Perhaps the 11th tip to keeping cool during the scorching Japanese summer is to enjoy a cool bowl of somen for dinner. Somen are thin noodles served chilled with various vegetables, sauces and other toppings.

However, if you want to add a little challenge to your somen experience, we’d recommend trying some nagashisomen. This involves the noodles zooming past you in cold water flowing along a bamboo half-pipe while you try to pluck them out with your chopsticks.

And if you really want a challenge you can try to catch one of the World Nagashisomen Association’s somen noodles. On 11 July they set out to break their previous Guinness World Record for fastest flowing somen noodle: 14.5 km/h.

The record attempt was made at Kyoto Station along its grand staircase. The previous record was accomplished along a horizontal flume, so this time they are hoping to capitalize on the slant of the stairs to give them that extra boost. Scores of people came out to watch the noodles flow, taking pictures and posting them to Twitter.

The noodles were delayed for about an hour due to mechanical issues. However, the finally got blasted out from the high pressure pump at the top of the stairs at about 2:00pm.

Those in attendance said this nagashisomen (flowing somen) was more like tobashisomen (flying somen), but it is currently unclear whether the previous record was broken. The results will be announced on the TV program Bikuri Chatto Shinkiroku on 31 July. You also follow the World Nagashisomen Association on Facebook and try to pluck their updates out of the flowing water of your newsfeed.

Source: Entabe, Naver Matome, World Nagashisomen Association (Japanese)
Top Image: Wikipedia – Kaonashi 
Inset Images: Twitter – 1, 2, 3, 4 Video: YouTube – J200Yutaka

▼ An old report on some kids enjoying Nagashisomen. Warning: this report contains a dangerous amount of cute