Best Soba in the Middle of Nowhere, Japan
Nakagami Station Soba
Just last week I had the best soba in my life in the middle of nowhere, a five minute walk from Nakagami station on the Ome line. I was on a business trip on the way to a meeting at the Akishima city water purification facility. For those of you who have no clue where akishima even is, it is in the outskirts of Tokyo to the West. Its actually not far from Shinjuku on the Chuo line special express. If you're lucky, the trip will only take you around 45 minutes. But being raised in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Akishima was foreign land.
My boss and I just had about 30 minutes before our meeting and we were desperate for some good food. I had searched for restaurants on the train but hadn't really found anything. We were almost about to settle with McDonalds when a local grandma overheard us talking about Soba and joined in on our conversation. She pointed straight down the road ahead of us and told us there was a famous soba place down there. The purification center was in the same direction and we couldn't miss out on this opportunity.
We were about to give up after seeing many restaurants with their shutters closed when we say a cute yellow curtain with the word "soba" on it. We went up to the menu and were a little surprised by the prices. Most of the sobas were over 1,000 yen, which edges on the expensive side of typical lunches in Japan.
Yet we took the local grandma for her word and decided to try.
The noodles that followed were amazing. I had never had such perfectly made soba in my life before that time. The noodles were perfectly chewy, just the way I like them. Al Dente, as the Italians would say. You could also the taste the flavour of the original buckwheat, a sign that the noodles were truly fresh. The noodles are made right there at the restaurant, which explains why they would be a little pricey.
If you ever find yourself starving in Nakagami, Akishima, you know where to go. The soba heaven restaurant is called "murata" and its a 5 minute walk from the station. Here is a link to its tabelog page:
While I've described the place as if its in the middle of no man's land, its actually only two stops from Tachikawa, which is a nice part of Tokyo thats worth visiting. There's an enormous park there called Showa Kinen Park, built on lands that used to be an army base. Definitely take the extra train ride to Nakagami on your trip to Tachikawa.