The 14th Matsumoto Soba Festival was held at Matsumoto Castle this past three-day weekend October 7 – 9 (Sat – Mon), 2017. Soba, which means buckwheat, is also used to refer to buckwheat noodles. Due to the high altitudes and harsh winters of Nagano Prefecture, soba has long been cultivated as it is a robust crop that can withstand the elements.
Since the festival was held on the outer edge of Matsumoto Castle, you could also enjoy the view of the historic wooden structure while browsing the various stalls. While the castle is walking distance from JR Matsumoto Station, temporary bicycle and scooter parking was also available at businesses around the castle.
With nearly 20 soba vendors from all over the country, there was a variety of tasty noodles and broths to try. Soba is served both hot and cold. While Nagano Prefecture is especially famous for its soba, other vendors representing prefectures such as Hokkaido, Fukui, and Fukushima allowed visitors opportunities to savor their spins on the dish.
Rows of food stalls offered freshly made soba and also dried soba to take home. Local fruits, vegetables, crafts, and more were also being sold, including apples, another Nagano specialty that is now in season. Other food trucks and stalls offered tacos, grilled meats, crepes, and more.
If you missed the festival, fear not, you can still find many local restaurants offering great soba year round!