長岡小嶋屋 (Kojimaya)

This place was highly recommended online when I was searching a good place to try Niigata’s specialty ‘hegi soba’. It’s a bonus that it’s located right by Niigata station as well, so I could easily drop by and have it for lunch. The hardest part was navigating the CoCoLo building that it is inside of as I only realized later that it has separate ‘wings’ and I was in the wrong one.

Like most soba places, the menu is great in that you can get a variety of side dishes together with the soba so everyone’s happy. As this was my first meal landing in Niigata (and for the day) I went with some light tempura instead. I actually visited this shop again on my last day as I was heading back to the airport (and the closest entrance to this shop is right by the bus stops). On my second visit, I went during their breakfast period and simply got the soba by itself.

The soba is really tasty and I’m 90% sure they make it fresh daily. Another sign of this is that they also give you ‘sobayu’ near the end of your meal. For those who’ve never heard of sobayu, it’s basically the water that the soba was cooked in, and it’s tradition for some Japanese to pour it into the remaining tsuyu dipping sauce and drink it. It’s supposedly good for clearing your gut and is like a warm soup to end the meal with.

I would definitely recommend visiting Kojimaya if you’re passing by Niigata station and want to get some hegi soba. It’ll definitely be a good experience and the price is very reasonable too!

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