Tochigi prefecture lays claim one of the 100 best spring waters in all of Japan. Called benten chi no mizu, this is the distinctive ingredient in Tochigi ramen. Bamboo is often used to beat or flay the noodles during the noodle making process, and it is the combination of the aforementioned spring water and the subtle effects and perhaps taste of using the bamboo that makes Tochigi ramen so popular.
There are increasingly fewer and fewer restaurants who make Tochigi ramen in this traditional manner, but the texture of these handmade noodles, should you be luckly enough to find them, are reminiscent of wonton skins. There are also some shops that make an effort of cutting the noodles in varied ways, using different knives, to produce different textures and mouth-feels.
Tochigi ramen soup is a clear and light shoyu, largely due to the miraculous spring water of the region. It is often even lighter than soups found in the Kitakata ramen style, although this may vary from shop to shop.
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