Buckwheat (soba in Japanese) was cultivated in Japan since the oldest times, when due to its productivity (it can be harvested after only 2 months and a half) was used as an alternative when the rice harvest was in short supply.
However, originally it wasn’t prepared in noodles, as it is today, but it was consumed as dumplings. Only during the Edo period someone noticed that soba combined with a small quantity of wheat flour is making an elastic dough, good for noodles.
Today, soba is among the most popular dishes in Japan, available in restaurants and in convenience stores, and in some traditional tourist areas it is still served like in the Edo era, at yatai food stalls, as you can see in this photo taken in Asakusa, Tokyo…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: