Man Vs Noodles

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in Ibaragi, Travel Volunteer Journey | 4 Comments
Man Vs Noodles

There are a few stories about the origins of the tradition of wanko soba. The one we were told in Hanamaki was that a travelling lord stopped in at a house and demanded something to eat. The poor local served him a small bowl of plain, cold noodles in the hope that he wouldn’t eat much. But the lord loved them and asked for more and more…
Today this Iwate speciality is served around the prefecture. In Hanamaki, it is continually served over the customer’s shoulder, but where I tried it – in Hiraizumi – they were sold by the dozen. Katy sat and watched in horror, declining to eat anything at all, while I shelved my dignity and let the battle commence. The implausible record stands over 250 bowls; the volunteer Tetsuya, who we met in Miyagi, claims to be able to down 100… I didn’t quite get that far.

Wanko Soba, Iwate from Travel Volunteer on Vimeo.


わんこそばの由来にはいくつかの説がある。そのうちの一つ、花巻で聞いたのはこんな説だ。旅をしていた当時の領主がとある民家で食事を希望した。貧しい民家の主は領主の口に合わない事を願いながら(あまりたくさん食べないで欲しいと願いながら・・・)味のついていない冷たいそばを用意した。ところが領主はそれをいたく好み、どんどんとお代りをした・・・というものだった。 今日、この岩手県名物は県内の至るところで味わう事ができる。花巻ではそばのお代りはお客様の肩越しに次から次へと用意される。が、ここ平泉では12個ごとに提供されるのだ。


  1. Jennifer Lim
    October 6, 2011

    the noodles looks delicious! although i wouldn’t imagine gulp0ing down 250 bowls alike. yikes.
    anyway your chopstick skills are really good! :D
    love this blog x

  2. Ichiro
    October 7, 2011

    Thank you very much for uploading the video and telling about the origin of Wankosoba noodles. I am afraid Moriokans claim another story of the origin, though. As I looked into last year’s record of the noodle competition held in Hanamaki, a guy from Kyushu had 254 bowls in the 52nd competition. Please come back here and have more noodles!

  3. Michelle
    October 7, 2011

    Kudos for trying! :D

  4. Kavey
    October 9, 2011

    24 bowls? Did you really or did your table mates help? :)

    I reckon I could have managed maybe 10 bowls, tops…