Kyoto Oden Guide – From Classics to the Unconventional
When you're talking wintery Japanese foods, what's the first thing to come to mind? Shabu shabu? Sukiyaki? Maybe even boiled yu-dofu? Yes, while these are pretty well known overseas, there's one warm, winter Japanese dish that hasn't made its way to the food courts and sushi bars of the west. That's right, we're talking about the essential Japanese winter food–oden!
This Japanese stew-like amalgam of ingredients is made up of dashi broth filled with the likes of hard boiled eggs and white daikon radish. While you'll see it at some homes, a lot of the time, people eat oden outside at food stalls and izakaya pubs with heated tables called kotatsu to warm themselves. This tradition of eating oden in winter has essentially woven itself into the winter customs of Japan.
While oden is a simple dish at its core, this has opened it up to a world of innovation across the varied regions of Japan.
In this oden feature, we will highlight all the fantastic and exciting aspects of oden in Kyoto. Not only because we love Kyoto, but because the area in and around Kyoto is one of the coldest in Japan, so naturally, winter just isn't complete here without oden.
Take a look over all parts of the feature and see everything from veteran oden restaurants beloved by Kyoto locals, to the best places to grab a drink with your oden and enjoy something a little out of the ordinary.