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~The Traditional Noodle dish of Yamanashi Prefecture~


    Houtou has hundreds of years of history in Yamanashi and is eaten widely across the prefecture as a traditional noodle dish. It is said that the origins of houtou come from a rice shortage, which introduced wheat noodles into the culinary culture of the prefecture.   





We had an opportunity to prepare this traditional dish which is made from miso soup, fall veggies – pumpkin, carrot, and daikon (Japanese radish) and of course, the signature noodles. The noodles are similar to udon noodles but larger and flatter.


The first part of the process involved mixing the water and wheat flour and kneading it with our hands to make the dough. The dough should feel a little bit gritty in texture. It was very important to make sure it didn't stick to the bottom of the bowl.



We kneaded the dough by hand until it was consistent throughout and then covered it to settle for about 20-30 minutes.     




              Next we rolled out the dough until it reached a uniform thickness and cut lengthwise about 1.5cm apart to make the noodles.







             Once we had our noodles ready we took them back to add to a big pot of homemade miso soup that our teacher for the day, Mrs.Toshie Ashizawa had already prepared. Then we added the veggies; pumpkin, carrot, hakusai and tofuage.   

We served the houtou with tempura (lightly battered and deep fried vegetables) made of shiso, sweet potato and fresh mushrooms picked in the surroundings of the village.





It was a great success!

              After our meal we had the honor of touring the village of Ashigawa-cho with our guide Kaori Noda, a local resident and employee at the city hall. Most of the population in the village is elderly and the village seemed serene and peaceful. Compared to the busy metropolis of Tokyo everyone seemed to be less in a rush and always calmly greeted one another.   



We stopped at a heritage building built over 130 years ago that is now a lovely café. According to Mrs. Noda the atmosphere inside is quite friendly and cozy.

*The tourist spots in the village offer free tea, time, and an opportunity for good conversation.





Tel: 055-298-2833 (Japanese only) Email:

Recess: Tuesdays (and open on holydays)

              About business hours during the Obon festival (a traditional festival dedicated to the families ancestors usually for 3 days between July to October according with the calendric year), as well as Golden week, is required to confirm business hours directly with Otengusan office.


Address: Yamanashi-ken, Fuefuki-shi, Ashigawa-cho, Araihara 1955 Business hours: 10:00 – 15:00



Car: It takes 45min by car from Kofu Station, using the prefectural road 36.


Published on

  • April 15, 2021


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