Wow, 2 posts in a single month!
My brother took us to a soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant in Bandai.
Buckwheat will grow in places other crops will not. This is why good soba is often found in places where other culinary choices are limited. Pumpkin Prefecture has fairly good soba (and pasta in general). Central Shizuoka, where I lived for a year, does not. They had wonderful seafood (including but not limited to sushi and fresh prawn), but the soba left a bit to be desired. Actually, pretty much every kind of pasta in Shizuoka left quite a bit to be desired. The sushi lover in me misses Shizuoka. The pasta lover in me does not.
This was the dinner the grownups got (the youngsters got soba and the option of stealing things from their parents' plates). Clockwise from top right: assorted tempura, the tempura sauce, the soba sauce (with scallions), pickles, an empty rice bowl with paddle, bamboo steamer, and a covered ramekin containing chawan-mushi (savory steamed custard containing seafood and vegetables).
This is what was in the bamboo steamer: rice cooked in a soy based broth with assorted vegetables.
There was also this. The picture is quite blurry. There are thin cuts of fine meat (look at that marbling!), a slice of scallion, and shimeji mushrooms cooking in a soy based sauce.
Oh yes, and there was soba.
After the meal, the Pumpkin Daddy was attacked by the youngsters.
Of course, there is always the man who marches to a different drummer.