Winter Food You Should Try in Japan

oden Food & Drinks

As winter gets closer, what comes up to your mind to warm yourself from the cold weather? It could be sweaters or cozy blanket but how about the delicious winter foods? It warms you up from inside your body while satisfying your stomach at the same time. Most of them can be found at super markets and convenience stores and you can enjoy it at home! Here are our winter food recommendations that you should try in Japan.

1. Oden (おでん)

Oden (おでん) is a type of traditional Japanese stew that is loved by many people of all ages. It contains a variety of food ranging from boiled egg, radish (called Daikon (大根) in Japanese), Konnyaku (こんにゃく) (traditional Japanese food made from konjac), and fish cakes. We put them in a pot and boil together with delicious soup generally made of soy sauce and soup stock. The mild taste is easy to try even for children and those who have never had Oden before. Some people enjoy different flavors by adding some seasoning or spice such as karashi, Japanese mustard. You can find them at convenience stores where each ingredient is sold individually. In some areas, people eat oden with miso.

Oden

Where to buy/enjoy Oden in Japan?

You can find Oden at convenience stores in Japan. Generally, they sell it only for the winter season when they can expect high sales as the cold weather encourages more people to buy it. Each ingredient is sold individually, and the price is shown along with the name of each ingredient. You need to take out the ingredients that you want to buy from the soup and pack them in a container on your own and bring it up to the register.

Also you can try oden during this Food and Drink Tour at Sunamachi.

Japan Wonder Travel
Find a wonderful tours and guides in Japan with JapanWonderGuide!

2. Hot Pot (お鍋)

Hot Pot is one of the most popular dish styles that is essential for Japanese people in the winter season. We usually enjoy it with a variety of vegetables and meat cooked and served in a large pot together. There are a wide range of hot pot styles according to each region and even household, so it is difficult to define what the hot pot actually is. In some regions, people put local specialties in hot pot such as “Kiritanpo” (きりたんぽ), which is known as a famous traditional food in Akita prefecture. Hokkaido is home to “Ishikari Nabe”(石狩鍋), a hot pot featuring fresh salmon cooked with miso-based source. “Chanko Nabe”(ちゃんこ鍋) refers to a special hot pot generally served to Sumo wrestlers! 

Chanko hotpot - sumo food

Where to buy/enjoy Hot pot in Japan?

You can enjoy hot pot at Japanese restaurants including Izakaya bars. Many people also enjoy hot pot at home which is preferable for those who want to put their favorite ingredients in it. At grocery stores, they sell a variety of hot pot soup base such as Kimchi (キムチ) base. Popular soup bases include soy sauce, salt, miso, and Tonkotsu which is also loved as the best flavors for ramen!

It is easier and faster to use a large pot to cook all the ingredients together, especially when you expect large groups or others to share it together. When the ingredients are cooked, you can dish them out on small plates so that everyone can enjoy their food individually! 

The Best 5 Chanko Restaurant in Ryogoku
1. IntroductionChanko or Chanko Nabe is a style of hotpot of vegetable, meat and seafood which is a famous meal...

3. Crab (かに)

Winter is definitely the best season to taste fresh crabs that are caught in the Sea of Japan. It is known to offer a suitable environment for crabs to grow with plenty of nutrients. There are a number of famous ports along the east coast of Japan where fresh crabs are caught and landed. In other countries, people usually enjoy only boiled-crabs, but here in Japan we cook them in a variety of ways. It is sometimes served as it is without cooking, which brings you a flavor of the sea. Tempura (天ぷら) is another popular way to enjoy the plump crab covered with the crispy coating.

What to eat in Japan

Where to buy/enjoy Crab in Japan?

Head to Hokuriku region if you want to try the best crabs in the winter season. There are luxurious Japanese-style inns that offer crab dishes along with other local delicacies. It also allows you to get a refreshing hot spring experience after having satisfying dishes. If you prefer somewhere more reasonable, visit Sushi restaurants which offer crabs for affordable prices. Kaiten Sushi (回転寿司) is a unique style of sushi restaurant where sushi is delivered on the conveyor belt! 

Best Places to Visit in Chubu Region - Complete Guide to Chubu!
Chubu region consists of 9 prefectures in Japan. You can enjoy mountainous area and beach area, also the urban city in Chubu. Here is the summary of the area and the best places to visit in Chubu!

