A soba chef who opened shop after settling in the village

Small Noodle Shop Tamayura of the Village
Hideaki Hirai
Born in Kitami, Hokkaido. He spent his student years in Kushiro City, before working for a cattle insurance company. He was transferred to Tsurui Village in 2010, and decided to stay there for good. He decided to build a home and become a soba chef, opening his restaurant Tamayura in August 2017.

Making people enjoy their fleeting meal times

Hirai-san got interested in soba making while working for a cattle insurance company. He had previously joined soba making workshops a few times, but he was mostly self-taught, making it at home while reading texts and watching videos. He also wanted to make his own original broth, trying out various soy sauces and other ingredients for his recipe.

When he told his family that he wanted to open a soba restaurant, he was initially met with opposition. But he was the type to push his way once he committed to something, and he eventually got their understanding. He now runs the shop together with his wife.

He wanted to offer customers soba made from freshly ground buckwheat, so he mills the soba seeds into flour himself. He only uses local Mashu Soba from Teshikaga Town. Since everything is made by hand, his shop can only offer thirty servings a day, which gets sold out on some weekends. Their menu includes “juwari soba” made from 100% buckwheat, “nihachi soba” made from 80% coarse buckwheat flour, and a popular combo that lets you compare the two types. You can enjoy the noodles in a delicious, specially-made broth.

Besides Tsurui locals, the shop’s customers include repeat visitors who usually go birdwatching or hot spring bathing in the village. The shop’s name Tamayura means “a fleeting moment”, and it comes from Hirai-san’s desire to let customers enjoy their short time in his shop through his homemade soba.