what is Nagashi Somen?
Nagashi-somen is one of the very popular summertime events in Japan. Somen noodle is a very thin noodle made of wheat flour, and it is a popular Japanese noodle, often eaten cold. Since it is so thin, it only takes a few minutes at most to boil the noodles, and it’s often eaten simply as just with broth and green onions.
Nagashi-somen is an activity where you try catching noodles that are shooting down a split bamboo pipe with cold running water. It requires a good chopstick maneuver skill to quickly catch those bundles of somen noodles, dip them in the soy-sauce based broth, eat, and repeat the process as the noodles keep coming down the pipe. It is mostly done outside and is perfect as a party entertainment. There are restaurants in Japan that offer visitors an experience of nagashi-somen, but you would definitely need to visit during summer.
Alternatively, there are also several nagashi-somen machines that you can setup indoor (probably on the kitchen table) so that you can enjoy the dish year-round. It looks like a small lazy river where somen noodles would be slowly swimming along with the current. Although it is a nice concept, it’s not even close to the real outdoor nagashi-somen experience. If you’ve never tried nagashi-somen before, I would definitely go for the real outdoor experience.