Did I mention the last time I had soba? Maybe not. Well, it was in 2012 when I flew to Japan for the first time. Soba was the in-flight meal. We all know that airlines’ in-flight meals suck (sometimes). So I never bothered eating soba again since I had that meal. But there’s one nice restaurant that made me eat soba again—the Ebisu Honten Soba Restaurant in Hida Takayama. Read through!
After touring the Hida Folk Village, I went back to the hostel to check on my hungover husband. It was already 2 o’clock in the afternoon and we both hadn’t had lunch yet. Since he was feeling sick, I suggested that we eat noodles for lunch.
I checked my TripAdvisor app and looked for a recommended noodle restaurant around us. We found Ebisu Honten, which was only a quarter-mile away. The place wasn’t hard to find when you have Google Maps. As soon as we saw the English sign outside the restaurant we immediately went inside and reserved a table for two.
A super friendly old lady greeted us right away and served us complimentary hot green tea. The restaurant had very nice rustic traditional Japanese interiors and tatami-mat seating area. The English menu was very detailed; explaining how the noodles were made and the ingredients the soup will contain.
While we waited for the order, the staff gave each of us a very nice welcome origami crane as a gift, along with a message with an ID and password written so that we can use the free WiFi in the restaurant. Talk about being hospitable!
According to Lonely Planet, Ebisu Honten has been making handmade soba since 1898. You could see their dedication in making the noodles. Their cook was very serious as he prepared our order while I watched him from behind the noren (Japanese restaurant curtain). I was careful to not stare for too long, though.
Not more than 15 minutes later, our soba arrived. I ordered the Tempura Soba (1,350 yen) while my husband ordered…something. I completely forgot what it was called. HEHE. I do know that he ordered a soba with mountain potato and more vegetables in it.
My Tempura Soba was topped with minced ginger, narutomaki (Japanese fish cake), onions, and vegetables. Everything melts in your mouth with this divine taste, and the soup was consistent with its flavor—it was perfect! It was the first soba noodle bowl that I ever finished in my entire life. And I fell in love with soba again. My husband loved his soba too.
Everyone visiting Hida Takayama should eat at this precious place. They offer a variety of soba and udon dishes. Next time we come in here, we will try their cold soba noodle, which the locals always eat.
Address: 46 Kamininomachi, Takayama 506-0845 , Gifu Prefecture
Google Maps: Ebisu Honten
Tel. no: +81 577-32-0209
Price range: 800 to 1,650 JPY