As we have four seasons and eat particular foods for each season, you may find it that the Japanese might be a bit crazy about the season limited products. Here are some foods that you can eat during the winter season.
Of course, it will be a spring soon, but the weather is still cold in Japan. This is a must-try dish in the cold day. In the convenient shop or some izakaya restaurant, they offer a variety of vegetable and fishcakes in the one pot as you have already noticed it. When you buy it, for instance, inconvenience shop, you can pick the ingredients from the pot by yourself most of the time and pay it in the cashier. You can also ask for Udon (Japanese noodle) to put into Oden these days.
But do you know that you can take sachets of Japanese mustard or Yuzu-Kosho with you? Typically, people use mustard for Oden, but Yuzu-Kosho (Japanese citrus called Yuzu, and the paste is something like Yuzu Paper seasoning) goes well with your Oden.
Although there are many sweets available in Japanese winter and I notice that popular summer sweet like ice-cream is no longer summer products and a lot of people love to eat in winter. However, I would like to recommend you to try this traditional sweet, especially in traditional Japanese sweet restaurants. This Oshiruko and Zenzai can be offered only during the winter season from November to February.
People living in the Kansai area differentiate this sweet as Oshiruko and Zenzai. Mashed sweet red bean paste is used for Zenzai and Smooth sweet red bean paste is used for Oshiruko (though in the Kanto area, this might not refer to). Baked rice cake will be in the soup or rice cake might be cooked in the pot. You can have different texture depending on the way to cook it.
If you miss the chance to eat it in a restaurant, don’t worry, you might also find it in the vending machine.
Nikuman is a type of Manju/bun with steamed meat. Maybe in Asian countries like Korea and China, they may also have this as winter limited products. However, the uniqueness of this in Japan might be a variety of tastes. You can find the steamed bun with Pizza taste, Chinese style, sweet red bean paste, Curry taste, etc…you can find the unique flavored bun in convenience stores in the steamed box;
Don’t miss out and I hope you will enjoy the taste of winter limited food in Japan.