Experience Japanese Food Culture: Traditional Kyoto Soba Noodles at Honke Owariya



No visit to Kyoto’s long-established soba restaurant, Honke Owariya, is complete without an in-depth experience of Japanese Food Culture. With over 550 years of history since its establishment, Honke Owariya is loved by many for its traditional soba noodles and warm hospitality.

At Honke Owariya, everything from the selection of buckwheat flour to the handmade process is carefully considered. The rich flavor and smooth texture of soba is unforgettable once you try it. The restaurant’s Kyoto-style interior also provides visitors with a special dining experience.

When you visit Kyoto, please enjoy authentic traditional soba at Honke Owariya and experience its history and deliciousness.

Recommended Menu

When visiting Honke Owariya, there are some recommended menu items that you must try. Below are some of their attractions and features.

Hourai Soba

Hourai Soba is Honke Owariya’s signature dish. The beautifully arranged soba is a visually pleasing and flavorful dish. Enjoying it with our special dipping sauce enhances the flavor of the soba to the fullest.

Nishin Soba

Nishin-soba is a unique Kyoto dish consisting of sweet and spicy cooked Nishin on top of soba noodles. The flavor of the herring in the broth and the soba go perfectly with each other, giving the dish a unique flavor.

Tempura Soba

Tempura Soba is a luxurious dish that allows you to enjoy crispy tempura and soba together. Tempura made with fresh shrimp and seasonal vegetables enhances the flavor of soba.

Seasonal Soba

Honke Owariya also offers special menus that vary with the seasons. You can enjoy the flavors of the four seasons, such as wild vegetable soba in spring, cold soba in summer, mushroom soba in fall, and nabeyaki udon in winter. Enjoy a special dish while experiencing the changing of the seasons.

Soba Set Meal

Osoba set menus are set menus that allow you to enjoy a variety of a la carte dishes along with soba. It comes with tempura and a small bowl of cooked food, allowing you to enjoy a well-balanced meal. It is a highly satisfying menu that gives you a sense of Japanese home cooking.

Through these menus, you can fully enjoy the delicious taste of traditional Japanese soba at Honke Owariya. A special experience of experiencing Kyoto’s flavor and rich culinary culture awaits you.

Experience and Enjoy

A visit to Honke Owariya is more than just a meal, it is a special experience. Here are some ways to get the most out of your visit to Honke Owariya.

Observe soba (buckwheat noodle) making

At Honke Owariya, you can observe the traditional art of soba noodle making up close and personal. Observe the skilled craftsmen as they expertly prepare the soba, and you will be impressed by the skill and delicacy of their work. Learning how soba is made will enhance the enjoyment of your meal.

Enjoying the Seasonal Menu

Honke Owariya offers special menus featuring seasonal ingredients. You can enjoy seasonal flavors such as sansai soba in the spring, cold soba in the summer, mushroom soba in the fall, and nabeyaki udon in the winter. By trying a different menu each time you visit, you will discover something new each time.

A taste of Kyoto

The interior of Honke Owariya is a relaxed space that evokes the atmosphere of traditional Kyoto. You can spend a relaxing time while feeling the beauty of Japanese style. Enjoying a meal in a historical building offers a special experience of Japanese culture and history.

Visiting the Sweets Shop

Honke Owariya has a sweets shop where you can enjoy not only soba noodles but also delicious Japanese sweets. After enjoying soba, be sure to visit this confectionery and taste the traditional Japanese sweets. The wagashi are made with the utmost care, and you can enjoy a different taste of Kyoto from that of soba. In particular, the seasonal wagashi are not to be missed.

Combine with sightseeing in the area

Honke Owariya is located in the center of Kyoto City, and there are many sightseeing spots in the vicinity. After visiting Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Gion, Nijo Castle, and other tourist attractions, a meal at Honke Owariya is a wonderful way to end the day.

Make the most of your waiting time

As a popular restaurant, there may be a wait time, especially during lunch time and on weekends. You can use the waiting time to spend meaningful time by enjoying the scenery in and around the restaurant or looking up tourist information on your smartphone.

Through these experiences, you can further enhance your visit at Honke Owariya. Along with the delicious taste of traditional soba, you will be able to experience Japanese culture and history in depth.


When visiting Honke Owariya, it is important to observe traditional Japanese etiquette. Below are some basic manners for enjoying a meal at Honke Owariya.

