Sobazukuri is the art of making Japanese buckwheat noodles, while shinrinyoku means to take in the forest atmosphere – it describes a sense of relaxation when you are immersed in nature, surrounded by greenery. Travelling to a remote valley, learning to make Japanese Soba noodles from locals, eating an amazing lunch together, walking into a wild gorge to experience the awesome beauty of Japanese nature – these are just some of the highlights of this private one-day tour.
Making soba is a perfect entrance into Japanese cuisine and culture – whether you have limited cooking experience or are a Michelin-starred chef, there is nothing like learning to make a dish from those who have been making it their whole life. On this trip, a local will show you the whole process of making soba – from mixing the flour and kneading the dough, to chopping and boiling the noodles. The vast majority of the ingredients you’ll use are grown and harvested in the valley, lovingly prepared by the very lady who teaches you. After we’ve made the food, we’ll all sit down together to eat the product of your hard work.
Following a filling lunch, we’ll head a minute up the valley to the Namekawa gorge, a place of wild beauty. The walking here is not difficult and traces the river back to the head of the gorge – the appropriately named Belly of the Dragon. Standing next to (or in if you’d prefer!) the waterfall at the end of this chamber, looking down the gorge, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world, a lost world. The walk takes approximately 60 mins and offers you the chance to get away from urban Japan. We promise that the hustle and bustle of Tokyo will seem a million miles away as you breathe the fresh mountain air, get off the beaten track, and immerse yourself in nature.
The following is included:
This private one-day trip starts at 9 am and runs until approximately 4 pm. A local guide will meet you at Dogo station in Matsuyama City. From there you’ll travel for approximately one hour to the valley. Please get in touch if you’d like to meet at another location. This tour includes:
- transport to the heart of the Japanese countryside
- learning to make soba (buckwheat) noodles with local residents
- lunch (soba noodles and some homegrown extras)
- walking through a gorge
- having tea in the Belly of the Dragon
- transport back to Matsuayama – drop off at Dogo Tram Station.
- Optional: A dip under the waterfall(!)
Some more details