Text: Minori Mukaida

In Japan, soba has long been known as a food that can bring you good fortune. Especially on New Years Eve, soba (misoka-soba), is nearly universally eaten by the Japanese, as it augurs good luck and vibrant health, and severs the strain of any of the previous year’s bad karma. Traditionally, soba was one of the few foods that Zen monks and spiritual ascetics were allowed to eat due to its well-balanced nutrition. Today, soba is a familiar everyday food that brings joy to the young and old.

During the challenging postwar period, the 14th generation of our family created “Horai-soba” with the hope that more people would enjoy this wonderful food. The name is derived from a legend that says “when you eat buckwheat noodles, treasure (hou) will come (rai) to you.” Even now, more than a half-century after the dish’s name was coined, I believe it captures soba’s spirit absolutely.

I’m so pleased that Hourai-soba has come to be well-known not only in Japan but also overseas as a specialty of Honke Owariya. I am sure the 14th generation of the family would have been surprised and overjoyed to see so many foreigners enjoying Horai-soba.

At Honke Owariya’s main restaurant, there are many patrons who order Horai-soba for their family’s special occasions: for anniversaries and celebrations, or after visiting the family grave, or occasionally to ritualize a new beginning…. We are honored that many of our customers continue to choose Honke Owariya and Horai-soba for their life’s milestones.