Updated: January 23, 2017
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5 Must-Eat Japanese Foods In Winter

Winter in Japan is cold, which makes it ideal for eating piping hot food. Also, many seasonal fruits, fish and vegetables taste extremely delicious! Here are 5 foods you must try!

1. "Snow Apples"

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Why the name "snow apples"? This name arose when the apple growers in Nagano started to bury the apples they harvest from late November to early December under huge piles of snow. This inspired way of keeping the apples frozen enhanced the taste of the apples, thus making them crisper, juicer and sweeter. So try "snow apples" when you get the chance!

2. Buri (Yellowtail)

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When Kansai people eat buri as part of their oshogatsu (New Year) meal, you know that it must taste especially delicious! Indeed, buri have higher fat content in winter because they have a tendency to gain weight so as to prepare themselves for the upcoming spawning season.

Actually, other than buri, other wild fishes like fugu (puffer fish) and hirame (flounder) also get fat similarly and are particularly scrumptious in winter!

3. Oden

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When you are shivering from the cold in winter, nothing beats tucking into a warm and wholesome bowl of oden (food simmered in flavorful dashi). Just step into a convenience store in Japan, and you will definitely be spoilt for choice as you can choose from the wide range of foods available, including daikon (Japanese radish), shirataki (noodles made from the konjac plant), boiled eggs, deep fried tofu, among others!

4. Kentucky Fried Chicken

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Specifically for Christmas. While the thought of eating KFC food for Christmas may come across as weird for foreigners, it has been a long-cherished tradition since 1970. Try to get a Japanese friend to help you order the KFC special Christmas dinner in advance so that you can partake in a uniquely Japanese festivity!

5. Yosenabe

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We have saved the best for last: yosenabe (put-together pot)! What could be more heavenly than savoring meat, vegetables, tofu, eggs, seafood and noodles together in the lively company of friends? This nabe (Japanese claypot) of sheer goodness is the perfect complement to the harsh winter!
Winter in Japan is notoriously cold, but with these five great dishes lined up, I'm sure you will enjoy many a feast. Itadakimasu!

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