Sobachoko cups were used in the Edo period to hold a dipping sauce to accompany soba buckwheat noodles, hence the name. It is said the patterns of Ko-Imari (Old Imari) Sobachoko cups reach into the tens of thousands. Nowadays, however, the Japanese commonly use these cups for a variety of things, e.g. cups for soba buckwheat noodles, coffee, green tea, sake, yogurt, fruit, iced cream and can be also used as cup planter.
Sobachoko cups are designed well to fit in your hand, easy to stack. In Japan, Sobachoko cups of Arita are often used in restaurants for its variation and durability. Due to the vast array of patterns and sizes available, the cups are especially popular with collectors, who enjoy finding their favorites.