Wanko Soba Challenge in Iwate



Soba is a traditional Japanese noodle made from buckwheat and is a common dish eaten in Japan. If you wish to stuff your stomach with the maximum amount of Soba, we recommend you take a trip to Iwate and  the unique “Wanko Soba” Experience! Here we will uncover all the secrets of Wanko Soba.

What is “Wanko Soba”?

View this post on Instagram

昔から一度やってみたかった、わんこそば🥢 盛岡での仕事終わりに同僚と実食😋 お椀に入ったひと口サイズの蕎麦を給仕のおばちゃんが、掛け声をかけながら、どんどんお代わりを入れてくる。次に入れられる前にお椀に蓋をしたら終了。 大人の男性の平均が60杯らしい。途中で苦しくなったけど、100杯を超えると証明手形を貰えるとのことを知り、なんとか100杯を完食!手形をゲット👍普通のかけそば7杯分。しばらく蕎麦はいいかな💦 #わんこそば #わんこそば東屋 #盛岡 #盛岡三大麺 #同僚と合わせて200杯 #最近食べ過ぎ😂 #フードファイターになった気分 #この店の最高は本物の女性フードファイターが570杯完食とのこと😱

A post shared by Kazu S (@shanshanyibo6720) on

“Wanko Soba” is an “All-you-can-eat” of Soba. It is a tradition started in Iwate Prefecture, located in Northern Japan. What makes it unique is the serving style. A small portion of Soba is arranged in a bowl, which at first glance, will give the impression that it is too little. However, after you finish swallowing up your soba, the staff will pour in a new portion of Soba in your bowl. The serving and eating will continue along with the rhythmical chant “Jan! Jan!” and “Don! Don!”, which will last until you put the lid over your bowl to stop the soba to be poured!

Where to eat “Wanko Soba”?

As explained above, Wanko Soba is a local specialty of Iwate Prefecture. It is worth traveling 3 hours by bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka city of Iwate, to have your best Wanko Soba experience. “Azuma-ya” is the most popular of all restaurants serving Wanko Soba. There is a total of 4 branches, but the main branch, renovated from a traditionally styled building, will allow you to enjoy the atmosphere as well.

Here they make the Soba softer than the original, by increasing the amount of flour, to make it easy to eat. The Soba will be dipped in a thick soup of “dashi” for several seconds and soon put in the bowl.

There are 2 different courses differing on the amount and volume of the condiments, but whichever course you pick, you will be able to eat as much of Soba you desire. However, do remember that these condiments will play a big role to change the taste for you to keep eating!

Address (Main Branch): 1-8-3 Nakanohashi-Dori, Morioka 020-0871

When should I stop eating “Wanko Soba”?

As explained many times already, you can eat “as much as you want”, but for a measurement, note in mind that 15 bowls will equal to 1 normal set of Soba. The average number of bowls is 60 for Men, and 40 for Women.

At Azumaya-ya, you will be certified with a “Tegata” by managing 100 bowls of soba, which is worth a try. To share with you some fun facts, the maximum bowl of soba eaten is 570 bowls! The tip for the challenge is not to drink all the soup in your bowl. There is a tub at the table to throw away your soup.

Is there a place to eat “Wanko Soba” in Tokyo?

Currently, there is no restaurant serving Wanko Soba in Tokyo, but there is one restaurant in the neighbor Yokohama. “Tachibana” is the only restaurant serving Wanko Soba at the Kanto area, so if you do not have the time to travel to Iwate, drop by at this restaurant!

Address: 5-13, Hakuraku, Kanagawa-Ku, Yokohama-Shi, Kanagawa 221-0065