Because why do something normally when you can do it Vegas-style instead?

Japanese summers are associated with many fun events and foods like watermelon smashing, huge fireworks displays, and a tradition called nagashi somen. Basically, you cook Japanese somen noodles, and then you place the noodles into a slide-like device full of flowing water. It’s your job to catch the noodles with your chopsticks and enjoy the cold summer dish.

While nagashi somen is traditionally done in slide-like devices made of bamboo, there has been an increase in nagashi somen setups that we can only describe as something akin to Hot Wheels race car tracks. Japanese company Takara Tomy Arts is becoming well-known for their nagashi somen tracks, like this one made to look like a giant waterslide.

So when we found out they came out with a new device–the Big Stream Somen Slider Mega Las Vegas–we knew we had to try it out. This baby has a track that’s almost 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) in length, and it features four different-colored LED lights.

▼ You’ll feel like you’re eating somen at a casino.

At the top is a glowing water fountain that could possibly remind one of the Bellagio fountain, but according to the maker, it’s called “The Dragon Fountain”. It’s hard to tell from the box, we know, but it really is a nagashi somen machine.

▼ Don’t let these shiny-eyed children distract you. It’s not actually Vegas.

So our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa took one for the team and picked up the set to bring to the SoraNews24 office. He didn’t expect it to cost such a pretty penny, but…

▼ …11,080 yen (US$100.26) for a nagashi somen experience that will hopefully be worth it.

All for the sake of SoraNews24 science. Seiji walked back to the office with his prize and prepared for the nagashi somen experience of a lifetime. He took out the many parts to assemble them, almost like a giant Lego set.

▼ It looks like a lot of pieces, but since the pieces were big, Seiji found it pretty easy to put together.

Just a warning from Seiji: batteries are sold separately! So when you pick this bad boy up, make sure you get a pack of three D batteries (or 単一電池 in Japanese).

▼ And here it is, fully assembled. It took up Seiji’s entire desk!

Now it was time to test it out at work. Luckily, he finished it around lunchtime, so it flowed into his lunch break nicely (pun intended). Since potential water damage was involved, Seiji created a makeshift barricade on his desk with dividers to prevent water from flying onto our fellow reporters’ desks.

▼ Are you feeling that Vegas energy yet?

Supposedly, all he had to do was put water in the pool at the bottom and it would cycle back to the top via a small pipe, then flow back down like a real waterslide. So, he filled the pool with clean water, and…

▼  We have water, people!

Seiji prepared the somen noodles–which conveniently only take a minute or two to boil–and prepared a dipping sauce. Then, he let ’em rip down the slide.

▼ Lunch is served if you can catch it.

▼ Here’s a video of what the experience was like, LED lights and all.

The only problem Seiji thought was worth nothing was that it was a bit messier than the average nagashi somen experience, thanks to the Dragon Fountain.

▼ Actually, it was a lot messier.

To be fair, there was a warning on the box that said water would likely splash out the sides a bit, but Seiji didn’t expect this much. But since he’d already started eating, he couldn’t exactly stop.

▼ The end result: a pond on his desk, a full stomach, and a very wet carpet below.

All in all, Seiji had a pretty good lunch. The Big Stream Somen Slider Mega Las Vegas definitely added a new dimension to it, but he could have done without the extra water works. If you’re going to try this out at the office like Seiji did, he highly recommends preparing a few towels. Or you can try this solo nagashi soumen machine by Takara Tomy Arts for a much less messy experience!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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