Summer in Tohoku: Nagashi Somen

Summer in Tohoku: Nagashi Somen

Somen (made of rice flour) is traditionally a Chinese noodle that is only around 1.3mm in diameter. However, the Japanese have a unique way of eating it. In the summer, from children to adults, everyone enjoys eating cold Somen noodles since they can be made in under a minute.

This time, we will focus on Japanese “Nagashi Somen”.


Tohoku Brand Somen

People will usually hear that the roots of Nagashi Somen is Western Japan when actually there are locations in the Tohoku region who make their own types as well. “Inaniwa Somen” (Akita Prefecture),”Shiroishi Umen” (Miyagi Prefecture), “Tamagomen” (Iwate Prefecture), “Miharu Somen” (Fukushima Prefecture) are all famous brands of Nagashi Somen in Japan.
Each brand of noodle has its own unique recipe and aren’t limited to just the use of rice flour.


Bamboo Chute

Usually, a bamboo chute is required to have a Nagashi Somen event. However, recently chutes made from plastic or recycled milk cartons, have started to replace the use of Bamboo as it’s easier for anyone to have a Nagashi Somen event.


Flowing down the chute

Though these events are called Nagashi Somen, it’s not only noodles that are sent down the chute. Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, okra and various other vegetables are also released into the water. For desert, it’s common to have fruit like cherries, watermelon and Japanese sweets sent down the chute. Since there aren’t any rules to Nagashi Somen, various places send various things down the bamboo chute.



Nagashi Somen is the perfect cool dish for a hot summer day. Everyone enjoys having a good time and eating tasty food during Nagashi Somen events. Please experience this for yourself when you visit Tohoku next!

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