Cosmic noodles

If there's one cooling summer food event in Japan, it has to be nagashi sōmen — the tradition of eating sōmen noodles by catching them with chopsticks as they swish past you in chilled water flowing along a bamboo pipe slide. It sounds daft, but it's an event that many enjoy, especially kids. It's also usually organized as an outdoor event and not something you can set up at home — unless you know about Takara Tomy Arts Co. (T-Arts) Big Stream Somen Sliders.

Each year since 2016, T-Arts has released a new version of its Big Stream Somen Slider, a mechanical nagashi sōmen kit that looks like a cross between a miniature waterslide and a tiny race track. The theme this year is space and the Big Stream Somen Slider Galaxy (¥10,778) does something previous versions of the contraption didn't.