There are long-standing businesses that you grow up with as a child. Then there are those that have been established long before your parents’, or your grandparents’ time.
Honke Tsuruki Soba 本家 鶴㐂そば has been serving up traditional hot and cold soba in Otsu, Shiga for close to three centuries. Located a brief 10 minute walk Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine, the restaurant is housed in a sizeable building overlooking a quaint neighbourhood.
Although it’s pretty popular among Japanese tourists, the queue moves pretty quickly as most diners do not linger long after their meal. Enter your name and number of diners on the waiting sheet, and hang around for about 10 – 20 minutes before the efficient staff summons you into a cozy dining area.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to score a seat next to a gorgeous garden. Otherwise, a table in the outer dining area is as cozy. A bustling, yet relaxed atmosphere permeates Honke Tsuruki Soba’s premises, with an occasional sound of diners eagerly slurping up their soba. A retail corner where you can take home some of the restaurant’s signature ingredients completes the picture.
Served hot or cold, the soba yields a robust taste and smooth texture that is simply comforting for Japan’s chilly autumn months. The broth is equally tasty. A variety of toppings, such as tempura and yuba are also available, and you can even order a Oumimusuri Soba (¥1,630) to sample Honke Tsuruki’s soba with three different toppings!
If you’re travelling to Otsu, do make a pit stop at Honke Tsuruki Soba for some bites with a side of history. It doesn’t get any more authentic than this!
Address:4-11-40 Sakamoto, Otsu City, Shiga
Nearest Train Station: Sakamoto-Hieizanguchi Station
Opening Hours: 10am – 5.30pm daily