Another sensational lunch. The agenda today- jump in the car, drive and find somewhere new to eat.
A 20 minute drive east out of Hakuba on the old Nagano road takes you to some magnificent scenic outlooks and then into lush valleys which are powder filled in the winter. We stumbled upon the Kannon Soba noodle restaurant in the Kinasa village which is perfectly set in a 150 year old farmhouse
Outside at the front the chef is frying up (in a light tempura batter) what ever he has found in the garden and adjoining forest. You stop off here and put your order in before walking up to the restaurant to choose your soba style. I picked out some Wisteria flowers, baby fern frongs, some random leaves, a root vegetable and eggplant. We took a step inside to the main building and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful traditional setting. I ordered the hot soba and my friend the cold along with a selection of oyaki dumplings. The meals were brilliant and the atmosphere fantastic. We took our time and savoured our find. This place is perfect for a lazy long lunch.
Wisteria floribunda is a Japanese flowering tree. We advise due to the toxicity of other varieties that you do not try eating the wisteria flowers unless you have researched the type and are sure it is safe to consume. Sounds like the fugu of the plant world.