Dec. 04, 2019 UPDATE
Kyoto Oden Guide 2019 – From Classics to the Unconventional
Part 3

Oden & Sake – Warm Your Body & Soul

During the freezing winter months of December to February in Japan, there is nothing more satisfying than a nice warm bowl of oden. And what goes better with a warm wintery dish than a big glass of warm Japanese sake? In parts 1 and 2 of our oden feature, we introduced you to Kyoto oden and some delicious oden restaurants. However, in part 3, we want to introduce you to restaurants and tachinomiya standing bars that serve both oden and sake. We’ll also be letting you in on what makes this combination just so darn good. If you’re making your way to Kyoto this winter, make sure to try the heart-warming combination of delicious oden and Japanese sake!
Why do sake & oden pair so well?
Why do sake & oden pair so well?
Japanese sake generally lacks strong astringent, bitter or tart flavors, so it's known for being easy to pair with a wide range of foods. Because of this, an especially full-bodied sake pairs incredibly well with the hardy flavors of oden. Additionally, when ordered hot, or atsukan, sake loses some of the feelings of both bitterness and saltiness.

Another reason oden tastes better with sake is because of the alcohol's contrasting, mildly sweet and tart flavors.
What’s so fun about oden and tachinomiya standing bars?
What’s so fun about oden and tachinomiya standing bars?
In recent years, Kyoto has seen a boom in the number of tachinomiya standing bars. Not only are these bars usually super warm and welcoming, but they also serve drinks at very reasonable prices.
During winter, the staple menu of many of these bars is oden.
So if you’ve never tried neither Japanese tachinomiya standing bars nor oden, then why not kill two birds with one stone and knock both out at the same time!
Sake & Oden
Muro – Oden & Kamameshi
Muro – Oden & Kamameshi
Located three minutes from the Hankyu “Shijo Omiya Station,” Muro – Oden & Kamameshi is an oden restaurant offering over 30 different ingredients. In addition to classic oden, Muro also serves up new and original Western-style oden as well.
ripe tomato
Particularly popular with female customers, the most out of the ordinary oden is their "ripe tomato." After stewing in the oden hotpot and soaking up the flavors of the broth, the tomato is then hit with a bit of cream before doing a final lap in the pot. The resulting genuinely exquisite soup features a slightly sour flavor, thanks to the tomato juices, and is so good that you'll be licking the bowl.
Muro also offers a wide range of sake that pair perfectly with their oden.
Tachinomiya & Oden
Tachinomiya & Oden
Before9
One of Kyoto’s coolest tachinomiya standing bars, Before9 is a lovely craft beer bar with a welcoming, female-friendly atmosphere. Before9’s oden features broth with elegantly refined flavors, and perfectly tough daikon radish. And of course, what’s better to wash your oden down with than a nice, tall glass of Kyoto craft beer?
Kokoro
Kokoro
Kokoro is a tachinomiya standing bar located right by downtown Shijo Kawaramachi. While most standing bars in Japan tend to be quite cramped and a tad dingy, Kokoro flips this image on its head with its clean and spacious design. One of Kokoro’s signature dishes is their miso flavored oden. With remarkably robust flavors, this oden is nothing less than downright delicious. In addition to local Kyoto brewed sake, Kokoro also offers a range of beers and highballs as well, so no matter your poison, you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful combination of a nice drink and a warm bowl of oden.
Are you gonna be checking out any of the restaurants yourself?
Nothing helps warm you up on a cold winter’s day like a bowl of hot oden and a glass of sake, so we can’t recommend trying this combination enough! Also, if you have the chance, make sure to try those with the delicious, and slightly sweet, Kyoto dashi stock the next time you’re in town as well!
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