Hirobun is laid-back riverside restaurant in village of Kibune. You can find the place just 50-minute drive from city center or take Eizan Electric Railway Kurama Line to Kibuneguchi and then transfer a local bus for Kibune. Walk approximately 800 meters to Hirobun Restaurant. It is just a couple of steps from Kibune Shrine main entrance. The restaurant serves Nagashi Somen (流し素麺) and Kaisekiryori (traditional Japanese cuisine). Nagashi Somen is today’s topic (photo 2).
Nagashi Somen is the noodles with very thin size and it is very famous to serve during summer time in Kyoto. You can play with the noodles while having the meal in natural and comfortable restaurant. The noodles are slide down from sliced bamboo pipe, catch it, dip into the sauce and put it in your mouth. It is served in one session by one session with around 10 customers each session and each session takes around 15 minutes. The interesting is that you can enjoy your meal while listening the sound of waterfall in front of you (photo 3).
Before you start your meal, the staff will explain on how to eat nagashi somen and how long to wait. Noodles flow in a long bamboo flume with very cold and clear water running through it. Customers need to catch (photo 4a & 4b) and pick the noodles with chopsticks and dip the noodles in soy sauce broth (photo 5). Sometime you will miss it. But don’t worry that you can wait for another one. When the pink noodles (photo 6) silently slides by, it means that the fun session will be ended.
Some of you will feel very disgusting and not hygiene when customers share the flume. The restaurant is very concern about hygiene (photo 7). They will change flume each group of customers. In addition, the noodles will not be recycled once you miss to catch it. Although they open at 11.00 o’clock in the morning, you have to come earlier to queue the line as the time can take an hour and more. Remember, no reservation can be made. After finish your meal, you can hang out nearby tourist attraction in Kyoto - Kibune Shrine.
If you visit to Kyoto during summer season, do not forget to check in to Hirobun restaurant. You can experience a very chilled Nagashi Somen and enjoy greenery trees, clear water and fresh air at the same time. Hurry up, this seasonal even only available from May to September each year.