Photo: iStock/ chocophoto

5 Japanese foods to try this winter

By Emily Bushman

The winter in Japan is truly a magical experience. While it’s chilly and snowing outside, inside, it’s kotatsu (a low table with a heater underneath) and hot bath season, and the perfect time to try out some winter delicacies. There’s nothing like sitting down with a book and some fresh oranges or a bowl of steaming hot oden (Japanese fishcake stew).

Japan has a handful of incredible winter food specialties– read on to learn about them and choose your favorite to indulge in.

1. Christmas cake

Chock full of strawberries, the classic Christmas cake is a crowd favorite. Photo: iStock/ muuuu

What may be the perfect winter treat of all, the Japanese Christmas Cake is an absolute work of art. Made from fluffy layers of a light vanilla sponge cake, this cake is filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream and strawberries.

Why it’s eaten at Christmas is something of a mystery. It was originally marketed as a Christmas cake due to the colors, but otherwise has little connection to Western Christmas celebrations.

You can even get Christmas cakes in different sizes, shapes and flavors. The key to Christmas cake is that it’s at least a little dressed up in a winter motif. Get yours for the holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

They can be ordered from grocery stores, convenience stores, and bakeries. But act fast—after Christmas, they are impossible to find.

2. Mikan (Mandarin orange)

The fruit’s peel is incredibly easy to remove, making this a simple and delicious snack. Photo: iStock/ c11yg

If you’re looking for a little more fruit and a little less cake, grab yourself a few mikan (a type of Mandarin orange). Small, easy to peel and with the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, this little fruit is the Asian answer to the traditional Christmas orange in Western countries.

There is nothing better than a little citrus to brighten a cold winter’s day, so look for these beauties in the grocery store throughout December and January to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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© GaijinPot

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But act fast—after Christmas, they are impossible to find.

Aren’t those cakes often just regular strawberry shortcakes or chocolate cream cakes but with added Christmas decorations on top?

Was surprised to find that 7-11 sells stollen.

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What about miso nabe 味噌鍋? Or tonjiru 豚汁? They are atypical Japanese winter foods, guaranteed to warn your cockles on a cold Tokyo winters night.

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Have two bowl of black eyes peas today,start the year right a head of 2023

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Enjoyed a delicious and tasty katsudon at Katsuya, and another delicious Hot Pot at Yoshinoya. There are also delicious niku manju in most convenience stores along roasted sweet potatoes, marvelous cold weather foods.

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