Just getting back from a good trip to Japan. Travelled around a bit and ate a lot of great food. Of all the different Japanese foods, what i crave the most when i get to Japan is a good serving of hand made soba. You can find great sushi and most japanese food in Vancouver but you can't get good soba.
Soba is a thin noodle made from buckwheat. This type we got is called Sarashina Soba which is more light colored because the buckwheat is refined. The outer shell is removed therefor you don't get the darker greyish color. Soba unlike udon, ramen or pasta is very high in protein.
This day my good friend A5 took me to a good soba joint in Yokohama. We both ordered the "Oh-mori" which is the large serving for about $15. The soba was great and so was the "Soba-yu" (the water left over from boiling the soba noodles that you drink after your meal. rich in nutrients).
But the interesting part of our meal was watching the people that were seated next to us. A larger set man in a nice suit with a woman sit down at the table. Another man in a tracksuit entered along with the couple but did not sit down with them. But this man ordered for the couple and himself. Still standing. Strange? Looking a little closer, we noticed the sharply dress man only had 9 fingers. A few minutes later another sharp dress man walked in to join them. Finally the man in the tracksuit sits down with the lady and good fellas.
After finishing our meal, we walk out to see a large dark tinted sedan parked in the middle of the sidewalk. The Yakuza still run things in Japan. Since these men only dine where the best food is served, when in doubt for a good meal in Japan, follow the men in sharp suits, big cars and at times a finger short.