Go devises his own, completely unique way to enjoy a classic summer meal, and named it: Jibun wo Nagashi Somen.

If you’ve been watching any outdoor events at the Olympics, you’ve probably been hearing over and over again from the announcers how brutally hot it is in Tokyo. It usually isn’t so much that the temperatures are high; they typically hover at around 30 degrees celsius (or somewhere in the mid-to-upper eighties in Fahrenheit). Rather, it’s the regular 70 to 85 percent humidity that makes you feel like you’re melting into a pile of goo.

Naturally, Japanese people have devised a number of ways to keep cool in summer, and one of the most popular methods is to eat cold food like nagashi somen, cold noodles that you send down a bamboo pipe with cold running water before you pluck them out, dip them in sauce, and eat them. It’s probably the most fun you’ll ever have eating noodles, and the distraction, along with the cold noodles, is probably part of what helps you feel cooler.

Image source: Wikipedia/Opponent

Our Japanese-language reporter Go Hatori was sitting on his balcony one day in the sweltering heat when suddenly he was possessed with a desire to eat nagashi somen. Sadly, despite there being plenty of cool devices, big and small, that let you enjoy nagashi somen at home, Go didn’t have any of them on hand.

But then, he had an epiphany: “I can make my own nagashi somen setup!”

And Go came up with the most absurdly genius summer cooling idea ever that had almost nothing whatsoever to do with traditional nagashi somen: eating cold somen in a homemade, outdoor shower.

Using various things he had around the house, Go created a wild contraption and called it “Jibun wo Nagashi Soumen”, a clever Japanese play on words to indicate that he would be the one washed away by the water while eating somen.

▼ From top to bottom: a laundry pole, futon clips, a hose head and hose, and a pole stand

If you want to recreate Go’s genius, you can use any similar items, but his best tip is to use something tall for the pole so that the water can spray over you from up high.

Of course, you’ll also need to prepare your somen lunch. Nagashi somen is typically served with a broth called “tsuyu”, toppings of grated ginger and scallions, and slices of myoga ginger if you want to be extra. Go recommends you cook the noodles a little on the al dente side for maximum enjoyment, but that’s up to your preferences.

Once your somen is ready, insert your laundry pole into the stand, secure your showerhead to the pole with the futon clips…

And turn it on!

Don’t forget to eat your somen!


“The best!!!!”

Enjoying a shower of cold water while eating delicious, cold somen noodles under the hot summer sun was, to Go, the epitome of summer activities. As he slurped up his refreshing treat, Go was glad he experienced his epiphany, as this kind of absurd idea would probably never have occurred to anyone else, surely.

Of course, there is one thing one should be cautious of when trying the Jibun wo Nagashi Somen: getting too much water in the tsuyu, lest it thin out too much. Go suggests that to combat this, you can intentionally make your tsuyu broth thicker to start with so that the added water won’t detract from its flavor.

Needless to say, Go has added “Jibun wo Nagashi Somen” to his list of “must-do” summer activities, and is glad to share his genius with our readers. Stay cool, friends!

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