Namie yakisoba 'best' B-class cuisine

JAPAN - Namie yakisoba, which was produced by Namie Yakisoba Taikoku, a group formed to revitalize the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, won at the eighth B-1 Grand Prix, an event held in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture on Saturday and Sunday to promote local dishes known as B-class gourmet cuisine. According to the event opera-tor, 64 groups participated, which was a record high, and about 580,000 people visited the event over two days.

Namie yakisoba is a dish featuring stir-fried thick noodles like udon and pork with a heavy sauce. The group ranked fourth at both the 2011 and 2012 events.

The ninth event will be held in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture next year. "Reconstruction work has progressed in Koriyama. We hope many people will visit Fukushima," Vice Mayor Kensuke Yoshizaki said.

Sadayuki Yashima, head of Namie Yakisoba Taikoku, evacuated from the town to Minami-Soma due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis. "All the townspeople were forced to evacuate due to the nuclear crisis. But we have demonstrated that dreams can come true if we don't give up," he said.

Namie Mayor Tamotsu Baba, who cheered the group at the event, said, "I was moved the group became No. 1. There is a lot of bad news, such as decontamination work that has not made progress. This is the first good news in a while. I think the people of town will be encouraged by the news."