Manners upon entering the restaurant

  • Greetings: Greet your customers with “konnichiwa” or “please” when you enter the restaurant. A polite greeting makes a good impression.
  • Good manners: If there is a line, take your turn and wait quietly. It is important to be considerate of other customers and wait without making a fuss.

Manners while eating

  • Do not make noise: In Japan, it is generally considered bad manners to make noise while eating, but it is acceptable to make noise while slurping soba (buckwheat noodles). It is acceptable to slurp soba (buckwheat noodles) while eating, but it is best to enjoy your meal in silence.
  • How to Use Dishes: Be careful how you use chopsticks. Avoid sticking your chopsticks into your food or sticking them into the top of the tableware.
  • Sharing with others: When sharing a platter, it is common to use chopsticks for sharing. Do not use your own chopsticks to share directly.

Manners when paying

  • Carefully hand over cash: When paying, hand over cash or cards carefully. Avoid handing money as if throwing it.
  • Thank you: When you have finished paying, it is a good idea to say “Thank you for the food and drink. It is important to show your appreciation to the waiter.

Manners when leaving the restaurant

  • Tidy up your table: When you have finished your meal, gather up the dishes you used and tidy up your table. It is important to make sure that the next customer can use the table comfortably.
  • QUIETLY EXIT: When leaving the restaurant, be considerate of other customers and staff, and quietly exit the restaurant. It is a good idea to add a final “thank you” at the end of your speech.

By observing these manners, you will be able to enjoy your meal at Honke Owariya more comfortably. Please enjoy your delicious soba while respecting Japanese culture and etiquette.


Honke Owariya is located in the center of Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, making access very convenient. Below are some specific access options.

Access by train

  • Karasuma-Oike Station: 3-minute walk from Exit 1 on the Subway Karasuma and Tozai lines. Exit the station, go south on Kurumayacho Dori, go down Nijo Dori, and you will find us on the right.
  • Karasuma Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line: Approximately a 12-minute walk. Walk west on Shijo Dori toward Karasuma-Oike Station.

Access by car

  • Parking: Honke Owariya does not have its own parking lot, but there are several pay parking lots in the area. If visiting by car, coin-operated parking in the neighborhood is convenient.

Nearby Sightseeing Spots

  • Kyoto Imperial Palace: Located a 5-minute walk from Honke Owariya. After enjoying the historic garden and buildings, we recommend tasting soba (buckwheat noodles).
Kyoto Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Kyoto Imperial Palace
The Kyoto Imperial Palace is a historical tourist attraction located in the center of Kyoto and has played an important role as the residence of the Japanese Imperial Family from ancient times to the present day. It flourished as the political and cultural center of Japan for nearly 1,000 years until the Edo period. One of the most attractive features of the Kyoto Imperial Palace is its vast grounds and beautiful architecture. The Gosho is home to many traditional buildings, each of which evokes the beauty of Japanese architecture. For example, Shishinden, where important ceremonies were held, is a sight to behold, with its ornate decorations and spaciousness. Seiryoden, used for the emperor's daily life, symbolizes the Japanese sense of aesthetics with its simple and serene design.
  • Nijo Castle: Located within walking distance, you can plan a combination of sightseeing and dining.
Kyoto Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto, where visitors can experience the rich history and culture of the city. Nijo Castle was built in 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu to protect the imperial palace in Kyoto, and is a symbol of the power of the Edo shogunate. 1994 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is highly regarded for its historical value and beautiful architecture. The main attraction of Nijo Castle is its magnificent architecture and beautiful gardens. Within the castle is the Ninomaru Goten, whose sumptuous interior overwhelms visitors. The Ninomaru Palace is designated as a Japanese National Treasure, and visitors can see magnificent paintings created by painters of the Kano school. Visitors can also imagine historical scenes in the tatami-matted hall and the grand hall where the shogun had an audience.

Before visiting, we recommend using a map application to check the best route. This will allow you to understand traffic conditions and the shortest route to arrive at the restaurant smoothly. We encourage you to visit Honke Owariya to enjoy traditional Japanese soba.

Business hours and holidays

When visiting Honke Owariya, it is important to check the hours of operation and the days they are closed. The latest information is as follows.

Business Hours.

  • Everyday: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last order 6:30 p.m.)


  • None: Honke Owariya is open all year round. However, it may be temporarily closed on certain days, such as during the year-end and New Year’s holidays, so it is recommended to check the official website or call for the latest information before visiting.

Other Information

  • Reservations: Reservations are recommended to ensure a smooth dining experience during times when the restaurant is expected to be crowded.
  • Seating: The spacious restaurant has both table and tatami room seating, allowing you to enjoy your meal in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Parking: There is no dedicated parking lot, but there are several pay parking lots nearby, so please use them if you visit by car.

