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Journey Visiting Unique Oden Places Throughout Japan

Culture

UpdateMarch 5, 2018
ReleaseFebruary 21, 2018

There is nothing better than enjoying oden when it comes to winter. Oden is a Japanese hot-pot dish in which various kinds of ingredients are simmered in dashi soup for up to a few hours. The ingredients and soup types vary in different regions, allowing many variations of oden to emerge throughout Japan. If you are taking a trip in Japan this winter, make sure to enjoy various kinds of oden that are available only in particular areas!

Oden in Kanto

Aomori Ginger Miso Oden (Aomori Prefecture)

This oden was created by a female owner of one of the street stalls for passengers who were waiting for the Seikan Renraku-sen in winter, a ferry that connected between Aomori and Hakodate (Hokkaido) until 1988. She added grated ginger to miso so that the oden would warm up the bodies of people waiting in the cold.

Odawara Oden (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Famous as a town of kamaboko steamed fish paste, with 12 well-established kamaboko stores, along with unique kamaboko based on locals ideas, Odawara features oden served with “ume-miso” (plum miso) based on one of its specialties, ume (plums).

Tokyo Oden (Tokyo Prefecture)

This oden features strong dashi from shredded dried bonito and seasoning using koikuchi (dark-colored) soy sauce. Fish paste items, such as chikuwabu and suji, are unique to Tokyo Oden.

Shizuoka Oden

Shizuoka Kuro Oden (Shizuoka Prefecture)

Steamed fish paste, called hampen, is usually white, but in Shizuoka, it is black. Shizuoka Oden features a sprinkling of a generous amount of oden-ko powder, which contains powdered dried bonito and green nori seaweed powder.

Best Places to Enjoy Shizuoka Oden

Aoba Yokocho alley and Aoba Oden-gai street, both located near JR Shizuoka Station, are recommended as places to enjoy Shizuoka Oden. The retro-atmosphere alleys appear suddenly in the middle of the modern part of town with its high rises. More than 10 oden places with red lanterns hanging in front stand on both sides of the streets.

Enjoying Shizuoka Oden at “Obachan” on Aoba Yokocho alley!

Click it to watch the video!
** Autumn Comfort Food: Oden!! | Shizuoka Prefecture

Oden in Kansai

Kansai Oden is similarly based on kombu and bonito dashi, but uses usukuchi (light-colored) soy sauce and salt for seasoning and features a short simmering time. In Osaka, which is called the kitchen of Japan, enjoy oden cooked in its specialty dashi soup.

Maizuru Oden (Kyoto Prefecture)

Maizuru Oden features 100% locally grown ingredients simmered in dashi soup made with dried sardines from Maizuru and dried kombu.

Himeji Oden (Hyogo Prefecture)

Himeji has two kinds of oden, strongly flavored sweet oden and lightly flavored oden. Any oden served with soy sauce and grated ginger is the Himeji-style oden.

Wakasa Obama Saba Oden (Fukui Prefecture)

There are two kinds of soup, red and white. The white one is Japanese-style soup using kombu dashi and saba-flavored soy sauce (saba: chub mackerel), creating a great combination. If you bite into kinchaku (deep-fried tofu pouch) containing grilled saba, your mouth will be filled with umami. The other, red soup is based on tomato and features saba-flavored soy sauce as well. This one goes well with cheese and black pepper.

Udon Restaurant’s Ocen (Kagawa Prefecture)

Kagawa, a prefecture famous for udon, has many udon restaurants that serve oden. Served with karashi-miso (miso with mustard), Kagawa’s oden is a perfect side dish for udon. Iidako (ocellated octopus) Oden is a local specialty.

Other oden and more

Nagoya Miso Oden (Aichi Prefecture)

Haccho-miso is often used as a sauce, but in Nagoya, ingredients are cooked in haccho-miso soup. One of its unique ingredients is pork intestines.

Kanazawa Oden (Ishikawa Prefecture)

This dish features shinjo dumplings made with fish and shrimp, bai-gai (Japanese Babylon sea snail), and kurumabu (wheel-shaped fu dried wheat gluten). The most expensive ingredient, kanimen, is only available from mid-November to December, and uses a whole kobakogani crab*.
*kobakogani: female snow crabs caught in Ishikawa Prefecture

Nagasaki Oden (Nagasaki Prefecture)

Simmered in ago-dashi soup, one of Nagasaki’s specialties, Nagasaki Oden is served with yuzu-kosho (seasoning with chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt).

Okinawa Oden (Okinawa Prefecture)

This style features tebichi (pig legs) and green leaves.

If you want to enjoy different kinds of tastes at once, go to an Oden Festival!

Odawara Oden Summit, Mar. 31-Apr. 1, 2018, at Odawara Castle Park (Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Shizuoka Oden Fair, Mar. 9-11. 2018, at Aoba Symbol Road (Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture)

Convenience Store Oden

Convenience stores sell cheap but delicious oden. Their oden also has different dashi, condiments, and ingredients in different regions. For example, Seven-Eleven divides the county into eight regions and provides each with unique soup this year.