Tachigui Soba: Japan’s Fast-Food Phenomenon with a Past

What about Tachigui Soba ?

Hey there! If you’re jetting off to Japan anytime soon, there’s a certain foodie experience you definitely shouldn’t miss: “Tachigui Soba”.

Tachigui Soba literally translates as ‘stand-and-eat soba’. It might seem plain and simple, but the backstory makes it anything but ordinary. It’s an incredible blend of Japan’s rich history, swift modern life, and mouth-watering cuisine.

History of Tachigui Soba

See, Tachigui Soba isn’t a new fad. It actually dates back to Japan’s Meiji era. Back in the Edo period, soba shops were a hit. But, with the advent of the Meiji era and the boom of railroads, these soba shops began to evolve. The Meiji government was super keen on promoting railroads as a symbol of their modernization and military power, which led to rapid railroad expansion since 1872. Station masters were big cheeses back then, often granting commercial rights in stations to important folks who’d contributed to their establishment. This led to the birth of soba and bento shops in station waiting rooms, the precursors of today’s “Eki Soba” or station soba.

Around 1906, ‘station soba’ shops started popping up at Karuizawa Station, Osamunai Station, Mori Station, and the like. It wasn’t just about standing around and chowing down on noodles either. In places like Karuizawa, you could take your soba onboard as station bento. It’s even speculated that people in Hokkaido’s chilly stations would huddle on long benches inside the station buildings to enjoy their soba.

The Charm of Tachigui Soba

Today, the concept has flourished into the quick, delicious, and affordable phenomenon of Tachigui Soba that both locals and tourists alike adore. Despite its simplicity, the craft of soba-making involves intricate skills and deep-rooted tradition. Soba chefs have mastered the art of boiling these buckwheat noodles to perfection, striking the right balance of flavor and firmness.

So, when you’re in Japan, make sure you give Tachigui Soba a shot. It’s more than just a quick bite — it’s a rich, flavorful encounter with Japan’s past and present, all bundled into a humble bowl of noodles. Trust me, you won’t regret it. You’ll be savoring the taste and the history all in one go. Enjoy your trip and slurp up that soba!

Author’s Recommended Tachigui Soba Shops in Tokyo

  • Sobayoshi
  • Yomoda Soba
  • Sou – tei

|Sobayoshi

This standing soba shop, managed by Nakamiya Shoten – one of the long-established bonito flake specialty stores in Nihonbashi, is absolutely obsessed with their broth. Both their ‘kakesoba’ and ‘kakiage soba’ are must-try dishes. The kakiage soba, topped with a generously portioned, fluffy, lightly fried tempura with plenty of shrimp, paired with the exquisite broth, creates a culinary marriage so good, it’ll leave you speechless!

Shop Name: Soba Yoshi Main Store
Address: 1F, Honcho Yamazaki Building, 1-1-7 Nihonbashi-Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Tokyo Metro Mitsukoshimae Station (Exit B6)
Hours: 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays
Payment:Cash only

Image Source:https://gotrip.jp/2016/10/15370/

|Yomoda Soba Ginza Branch

Yomoda Soba is a standing soba shop located in Ginza. They pride themselves on their homemade fresh soba and seasonal mountain vegetables, but what really sets them apart is their curry menu.

We’re talking authentic Indian curry here, folks! Wow! The mildly sweet soba broth and the spicy, punchy curry make for an incredibly harmonious combination. Do yourself a favor and order the soba-curry set. You won’t regret it!

Shop Name: Yomoda Soba Ginza Branch
TEL: 03-3566-0010
Address: 1F Ginza Hakua Building, 4-3-2 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Tokyo Metro Ginza Station (Exit C8), JR Yurakucho Station (Central Exit)
Operating Hours: 7:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Services: Breakfast, lunch, and late-night (past 10 PM) services available, open on Sundays
Closed: Open daily
Payment: Cash only

Image Source: https://b-lunch.com/yomoda-soba.html

|Sou – tei

Sou-tei truly embodies the traditional station soba experience. Located inside the ticket gates of JR Ikebukuro Station, the aroma of its broth attracts numerous passengers. The shop prides itself on its carefully crafted broth, providing a moment of comfort and relaxation for busy Japanese people on the go.

Address: Inside the ticket gates of JR Ikebukuro Station, 1 Minami Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Inside the ticket gates of JR Ikebukuro Station Underground, between stairs for lines 1 & 2 and 3 & 4, next to the women’s restroom
Operating Hours:
[Mon-Sat] 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM
[Sun & Holidays] 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Payment: Cash or transport IC cards

Image Source:http://blog.livedoor.jp/arahi0225/archives/9902048.html