To make your visit to Honke Owariya more enjoyable, please plan your visit accordingly by checking the hours of operation and regular closing days prior to your visit. A wonderful experience awaits you, where you can fully enjoy traditional soba noodles with a touch of Kyoto.

Reservations and queue management

Due to its popularity, Honke Owariya often has a long line, especially on weekends and during the tourist season. Here are some tips for reservations and queue management to ensure a smooth visit.


  • Reservations by phone: Reservations can be made by phone at Honke Owariya. We recommend making reservations in advance, especially during lunch and dinner hours when crowds are expected. Reservations will reduce waiting time and ensure a smooth entry into the restaurant.
  • Online Reservations: We now also accept online reservations. You can easily make reservations through our official website, so please check before your visit.

How to Prevent Lines

  1. Plan to visit early: Visit just after opening hours or between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM to avoid peak hours, and you will have a relatively short wait. Lunch hours (noon to 1:30 p.m.) are particularly crowded, so it is best to visit before or after lunch. 2.
    2.Visit on a weekday: Weekends and holidays are especially crowded, so if possible, visit on a weekday to reduce wait times. Weekday mornings and early afternoons are often relatively free.
  2. Visiting in a Small Group: It is easier to be seated in a small group than in a large group. Even if you are visiting with friends or family, you can reduce waiting time by splitting up your group.
  3. Make the most of your waiting time: When waiting in line, make the most of it. You can make the most of your waiting time by using your smartphone to look up tourist information and enjoy the surrounding scenery.

Use these measures to make your dining experience at Honke Owariya more pleasant and enjoyable. By making good use of reservations and planning your visit, you can smoothly enjoy delicious traditional Kyoto soba.

Reviews and Ratings

Honke Owariya is highly rated by many visitors for its tradition and taste. Below is information based on the latest reviews and evaluations.

Highly Rated Points

  • Taste and Quality: The “Hourai Soba” in particular is highly praised. The carefully handmade soba impresses many with its rich flavor and exquisite texture. The special dipping sauce is also highly regarded as an element that enhances the deliciousness of the soba.
  • Ambiance: The restaurant’s atmosphere is also very well received. Visitors have a special experience because they can enjoy their meal in a traditional Kyoto building. Visitors appreciate the beauty of the Japanese style and the relaxed environment in which to dine.
  • Service: The staff is well known for their kindness and politeness. They are especially friendly to foreign tourists, and many say they feel comfortable responding in English.


  • Accessibility: Honke Owariya is conveniently located in the center of Kyoto, just a few minutes’ walk from the nearest station. It is also easily accessible from sightseeing spots, making it the perfect place to stop by between sightseeing tours.


  • Wait Times: Due to the popularity of the restaurant, wait times can be long, especially during lunch time and on weekends. It is recommended to consider making a reservation before visiting or visiting earlier in the day to reduce wait times.

Actual Reviews

  • “The Horaisoba was excellent, the soba flavor really came through. Would love to revisit.”
  • “The atmosphere inside the restaurant was wonderful, it was like being in touch with Kyoto’s history.”
  • “The staff was very friendly and explained everything to us foreigners in an easy-to-understand way.”

These reviews are a good starting point for your visit to Honke Owariya for a traditional Kyoto soba experience. Along with delicious soba, a wonderful experience that will give you a deeper understanding of Japanese Food Culture awaits you.


Located in the heart of Kyoto, Honke Owariya is a renowned restaurant serving traditional soba (buckwheat noodles). with a history of over 550 years, this long-established restaurant is loved by many for its rich flavor and smooth texture. The “Hourai Soba” and “Nishin Soba” are especially appreciated for their exquisite flavor.

At Honke Owariya, visitors can observe the soba noodle making process and enjoy special seasonal menus, making new discoveries each time they visit. The traditional Kyoto atmosphere of the restaurant offers a special experience of Japanese culture and history.

You can also enjoy delicious Japanese sweets at the confectionery, where you can fully appreciate the taste of Kyoto along with soba noodles. There are many sightseeing spots nearby, such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Gion, and Nijo Castle, so a plan combining sightseeing and dining is also recommended.

By making the most of your waiting time and taking advantage of reservations, you can enjoy the delicious soba of Honke Owariya smoothly. When you visit Kyoto, be sure to taste the traditional soba at Honke Owariya and experience its charm.