charge)