13 February 2024
Speed eaters in the northeastern Japanese prefecture of Iwate wolfed down buckwheat noodles during a competitive slurping contest. It was the first time in four years that the event was held without coronavirus-related restrictions. The national championships took place in the city of Hanamaki on Sunday.
One hundred and eighty contestants from across the country participated in the event. The contest had three divisions the elementary school student category, the group category and the individual category. Eating wanko-soba noodles in small bowls is a tradition in some parts of the prefecture, and bowls of the buckwheat noodles were prepared for the contest.
A fifth-grade participant said the noodles were delicious. But the student added that the noodles were hard to swallow because they were thicker than expected.
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