Shinshu Soba-Making & Fresh Wasabi Cooking Class

Posted on 2023.10.30 in Activities and Spots

Made from buckwheat, “soba” noodles are eaten throughout and especially in and around Matsumoto. Many Japanese travel to Matsumoto to enjoy our local soba with many international visitors discovering the delectable noodles once they arrive. For the foodies among you, you can take that experience a step further by joining our soba-making class, one that teaches you the process of preparing noodles yourself, accompanied by freshly grated “wasabi” – a local specialty!


Enjoy Shinshu Soba – Famous Throughout Japan!

Soba is grown and enjoyed throughout Japan but ask Japanese which is their favorite soba and there’s a good chance they will reply “Shinshu Soba”! Shinshu is the old name of today what is Nagano and that older title is often used to label local produce including apples, miso and in this case, soba.

Buckwheat has long been grown in the mountainous regions of Nagano

Regarded as some of the best soba in Japan, Shinshu Soba is the signature dish of the region. When that soba is produced entirely from local produce – buckwheat and wheat flour - and local water, we call it “kiri soba”. We think it’s the very best type to try! Our Shinshu Soba-Making & Fresh Wasabi Cooking Class provides the chance to not only try our renowned soba, but make it for yourself as guided by a soba master.

Classes include step-by-step instruction from kneading the soba, to cutting and boiling the noodles. Accompanied by our equally famous wasabi, these classes are designed to provide an authentic local food experience you’re unlikely to find in the big cities.

A step-by-step instruction from kneading the soba to cutting the noodles


The Subtle Flavor of Real Wasabi

Did you know that most wasabi is not in fact real? Wasabi takes a long time and specific conditions to grow, meaning that supply can’t keep up with global demand. As a result, most wasabi is actually green-dyed horseradish known for its bite. Real wasabi, as grown in the famous farms surrounding Matsumoto is more subtle and versatile, and in this region is traditionally served as a garnishing for cold soba.

Our cooking class embraces this tradition with the inclusion of fresh wasabi, that you will grate for yourself to be served with your meal. You’ll be surprised just how different the flavor is to what you’ve come to expect.

Grate over Soba and try for yourself some real, fresh wasabi straight from the surrounding wasabi farms


Head to Asama Onsen for a true local experience!

Our Shinshu Soba-Making & Fresh Wasabi Cooking Class is available from Wednesday to Sunday in the Asama Onsen district of Matsumoto. The meeting point is in directly in front of Tamanoyu Hotel – see map. Meetup is at 10:00 with the tour scheduled to end – where it started - at 14:00.

From Matsumoto Station, you can reach Asama Onsen by:

  • Taxi: operating from outside of Matsumoto Station, the journey takes around 20 minutes and costs approximately JPY2,500 one way.
  • Bus: from the bus terminal at Matsumoto Station, buses take approximately 25 minutes and cost JPY360 on way. There is a bus departing from Platform 1 at 09:21 - see full timetable (Japanese only).

If you need assistance or have questions about getting to Asama Onsen, please contact us directly. We’ll be happy to help!



Alternative Tours in Matsumoto

We offer a range of group and private tours in and around Matsumoto including more exploration of Japan’s love for soba and wasabi:

*please note that the content of these tours is different. Please refer to each tour page for specific details.