Hiyamugi

What is hiyamugi

Hiyamugi is a type of noodle that has been incorporated into Japanese food culture, and is made from wheat, water, and salt. JAS (Japan Agricultural Standards) specifies that the major diameter be 1.3 mm or more and less than 1.7 mm.

Even though the ingredients are simple and the size is regulated, each noodle factory has different manufacturing methods, and each noodle can be enjoyed in different ways, both fresh and dried, with different tastes and textures.

The name hiyamugi comes from the word hiya, which means “chilled”, and mugi, which means “wheat”. When literally translated, hiyamugi means “chilled wheat noodle”.
While the highlight of our menu is hiyamugi, we also serve it hot. In that case, the name changes from hiyamugi to atsumugi, as atsu means “hot”.

The history of Hiyamugi

Hiyamugi is now a household item, but it has a deep history and is said to have its origins in the Muromachi period (1392-1573).

Originally it was a food called sakumochi, which was made by kneading wheat and rice flour and twisting it together. After this had become popular, people began to cutting it thin before eating, and thus kirimugi‘ was born. This remains known today as hiyamugi.

How is hiyamugi, which has been passed down from generation to generation for over 400 years, eaten today?

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare conducted a

survey in 2010 on the average intake of individual foods, and included is the percentage of people who ate hiyamugi, somen and other noodles.


reference: Percentage of intake of udon and Chinese noodles observed in FY2010

The foods that were consumed in overwhelmingly large amounts were udon and Chinese noodles.

Hiyamugi has been reported together with somen, and it is true that it is eaten at a low rate among all types of noodles. In the average household, hiyamugi may also be a noodle that is enjoyed as a distinctly different taste.

Difference between hiyamugi and somen/udon

The difference between hiyamugi and other noodles lies in the thickness of the noodles. The following are the thickness standards defined by JAS.

JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standards) size
somenLong diameter less than 1.3mm
hiyamugiLong diameter 1.3mm or more but less than 1.7mm
udonDiameter 1.7mm or more
Reference: JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standards)

Hiyamugi is thicker than somen and thinner than udon. It may be said that it has a well-balanced type of noodle.

Fresh hiyamugi from Tsumura Noodle Factory

Tsumura Noodle Factory is the only store in Hokkaido specializing in fresh hiyamugi. The year 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of the company’s founding, and the current fresh hiyamugi was created by the second generation owner.

The second generation was a huge fan of hiyamugi. He was looking forward to making his own fresh hiyamugi at the noodle factory on the second floor of the store at the time, and enjoying it freshly boiled.

However, around the 1960s, udon and soba became mainstream, and the consumption of hiyamugi has began to decrease year by year.

This noodle has disappeared from Tsumura’s product lineup and become a phantom noodle.

Reproduction of the phantom fresh hiyamugi

Kenta Tsumura, the current leader, worked to revive the fresh hiyamugi of his predecessors.

Until then, I didn’t even know the existence of this noodle as one of our products, but when the representative’s grandmother passed away, I was sorting through her belongings. There I came across a photo of the factory that had the words “hiyamugi production” written on it’s signboard. This inspired me to make fresh hiyamugi again.

▲The photo that led to the recreation of fresh hiyamugi

When current company representative tried making fresh hiyamugi, he was so impressed that he said, “I’ve never had noodles with a texture like this before”, and decided to commercialize it.

It has been 15 years since hiyamugi was commercialized, and now it has grown to become a signature product of Tsumura Noodle Facotry and loved by everyone.

Our mission is “We want to preserve the tradition of fresh hiyamugi and pass it on to future generations.”

As we see the many smiling faces of our customers as they enjoy fresh hiyamugi, we realize our desire to “deliver the deliciousness of hiyamugi to as many people as possible” and “protect and pass on the tradition of hiyamugi, one of Japan’s traditional noodles” has become even stronger.

In April 2023, which marks the 5th anniversary of the store’s opening, we decided to go back to the basics, which is the flavor of our founding store. We then became Hokkaido’s first fresh hiyamugi specialty store, a place where we can convey the deliciousness of fresh hiyamugi.

For President Tsumura, fresh hiyamugi is “miracle noodles”

When I created hiyamugi, the company was in a difficult situation in terms of performance and human resources.
Around that time, I happened to find out about the hiyamugi noodle while sorting through old family belongings. When I made a reproduction of that noodle, I immediately thought, “This is it! This could definitely work!”, and we we decided to commercialize the noodle.

It was fresh hiyamugi that showed me the only ray of hope at a time when I was desperate.

Soon after fresh hiyamugi was commercialized, positive changes began to take place at the company. I was able to meet people I had never interacted with before, and I felt a desire to take on new challenges as a company, and Tsumura Noodle Factory began to grow significantly.

Fresh hiyamugi is not just food, but for me it is an important entity that has changed my company and paved the way for the future. Tsumura Noodle Factory’s fresh hiyamugi has more value than just its delicious taste.

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Business day
Meal time…11:00-15:00, Product sales…10:00-18:00
*Product sales will be until 16:00 on Saturdays only.
Event days
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