The debate about who makes the best soba in Japan is long and ferocious, but spend some time in rural Ishikawa and you can stake your own claim to mastery. The key to producing the best flour seems to be heavy rainfall and proximity to mountains, so in Ishikawa you can’t really blame the produce if your noodles aren’t up to scratch. Still, there’s plenty of fun to be had at various soba restaurants around the prefecture – and if you fail completely, you can always just order the home-made version.