Autumn

Try an Ancient Noodle Dish at Yamanashi Kurobera Hoto Festival

Eastflower

Writer

Do you like Japanese noodles? Japan is a country where you can enjoy eating various kinds of noodles such as Ramen, Udon, Soba, or Somen. You can eat hot noodles in the winter, and cold one in the summer.

Also, there are a lot of local noodles in each region. Famous noodles in Nagasaki are Champon and Saraudon. Kishimen and Misonikomi-udon are popular in Nagoya.

In this article, I would like to introduce you a soul food (noodles) in Yamanashi, called “Hoto” and Hoto Festival that takes place in Kurobera town, Kofu city, Yamanashi prefecture.

Image courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

What are Hoto Noodles?

Hoto is a noodle soup and a popular regional dish originated from Yamanashi prefecture. It is made by stewing flat udon noodles and vegetables in miso soup. Though Hoto is commonly recognized as a type of udon noodles, locals do not consider it to be an udon dish because the dough is prepared like for dumplings rather than for noodles.

Hoto hot noodles dish is served in places like hotels and restaurants around Lake Kawaguchi and Fuji five lakes region. The residents believe that Hoto was originally created by the regional warlord – Takeda Shingen during the feudal era.

He and his samurais would eat this healthy dish before going to the battle. Some people believed that he used his own sword to cut the noodles, giving it the name Hoto (宝刀) with kanji meaning treasured sword.

Wheat farming and the flour culture were brought into Yamanashi prefecture due to a shortage in local rice crops. Sericulture had turned lands traditionally reserved for rice harvesting into silk farms, and flour products like Hoto were invented as a means to counter the food shortage which arose from this change in agriculture.

This transition had begun in Yamanashi’s Gunnai region, where rice farming was impossible to start due to the cold temperature and large amounts of volcanic debris embedded into the soil.

Who is Takeda Shingen?

When you talk about regional warlords during the feudal era, you may conceive three samurais such as Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Ieyasu. But Takeda Shingen was also a very smart warlord in Yamanashi area. Shingen even won the battle with Ieyasu, although he passed away because of his age on the way up to Kyoto.

It is said that old Chinese army scholar’s ideas were written on the Shingen’s battle flags. The ideal was “Fu Rin Ka Zan” (風林火山). It means that the following aspects are important in a battle:

Move speedily like “Wind”,
Take a battle position quietly like “Forest”,
Attack bravely like “Fire”,
But the army general never moves like “Mountain”.

Of course, Mountain means Shingen himself. Shingen commanded all the army without moving even a step. Shingen is said to be one of the most excellent generals, and his army was one of the strongest during the feudal era.

Image courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Kurobera Hoto Festival

When leaves turn red and yellow in autumn, Kurobera Hoto Festival takes place at “Mountopia Kurobera”, in Kurobera, Kofu city every year.

At this festival, you can eat Hoto as much as you like for ¥600 per portion. Hoto’s ingredients such as vegetables and mushrooms are picked locally in this area. Miso soup is also handmade. Fresh vegetables including a local specialty – Hana mame (scarlet runner beans), are sold at the festival.

The performance of Japanese traditional dancing – Noh, is also carried out on the stage. Please enjoy the festival with your family and friends and try hot Hoto.

Mountopia Kurobera

The place where Hoto festival takes place is Mountopia Kurobera, which has 10 wooden cottages including a restaurant and barbecue places. You can use the cottages for staying and as a place to relax during one-day-trip.

These facilities are located in a perfect place to easily access Kurofuji mountain, and it is a good base for hiking and climbing the mountain. From the top of Kurofuji you can see such mountains as Kinposan, Yatsugatake, and others. The road to the mountain is well maintained, and you can enjoy nature fully in the quiet atmosphere.

Image courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Details and Access

Date & Time:
October 28th, 2018, 10:00 AM~. The festival usually takes place on Sunday at the end of October every year. Please refer to the official website for updated information on the upcoming event.
Admission Fee: ¥600/person, including 1 Hoto dishes
Place: Mountopia Kurobera
Address:
623-1, Kurobera-cho, Kofu-shi, Yamanashi-ken
Official Website (Japanese only): https://www.city.kofu.yamanashi.jp/welcome/saijiki/documents/koroberahoutoumaturi.html
Inquiry: TEL: 055-287-2201 (Mountopia Kurobera)

Access: Around 1 hour by car (25km) from Kofu city downtown

Image courtesy of Yamanashi Tourism Organization

Closing Remarks

We hope you will join this festival and try Hoto noodles. I am sure that Hoto stewed in a big pot will taste best. Besides, eating and viewing the autumn foliage will make the dish taste even better. Kurobera in autumn breathtaking indeed, but you can enjoy it at any seasons. The mountains will show each season’s color to you. Coming with your family and friends is highly recommended.

If you would like to visit this charming event with a local guide who will tell you more about the area and show you the hidden gems, please click on the banner below!

Discover Yamanashi Prefecture with its Festivals and Picturesque Mt. Fuji!

Yamanashi Prefecture, the land where Japanese traditional culture coexists and harmonizes with mesmerizing nature. Here you will feel the essence of Japanese beauty as this prefecture boasts the most famous mountain of Japan – Mt. Fuji and the outstanding five lakes. of course, this area is a place of birth if many traditional festivals and long-living traditions. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Yamanashi Prefecture, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/best-festivals-places-visit-yamanashi-prefecture

Check Out the Best Pick-Ups of Mt. Fuji Activities: from Festivals to Onsen Hopping!

Mt. Fuji is a symbol of Japan as it has inspired many artists and poets for centuries. You will notice why when you see this beautiful mountain in real. You can see Mt. Fuji from Tokyo and Yokohama on clear days. But it looks magnificent only when you come close to the mountain. The mountain stands on the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures and its surrounding is bursting with tranquil nature, great people, and amazing local food! If you are looking to have an amazing view of Mt. Fuji and enjoy its surroundings, this article will help with planning your next trip to the area. Whether you are a foodie, or a festive person, or an outdoor person, Mt. Fuji can offer something for everyone!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/best-pick-ups-of-mt-fuji-activities-from-festivals-to-onsen-hopping

An Ultimate Idea Source for Your Tokyo Stay!

Most of the travelers who come to Japan enter the country through Tokyo. Even if it is not the main place of your destination, it would be a great idea to stay in the capital city for a few days. The biggest conglomerate in the world has much to offer to any kind of traveler. Whether you want to go sightseeing, shopping, eating out, or trying something special that you can experience only in Japan, Tokyo has it all. In the following article, you will find 100 things and many ideas on how to spend your time in Tokyo! Please, have a look, URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/7726/ 

Don`t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5504/

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/6572/

Eastflower

l am living in Nagoya, the third largest city located between Tokyo and Osaka. I am looking forword to introducing you about wonderful festivals in Japan.

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