Japan Train Station “Tachigui Sobaya” (Soba Restaurant)
Enjoy a Scrumptious Bite right on the Platform
As you may know, one of the most used modes of transportation in japan is the train. In the midst of your travel, I am fairly confident that you’ve come across a small “Soba” (noodle) shop within the train station.
The first thought I had in my mind was how traditional this establishment is for Japanese salary man. During the “Edo” period, people traveled up and down from Edo (Now it is called Tokyo) to Kyoto by using the “tokaido” road. Periodically, the rest stops were seen for the people to replenish with food and drink as well as to rest from time to time.
The typical food they serviced were soba, udon, onigiri and such traditional Japanese food for the travelers. That image came to my mind for the people traveling up and down, this time using the JR stations instead of walking all the to their destination. Again, nurturing the body with food and drink at the “tachigui” restaurants located all around the train stations. What a nice image that is for having such a nice tradition carried on for centuries.
These establishments offer nice warm soba or udon dishes during the cold winter time and cold soba or udon dishes for the hot summer period to energize the body before and during work. The types of meal these places offer are geared towards the working people and the prices are very reasonable and serve them rather quickly to meet their busy work schedule.
As a matter of fact, I admit that I do frequent these places in the morning especially to get my morning started. The most recent visits were in Hamamtsu-cho, Shinagawa and Ohsaki stations.
At Hamamatsu cho and Ohsaki station, I ordered Tanuki soba, a hot noodle (wheat based noodle) dish with seaweed (depending on the place), scallions and fried batter on it. When you purchase the meal ticket from the vending machine, the ticket is good for either soba (narrower noodle) or udon (thicker flower based noodle). When you present the ticket at the counter, state your preference as to whether you want to eat soba or udon and with hot or cold broth. They both taste scrumptious and will hit the spot, ready for the morning or the afternoon action.
At Shinagawa station, I decided to try zaru soba – oomori. Zaru soba is like tanuki soba, except it comes with a cold seasoned dipping sauce on the side. Oomori, mean’s the larger quantity. Just like in McDonalds where you can order small, medium or large size soda or fries. The way to eat this dish is to simply place the finely chopped chives, which come on the small dish into the sauce and then dip the noodles into the sauce and go for it. It is as scrumptious as the other dish I described above.
The train station fast food soba shops are very widely used by many Japanese salary men or women and it offers traditional way of eating soba when you have a limited time to nourish your body. The photos I’ve attached here were taken at Hamamatsu cho, Shinagawa and Ohsaki stations.