Delicious Winter Food in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Delicious Winter Food in Japan

By Guidable Writers Dec 11, 2020

Winter in Japan can be one of the most magical times of the year. With the cool weather, the magical fairy lights wrapped around the trees and lamp posts, and the holiday joy that lingers through the air.

Japanese Winter Food – Enjoy Delicious Winter Food in Japan!

After a cold day out, nothing beats coming inside and enjoying delicious Japanese winter food. Be sure to try one of these delicious winter dishes! In Japan, food and seasons go hand in hand, it is the time to enjoy steaming hot pot dishes, tasty hot potatoes, warm bowl of delicious oden

Yaki imo – Baked Sweet Potato

The same as ice cream trucks in other parts of the world, street vendors in Japan drive around neighborhoods selling hot, stone-baked sweet potatoes called ishi yaki imo.

These sweet potatoes are a little different, with purple skin and golden, creamy flesh. The texture of the Japanese yaki imo is sweet and tasty on its own without any extra toppings. They’re served in a paper bag, they’ve got the extra benefit of warming up your freezing hands.

Warm-up your freezing hands!

You can also buy them pre-cooked in almost all supermarkets in Japan: look for them to cook on stones in the ovens or grills in the production area.


In Japan, when the cold comes, it’s time to warm yourself with a steaming bowl of oden.

Japanese oden is a traditional stew of all kinds of Japanese ingredients from fish cakes to tofu, egg. The ingredients are boiled and served in a flavored broth and served. The ingredients and broth vary depending on what area of Japan you are in. Oden is one of Japan’s oldest fast food, which is very popular with street markets back in the Edo era (1603-1868) 

How to eat oden like a pro? Check out the steps now!

How To Enjoy Japanese Oden Like a Pro!


Mochi has a special place in Japanese culture at New Year’s Eve, where it has been part of the celebrations since at least the Heian period (794 – 1192) (794 – 1192). Traditionally, it is made by pounding steamed rice with wooden mallets and a large mortar called usu.

Grilled mochi – perfect brunch for a cozy winter afternoon!

Mochi in winter itself is delicious simply grilled and eaten with soy sauce, but other uses include savory dishes such as traditional New Year’s soup called ozoni or red bean paste to make a sweet called daifuku

Japanese Hot Pot


Nabe is a Japanese traditional hot pot of broth, vegetables, and meat or seafood cooked together in an earthenware pot. There are a variety of different types of nabe made with local ingredients that vary by region. Some common varieties include kani nabe (crab hot pot), which is mostly eaten in winter, or the popular protein-filled chanko nabe eaten by sumo wrestlers.

Check out our top 5 nabe choices here!

Hot Spots? No, Hot Pots!


Sukiyaki is a favorite hot pot dish of tender beef, vegetables, and sweet soy sauce. The meat is stirred in suet (beef fat) before adding some other ingredients such as Japanese leek, grilled tofu, shiitake mushroom, and shirataki noodles. Cooked beef and other ingredients are dipped into beaten raw eggs to make a creamy sauce.

Check out the recipe for a delicious pot of sukiyaki now!

3 easy to cook Japanese hot pot recipes for cold winter

Shabu Shabu

Shabu Shabu is another Japanese hot pot style that’s popular in Japan in winter. It is usually made with an elegant broth and kombu seaweed, beef or pork, tofu, and vegetables.

Unlike other forms of nabe where everything is cooked together in one pot before serving, the ingredients for shabu shabu are cut into individual pieces and cooked fondue style, bite-by-bite, with the meat and vegetables gently flavored in the broth just before they can be eaten. 

Mikan – Orange

In Japanese anime series, we’re familiar with the cozy winter picture in which Japanese family members huddle up under the kotatsu table (Japanese-style heated table) and enjoy some fresh mikan – easily peeled, seedless mandarin oranges. Mikan are one of the few fruits exported from Japan in large quantities and is a real favorite across the country.

Absolute coziness!

Enjoy Delicious Winter Food in Japan!

Winter in Japan can be unbearably cold, and an empty stomach will definitely make things worst. Fortunately, Japan has a lot of amazingly delicious foods that are perfect for winter and can help you fight against the chilling climate. Whether you enjoy the coziness from snuggling inside a blanket in your room, or going outside and enjoying the winter festivities, there is always a warm Japanese dish that you will be able to enjoy. Now that you know what some of Japan’s winter foods are, don’t forget to try them and keep your body warm and stomach full this winter!