Hakone Akatsuki-an offers you sublime soba noodle!
Savor handmade, freshly cooked soba noodles at Hakone Akatsuki-an
Japanese culinary culture has been registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage under the heading "Washoku, traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese, notably for the celebration of New Year." Soba noodles--one of the most well-known Japanese foods--are made from soba (buckwheat) flour, which is in turn made from buckwheat seeds. These noodles are particularly popular in the Kanto region.
Visit Hakone Akatsuki-an on the 11th floor to enjoy handmade, freshly cooked soba noodles.
Visitors to Hakone Akatsuki-an can actually watch the soba noodles being made.
The first step when making soba noodles is mixing buckwheat flour with water and kneading the mixture. Hakone Akatsuki-an uses an 8:2 ratio of buckwheat flour to standard wheat flour; juwari-soba, in contrast, refers to soba noodles made using only buckwheat flour and water, resulting in a different texture and flavor.
When the kneading process has been completed, the dough will be a single, solid mass. Its smooth surface is quite beautiful.
A rolling pin is used to spread the dough into a thin sheet.
The spread-out dough is folded over itself and cut into thin strips using a knife to achieve the noodle form.
The "Akatsuki" meal set features an extravagant selection including zaru-soba (soba noodles with dipping sauce), tofu, grilled miso paste and assorted tempura. The handmade soba noodles are smooth-textured, soft and richly aromatic, and provide an approachable taste that anyone can enjoy.
Six types of tempura are included: shrimp, sweet potato, eggplant, pumpkin, okra and one seasonal selection. Each has been fried to perfection with a crispy layer of tempura batter on the outside. The grilled miso paste is delicious whether eaten by itself or added on top of the tofu.
The soba noodles and tempura are each dipped in their own sauce before being eaten. In order to avoid drowning out the taste of the soba noodles, a noodle-to-sauce ratio of 3:1 is standard. Slurping the noodles while eating in order to take in their fragrance and the feel as they go down the throat is commonplace and not a breach of etiquette in Japan.
Toshikoshi-soba refers to the custom of eating soba noodles on New Year's Eve. Because these noodles are easier to cut or bite through than other types, they are believed to bring good luck by "cutting out" accidents and disasters from one's life for the coming year. In October, "new soba noodles" (shin-soba) are made using freshly harvested buckwheat. Shin-soba offer rich aromatic properties and an exceptional taste--why not give them a try and see for yourself?