4. Oyster (牡蠣)

Oyster is another blessing from the ocean that is loved by many Japanese people during the winter season. It is a type of shellfish with two hard shells which feature a unique shape. It is also eaten in other countries especially where they can expect fresh oysters. It is often referred to as “the milk of the sea”, as it contains plenty of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium which are essential for our bodies to grow!      

What to eat in Japan

Where to buy/enjoy Oyster in Japan?

Take the Shinkansen to get to Hiroshima which has a high production of fresh oysters. We enjoy it in different ways including raw, cooked with butter and soy sauce, or even put in a hot pot with other seafood. You can also buy one at grocery stores, but be careful as it could cause you a terrible stomachache if you get one which is not fresh enough to eat as it is! Make sure to cook them thoroughly before you eat them in that case.

Best Things To Do in Hiroshima Prefecture
Hiroshima prefecture is widely known for its two UNESCO sites: the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Itsukushima Shrine with its iconic torii gate that appears to be floating in the water. But the prefecture has so much more to offer, in this article we will list the best places to visit in the prefecture of Hiroshima!

5. Mikan (ミカン)

Mikan is a kind of fruit which is often called Mandarin Orange in other countries. It is basically similar to what you imagine when you hear the word Orange, but the peel is softer and easy to remove with your hands. Japan boasts several famous production areas of Mikan such as Shizuoka (静岡) and Ehime (愛媛) prefecture, which is widely known for the warm climate suitable for them to grow fester. They contain plenty of Vitamin C, which brings a variety of health benefits to your body and skin. Once you remove the external peel you will find thinner white skin covering the flesh, which also contains nutrients including Vitamin C and dietary fiber!     

Where to buy/enjoy Mikan in Japan?

You can get Mikan at any grocery stores. It is generally cheaper to choose ones sold in bulk than buying them separately. Japanese people love to have them at home while warming themselves under the kotatsu. It is a traditional Japanese furniture that consists of a table equipped with an electric heater underneath!

6. Nikuman (肉まん)

Nikuman is a steamed meat bun that originates from China. It is generally made from flour dough which is filled with pork. In Japan, we have invented a variety of types of Nikuman that includes “Steamed pizza bun” (ピザまん), and sweet ones which have sweet red bean paste called “Anko” (あんこ) in it. The size and affordable price make it a perfect food to pick up at convenience stores when you feel a bit hungry!

Where to buy/enjoy Nikuman in Japan?

Nikuman is sold at convenience stores just like Oden. You can find a variety of Nikuman being steamed in an electric equipment installed by the cashier.  

7. Hayashi Rice (ハヤシライス)

If you want to cook something by yourself at home, try Hayashi rice which has a flavor similar to curry rice. The name originally comes from “Hashed beef with rice”, which developed as an original recipe in Japan during the Meiji period. It consists of rice with beef and onion cooked in a demi-glace sauce on the top of it. The mild taste is easy to try for children and those who don’t like spicy food!  

Food and Drink Tour

We offer some Food and Drink Tours in Tokyo and Kansai area. Let’s explore the area with a knowledgeable guide and try some local foods. Listening to the background stories will help you understand the culture and the area!


If you don’t have any plans for winter holiday this year yet, why don’t you take advantage of this opportunity to try Japanese food culture? It will take you on an exciting journey to discover great dishes that have been loved by Japanese people for many years!    

Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for more travel inspiration. Or tag us to get featured! 

Happy travelling!

Stay informed of the best travel tips to Japan, the most exciting things to do and see, and the top experiences to have with the Japan Wonder Travel Newsletter. Every week we will introduce you to our latest content.

Other articles you might like

10 Best Winter Destinations in Japan!
Winter, when the temperature drops and white snow totally changes the landscape in mountainous areas, is the best time to travel around the country searching for stunning sceneries that you have never seen before. Here are the top 10 destinations for your winter trip to Japan!
All you need to know about Japanese Wagyu Beef
Wagyu refers to the 4 breeds of purebred Japanese cattle. In this article we explain everything there is to know about this delicious type of meat and why it is so special. Itadakimasu!
What to Eat in Japan: Ultimate Guide to Japanese Local Food on Each Location
Each region has speciality food. Here we introduce what to eat in Japan on each locaton! Try some local foods while you are in Japan and see the uniquness of this country. If you are wondering what to eat in Japan, this articles is a perfect guide to you.
10 Best Tokyo Food Tours You Must Take on Your Japan Trip
Here we listed up the best Tokyo food tours for you. From Tsukiji Fish Market tours to Izakaya bar hopping tour at night, we have listed a variety of Tokyo food tours you can enjoy during your stay in Japan.

Comments

Copied title and URL