Popular noodles that you should try in Tokyo
Noodles from Japan, such as ramen and traditional udon and soba noodles, are highly popular dishes that are now served at Japanese restaurants all over the world. At many restaurants they are quite affordable. It is not unusual for visitors to Japan to include a meal of ramen or other types of noodles on their to-do list.
Ramen is served with broth with a rich variety of flavor options, such as pork bones, soy sauce, miso (bean paste), and salt. In addition, the noodles come in different thicknesses and hardnesses to suit your taste, which is another distinctive feature of ramen. Udon and soba noodles differ among regions in the ingredient used for the soup stock. Generally, the soup is light in West Japan while it has a strong flavor and dark color in East Japan.
You can enjoy the different tastes of noodles in various parts of Japan. Tokyo has branches of good noodle restaurants from all over Japan, allowing you to compare the taste of local specialties.
Attractiveness of soba drawing attention in recent years
Among the many types of noodles in Japan, such as ramen and udon, soba has been attracting increasing attention in recent years. Soba has a long history and is a familiar food for the Japanese.
Perhaps many of you know soba (buckwheat) flour because it is used for foods such as galette. Some of you may have tried Japanese soba noodles in your own country. In Japan, however, you can enjoy both soba noodles served chilled with a dipping sauce and noodles in hot broth. You can also enjoy those noodles with various toppings, such as tempura and sansai (cooked wild vegetables), which is another attractive feature of soba.
Another reason why Soba is so popular is that it can be prepared quickly and easily. In places like station platforms, you will see those tachigui restaurants, with travellers hastily consuming their soba while standing at a counter.
Beware of soba allergy!
While soba has a history and has been loved by people as a Japanese dish, you should learn about soba allergy so that you can enjoy this food in Japan with peace of mind. Soba allergy is an allergic reaction to a protein contained in buckwheat flour. Even if the amount consumed is small, the allergic reaction can cause symptoms such as anaphylactic shock, which is likely to become severe. Accordingly, you should be careful if you have never eaten a food derived from buckwheat flour.
For people who have allergies to food other than soba, the ingredients of foods they eat in Japan may be a concern. If you can’t communicate well in Japanese, you should use the Allergy Communication Sheet issued by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Information contained in this sheet is written in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean. For people who don’t understand any of these languages, the sheet shows pictures of ingredients that cause food allergies. Use this sheet to check the ingredients of each food, and you can tell people from restaurants correctly that you are allergic to particular ingredient(s).
Among Japanese noodles, soba has a long history. It is an affordable food that can be enjoyed in a wide variety of ways. This is why it is recommended that you should enjoy soba in Tokyo, where this safety measure is taken.
Food hygiene initiatives taken by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Strict hygiene control is essential for ensuring that anyone can enjoy delicious dishes with a sense of security.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government takes a full range of hygiene control initiatives. In addition to inspecting perishable food products and checking hygiene conditions of markets, food manufacturing facilities, and restaurants, the government takes comprehensive measures including examination and research, public relations activities, establishment of a crisis management system in response to emergencies, and initiatives for ensuring appropriate food labeling. In addition, staff members and researchers from related organizations, who have specialized knowledge, are committed to constant hygiene control. The activities of these people, which are usually invisible to the public, support the food safety of the Tokyo metropolis.
The proof of safety displayed in restaurants will allow tourists to enjoy food with a sense of security. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has introduced the Food Safety Certification System. Facilities certified under this system display the TOKYO FOOD HYGIENE MEISTER sticker, showing that the facility maintains hygienic conditions and that you can enjoy dining there with a sense of security.