Abundant nature, clean air and water and pristine land conditions coupled with big variations in temperature have made the buckwheat crops of Inawashiro the best in Honshu in terms of both quality and quantity. In 1998, Inawashiro declared itself the “Town of Soba” (buckwheat noodles), and since then it has been making every effort to promote its delicious soba all over Japan. When in town, don’t neglect to try some of the famous local specialties like the shugen soba and the godan soba!
Tsunomaki is a confectionery made for the Boy’s Festival in May. Rice flour is mixed with mugwort and kneaded, then anko (read azuki bean paste) is added and the mix is wrapped in bamboo leaves, tied with rush and boiled. Hishimaki is also wrapped in bamboo leaves and tied with rush but this time the filling is mochi (glutinous rice) soaked in water and two leaves are used. It’s eaten sprinkled with kinako, i.e. roasted soybean flour.
Kozuyu is a lightly seasoned soup containing a plentiful assortment of vegetables and seafood. Since the days of old, it has been a standard accompaniment of special occasions like weddings, memorial services, holidays etc.
Inawashiro’s zakuzaku contains daikon radish, taro, carrot, konjac and bamboo sprouts from Mt. Bandai as well as herring and salted salmon. It is primarily eaten on New Year’s Eve or on Setsubun, the holiday for the end of winter (February 3).