Soba are Japanese noodles made of buckwheat flour. It is eaten either steeped in a hot broth with various ingredients or cold with a soy-based dipping sauce.
Since soba also means "next to," there is a unique Japanese custom called "hikkoshi-soba (moving-in noodles)." People who have just moved into a new neighborhood, give their new neighbors soba while introducing themselves.
On New Year's Eve there is a custom to eat "toshikoshi-soba (year-crossing noodles)." Because soba is fine and long, people eat them to wish for a long life. This became widespread in the Edo period.
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