Tosenkyo Somen Noodle (Ibusuki City, Kagoshima, Japan)



When it comes to summer food in Kagoshima, Somen noodles will spring up in minds of local people in Kagoshima. Tosenkyo is filled with many people every summer. There are three restaurants in Tosenkyo. I had somen noodle at Chojuan this time.



In the past, the area was used to be sea.

Chinese ships came here from the Tang dynasty.

“To” means Tang, “Sen” means “ship” and “Kyo” means “valley”.

Tosenkyo is the first place in Japan which introduced the water circling table in 1967.

water circling table for some noodle

The mayor of Kaimon invented this special table before it spread to all parts of Japan.

The machine makes use of natulal cold water (about 13 degrees) which comes from underground.


Tosenkyo Entrance

We avoided busy lunch time and visited Tosenkyo at around 17:00.

There are three restaurants in Tosenkyo, Shiei, Chojuan and Masunoya.

Those three restaurants use different noodle soups.

Following photo shows the entrance to Shiei.

But you can go to other two restaurants from the entrance, too.

tosenkyo entrance

The steep steps lead from the entrance to restaurants.

stairs down to tosenkyo

Elderly and disabled people can take the elevator down to Tosenkyo.

elevetor entrance ot Tosenkyo


Following picture is the entrance to the elevator.

elevetor entrance ot Tosenkyo

We took the elevator to Tosenkyo since we were with a baby.

When we reached the 1st floor, we found a big portrait of Princess Atsu.

The portrait consists of large number of tooth picks of different colors.


I took the following video to show you the way from the entrance to the Shiei restaurant.


Kawakami Shrine

Once we got off elevator, we found a small shrine on a lake.

Kawakami Shrine is built on the water origin of Tosenkyo.


The shrine is the branch of Hirakiki Shrine, which is famous as the 1st shrine of Satsuma Domain.

The shrine worships Mizuhameno or the water’s God.

The water origin has irrigated the agricultural firelds of surrounding area of Tosenkyo for centuries.

Local people have respected the shrine as the center of the lives of people.


kawakami shrine

The shrine looks as if it is floating on lake.

kawakami shrine

The water is one of the 100 famous waters of Heisei era as curved the stone of the following picture.

10 tons of water come from undergrounds every day.

You can get a taste of the water here for free.

Some farmers make use of the clean water to cultivate wasabi.


The temperature of the water is 13 degrees. Very low!

I heard from local people that many children enjoyed swimming in the lake in the past.

I saw many carps and some sturgeons swimming slowly in the lake.




Shiei Restaurant

The Shiei restaurant is located next to Kawakami Shrine and run by Ibusuki City.

You can enjoy having Somen noodles in large and open space.

Restaurant Atmosphere

There are many unique tables of Somen noodles.

The restaurant is full of people in summer.

tosenkyo restaurant


Please buy tickets at this place.

lunch ticket


It is pleasant to have lunch at this spacious place.

tosenkyo somen noodle restauranttosenkyo somen noodle restaurant

Many people enjoy lunch during summer.


Menu (Shiei)

Set Menu Content Price
A Set Somen noodle, Rice ball, Grilled trout, Carp miso soup, Carp sashimi  1,650 yen
B Set Somen noodle, Rice ball, Grilled trout  1,340 yen
Inari Set Somen noodle, Inari sushi, Grilled trout, Carp miso soup  1,440 yen
Herb flavored grilled Set Somen noodle, Rice ball, Herb-flavored grilled trout, Carp miso soup   1,340円


Open Hour

The open hour varies according to each season.

  • Summer (July – September : 10:00-19:00 (August : until 20:00)
  • Spring & Fall(March – June, October): 10:00-17:00(Golden Week : until 19:00)
  • Winter (November – February): 10:00-15:00(17:00 during new year and year end holidays)



If you have lunch, I recommend you Shiei somen noodle restaurant because it is jolly and spacious.

But if you take a baby there, there is no place where the baby sleep.

The restaurant is very crowded in summer.



Chojuan is next to Shiei restaurant. You can also walk directly from the parking lot to Chojuan.

The atmosphere of Chojuan puts emphasis on traditional Japanese style.

Chojuan restaurant



The price is a bit more expensive than Shiei.

Set Menu Content Price
Special Somen noodle, Grilled trout, Rice ball, Carp miso soup 1,340 yen
Extra Special  Somen noodle, Grilled trout, Rice ball, Carp miso soup, Carp sashimi 1,650 yen
Ume Set Somen noodle, Grilled trout, Select rice (Trout sushi, Steamed rice or Inari), Carp miso soup. Carp sashimi 1,850 yen
Ikizukuri (Take Set) Slices of living carps, Somen noodle, Grilled trout, Rice ball 2,370 yen
Ikizukuri (Matsu Set) Slices of living carps, Somen noodle, Grilled trout, Select rice (Trout sushi, Steamed rice or Inari) 2,670円

We ordered “Special Set” and fried sweet potato.

If you order other additional food, please buy food tickets at the following machine.

Food ticket machine


Dinner at Chojuan

I recommend you to have dinner at tables outside, but we had dinner inside for our baby.

Luckily we found that we were the only guests to have dinner at the place at that time.

Chojuan restaurant

Let’s put the noodle into the water!



The noodles circle very fast!

somen noodle table

Noodle soup is a bit more salty than Shiei’s one.

Cold springing water makes the noodle very delicious.


Special Set

Special Set of Chojuan

Carp miso soup has an unique taste.

Grilled trout is delicious especially when you have somen noodles.

Grilled trout


Fried Sweet Potato

If you like sweet foods, this is the thing you should try!

The skin of the potato is very crispy.  The inside of the potato is very soft.

fried sweet potato

The white powder on the dish is salt. Salt improves the sweetness of the potato.


Chojuan at night

After having somen noodle, we walked around Tosenkyo.

We found a souvenir shop which sells local foods.

souvenir shops of chojuan

Many families and friends were enjoying dinner.

chojuan restaurant

Ibusuki mango cider (300 yen).

Ibusuki mango cider

somen noodle circling machine


Open Hour(Chojuan)

  • Spring(May to June): 10:00-19:00
  • Summer (July to August):10:00-20:00
  • Winter(September to April) : 10:00-16:00



Travel Information of Tosenkyo


  • Car…From Kagoshima City : Take route 226 and drive southward and turn right at the Iwamoto crossroad and drive 15 minutes (Total time: 1.5 hours)
  • Train…15 minutes from JR Kaimon Station (Time Table of JR Kaimon Station
  • Bus…Take Kagoshima Kotsu Bus (for JR Kaimon Station and Higashi-Okawa) at JR Ibusuki Station (Total time 2 hour) *(Bus Time Table


77 Senta, Kaimon, Ibusuki City


Somen noodle

Somen noodle





鹿児島の夏というと ❝唐船峡そうめん流し❞は外せません。