Rice is said to be the staple food of Japan though, "soba" buckwheat noodles can be another staple food in the mountainous areas where it's hard to cultivate rice because there is no land large enough to make rice paddies. Nagano Prefecture is particularly known as a leading soba-producing district in Japan.
Hoshina Masayuki, the feudal lord of the Takato domain, Nagano Prefecture, in the first half of the 17th century, was ordered to relocate to the Aizu domain, Fukushima Prefecture, by then Tokugawa shogun. When he was in Takato, his favorite food was soba, a specialty of Nagano region, so he took a group of soba-making experts to Aizu. Consequently Takato-style soba was moved to Aizu and has taken root in Aizu under the name of Takato soba. Takato soba, found in Minami-Aizu area focusing on Ouchi-juku in particular, is seasoned by grated Japanese radish with pungent taste and is eaten with a single long green onion in place of chopsticks. While biting the crispy white stalk of green onion, you slurp this uniquely seasoned soba in the spicy cold broth. It's really good!!
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