Oh Chute! The Summer Festival Somen Game Now Has a Home Edition!
by Michelle "Ms. Geek" Klein-Hass
Your parents probably warned you against playing with your food. However, there are some times when Japanese custom allows for this, most notably at Summer Festivals.
There's Suikawari, where blindfolded people take whacks at a watermelon.
And then there's Nagashi Somen, where chilled noodles are propelled down a chute, for people to catch with chopsticks. Here's our Fearless Leader Stu demonstrating the technique.
Anyway, usually Nagashi Somen requires some pretty involved equipment. But now Takara Tomy, the famous Japanese toymaker, has released the home version of this game. Here's the commercial:
The Nagashi Somen game here looks like a cross between a miniaturized water park slide and the old Mouse Trap game. Remember that?
Anyway, if you are curious, the game costs 18,144 Yen. However, it's only available online at the Takara Tomy Store, and they only sell within Japan. I suppose if you are familiar with buying services, you might be able to get one. However, cold Hiyashi Somen is so good, especially on hot days, you might want to give making some a try even without having the hardware for the Nagashi Somen game.