Oshibori Udon at Kohaku — Togura Kamiyada Onsen’s Specialty Food

August 30th, 2009 by
Category: Cuisine, Information, Onsens (Hot Springs)

Whenever friends come from out of the Prefecture or from far away, we want to treat them to a meal that they can’t get anywhere else. Nagano Prefecture as a whole is known for buckwheat soba noodles, but Togura Kamiyamada Onsen has its own specialty: a spicy udon dish called Oshibori Udon.

Oshibori Udon

Oshibori Udon

Lately, Oshibori Udon has been gaining in popularity so restaurants in Ueda and Nagano City and other surrounding areas are starting to offer it. But it originated from here, because this area is the only place where you can grow properly spicy “nezumi” daikon radish. It’s a stubby white radish with a little tail that makes it look like a “nezumi” (mouse). People often ask if the soil around here is so good as to make this special daikon. However, it’s actually because the soil here is so poor that we get such spicy radishes — the radish’s growth is constricted so the spiciness gets extra concentrated!

To make Oshibori Udon, you grate the nezumi radish and press out (“shibori”) the juice, then mix in sweet Shinshu Miso (if not, it becomes too spicy to eat); finally you dip the udon in it and eat. This is Oshibori Udon. Typically it’s known as a midnight snack after a night of drinking, because it is gentle on the stomach. But it’s a very healthy food, and is gaining in popularity for lunch and regular dinner, too.
Here in Togura Kamiyamada Onsen, there are several restaurants that specialize in Oshibori Udon. One of those has been listed in the Zagat Nagano Guide: Kohaku. Kohaku is hidden in the middle of the narrow, windy streets of Kamiyamada Onsen’s bar district. The interior features tables with irori hearths and other antiques, giving it a feel of a traditional old farmer’s house. The people running Kohaku have been working with nezumi daikon for long enough that they know where to get the spiciest ones.

Entrance to Kohaku

Entrance to Kohaku

So if you come to Togura Kamiyamada, after your soak in the onsen, try out the spicy udon at Kohaku!

Kohaku
1-44-4 Kamiyamada Onsen, Chikuma City
Tel(026)276-2787
Open from 18:00~23:30(L.O.) on Mondays thru Saturdays,
and 1:00~22:30(L.O.) on Sundays.
Closed the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays.
Also open for lunch from May to October, 11:30~13:30 (L.O.)
Details: Related Home Page (Japanese Only)

Enjoying spicy udon with fellow Ambassador, Ono-san

Enjoying spicy udon with fellow Ambassador, Ono-san

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