Exploring Morioka’s Three Great Noodles: Culinary Journey


Morioka, a city located in the Iwate Prefecture of Japan, is renowned for its delicious and diverse noodle dishes. Known as the ‘Three Great Noodles’ of Morioka, these culinary delights offer a unique and authentic taste of the region’s rich food culture. This article takes you on a culinary journey through the flavors, traditions, and must-visit restaurants that showcase Morioka’s famous noodles. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and immerse yourself in the vibrant food scene of Morioka.

The History and Significance of Morioka’s ‘Three Great Noodles’

Morioka, a city located in the Iwate Prefecture of Japan, is renowned for its culinary delights. Among its many gastronomic treasures, the city boasts a trio of noodles known as the ‘Three Great Noodles.’ These noodles, each with their unique flavors and preparation methods, have become an integral part of Morioka’s culinary heritage. In this article, we will delve into the history and significance of Morioka’s ‘Three Great Noodles,’ taking you on a culinary journey through taste, tradition, and must-visit restaurants.

Wanko Soba

Great Noodles
Great Noodles

The first of the ‘Three Great Noodles’ is Wanko Soba, a dish that originated in the Edo period. Wanko Soba is a type of buckwheat noodle served in small bowls, and the name ‘Wanko’ refers to the small size of the bowls. This noodle dish is not only a delight for the taste buds but also a test of one’s appetite. In traditional Wanko Soba restaurants, servers continuously refill the bowls as soon as they are emptied, challenging diners to see how many bowls they can consume. This unique dining experience has made Wanko Soba a popular attraction for both locals and tourists alike.



Moving on to the second of the ‘Three Great Noodles,’ we have Jajamen. Jajamen is a Chinese-style noodle dish that has been adapted to suit the local palate. It consists of thick, chewy noodles topped with a rich, savory sauce made from soybean paste, ground meat, and various vegetables. The origins of Jajamen can be traced back to the early 20th century when Chinese immigrants brought their culinary traditions to Morioka. Over time, the dish evolved to incorporate local ingredients and flavors, resulting in a unique and delicious fusion of Chinese and Japanese cuisines.

Morioka Reimen

Morioka Reimen​
Morioka Reimen​

Last but certainly not least, we have Morioka Reimen, a refreshing cold noodle dish perfect for hot summer days. Reimen, which means “cold noodles” in Japanese, is typically made with wheat noodles served in a tangy, vinegary broth. The dish is then garnished with various toppings such as cucumber, kimchi, and boiled eggs. Morioka Reimen gained popularity in the 1950s and has since become a beloved local specialty. Its light and refreshing flavors make it a favorite among locals and visitors seeking respite from the summer heat.

To truly experience the essence of Morioka’s ‘Three Great Noodles,’ one must visit the city’s renowned noodle restaurants. These establishments have perfected the art of noodle-making and offer an authentic taste of Morioka’s culinary heritage. One such restaurant is Yamayuri, a Wanko Soba establishment that has been serving up this traditional dish for over a century. Here, diners can immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere and challenge their appetite with endless bowls of Wanko Soba.

Great Noodles

For those craving Jajamen, a visit to Rairaiken is a must. This iconic restaurant has been serving up its signature Jajamen for over 70 years, delighting customers with its rich and flavorful sauce. The combination of chewy noodles and the umami-packed sauce is a match made in culinary heaven.

Lastly, to savor the refreshing flavors of Morioka Reimen, head to Reimenya. This popular restaurant offers a variety of Reimen options, allowing diners to customize their dish to their liking. From the tangy broth to the perfectly cooked, every bite is a burst of refreshing flavors.

In conclusion, Morioka’s ‘Three Great Noodles’ are not just a culinary delight but also a testament to the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Whether it’s the challenge of Wanko Soba, the fusion of flavors in Jajamen, or the refreshing taste of Morioka Reimen, these noodles offer a unique and unforgettable dining experience. So, embark on a culinary journey through Morioka and discover the magic of these ‘Three Great Noodles’ for yourself.

Great Noodles

Conclusion for Three Great Noodles

In conclusion, exploring Morioka’s ‘Three Great Noodles’ offers a delightful culinary journey that combines taste, tradition, and must-visit restaurants. These three iconic noodle dishes, namely Morioka reimen, jajamen, and wanko soba, showcase the rich culinary heritage of the region. Each dish has its unique flavors and preparation methods, providing a diverse and satisfying experience for food enthusiasts. To fully appreciate these delicacies, visiting the renowned restaurants in Morioka is a must, as they have perfected the art of noodle-making and offer an authentic taste of the local cuisine. Embarking on this culinary adventure in Morioka promises to be a memorable and delicious experience for all.

What are Morioka’s Three Great Noodles?

Morioka’s Three Great Noodles refer to three iconic noodle dishes that originated in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, Japan: Wanko Soba, Jajamen, and Reimen.

What is Wanko Soba?

Wanko Soba is a traditional dish consisting of small servings of soba noodles served in small bowls. Diners are encouraged to eat as many bowls as they can, with servers continuously refilling the bowls.

What is Jajamen?

Jajamen is a savory noodle dish featuring thick, chewy noodles topped with a rich sauce made from soy sauce, miso, and other seasonings, along with various toppings such as ground meat, vegetables, and raw egg.

What is Reimen?

Reimen, also known as Naengmyeon, is a Korean-style cold noodle dish popular in Morioka. It features thin, chewy noodles served in a tangy, refreshing broth with toppings like sliced cucumber, boiled egg, and beef or pork.

Where can I find Morioka’s Three Great Noodles in Morioka City?

Morioka’s Three Great Noodles can be found at various restaurants, noodle shops, and specialty establishments throughout Morioka City, with each dish having its own dedicated eateries.

Are there any recommended restaurants or shops for trying Morioka’s Three Great Noodles?

Yes, there are several renowned establishments in Morioka City known for serving authentic and delicious versions of Wanko Soba, Jajamen, and Reimen, catering to both locals and tourists.

What is the best way to enjoy Wanko Soba?

The best way to enjoy Wanko Soba is to pace yourself and savor each small serving, trying different condiments and toppings provided by the restaurant to enhance the flavor of the noodles.

Is it possible to sample all Three Great Noodles in one culinary journey?

Yes, it is possible to sample all Three Great Noodles in Morioka City by visiting multiple restaurants or participating in food tours or events that showcase the city’s culinary delights.

Are there any seasonal variations or special preparations for Morioka’s Three Great Noodles?

Yes, some restaurants may offer seasonal variations or limited-time specials for Morioka’s Three Great Noodles, incorporating local ingredients or creative twists to enhance the dining experience.

What makes Morioka’s Three Great Noodles a must-try culinary experience?

Morioka’s Three Great Noodles offer a unique and delicious taste of local cuisine, showcasing the region’s culinary heritage, craftsmanship, and hospitality through its iconic noodle dishes.


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