Indulge in Japan’s Comfort Foods at Tabisuru Shintora Market

Winter warmers at Tokyo’s Tabisuru Shintora Market this chilly season.

As the nights get longer and the days get shorter, it can be hard to chase those winter blues away. Thankfully the four brightly lit stalls and the café at Tabisuru Shintora Market – an ongoing event just outside Toranomon Hills that promotes regions from across Japan – have prepared for this season with nourishing comfort foods that warm the body from the inside out. Find a new favorite Japanese dish to soothe your soul when the weather, your life, or the world in general isn’t giving you a break.

pork cutlet from Komono, Mie Prefecture

Stall 1: Pork Offal Nabe from Komono, Mie Prefecture

Give yourself an immunity booster at lunch with Komono pork offal nabe (pictured at the top of the page), which is packed with protein and vitamins. The rich soup base is laden with negi onion, carrots and ginger, which all work to help keep you warm. The Komono pork cutlet set (directly above) comes with a crispy pork cutlet, a potato croquette, and a side of miso soup. For dinner, the pork offal nabe serves two to three people, making it the perfect dish to share with friends. Pair with some of Komono’s finest sake and liqueurs.

hot pot from Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture

Stall 2: Heavenly Hot Pots from Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture

Hioki city is happy to cater to nabe fans, with a selection of hot pots to delight even the fussiest eater. There are so many different flavors they’ll have you coming back every day! The heavenly hot pots served are pork barley miso nabe, chicken meatball and soymilk nabe, beef sukiyaki (similar to nabe but cooked in a skillet), and seafood chige (kimchi nabe). Night-time offerings include izakaya-style fare such as pork offal fry, tofu with a sprinkling of meat and negi onion. For true local fare, try gane, a tempura-style dish made of julienned root vegetables. Match your food with with one of Kagoshima’s famed shochu, or some amazake (a sweet alcohol made from fermented rice).

shabu shabu from Suzuka, Mie Prefecture

Stall 3: Shabu Shabu from Suzuka, Mie Prefecture

As Mie Prefecture is the third top producer of green tea in Japan, it’s only right that Suzuka’s specialty shabu shabu is made using Tsubaki Saen green tea. The dish serves two to three people and features locally raised sakura pork and crispy green lettuce. For light nibbles to go with your drink, try the penne pasta arrabiata, or squid tempura – both dyed black using Suzuka ink! Pair with Zaku, an award-winning sake that won a gold medal in this year’s national sake competition.

tai ochazuke from Niigata prefecture

Stall 4: Tai Ochazuke and More from Niigata Villages

For something filling but not too heavy, the lunchtime onigiri set comes with fried chicken, potato salad, and miso soup. To go with after dinner drinks of local wine, shochu or yogurt liqueur, try the warming tai ochazuke (green tea poured over sea bream and rice), or the nourishing seafood gratin. Follow up with an ice cream sundae infused with amazake (traditional sweet alcohol made from fermented rice), or a set of dango (sweet rice dumplings) that comes with edamame ice cream and hot green tea.

crepe topped with zunda ice cream

Visit Shintora Café for a Fusion of Japanese, Spanish and Italian Flavors

Tapas fans will love the variety of dishes available at the café, which are a delectable fusion of flavors. Here you’ll find palate pleasers like konnyaku (a jelly made from a type of potato) and beef shank in bamboo charcoal ajillo, creamy Manchurian rice stems and Komokin pork gratin with spicy yuzu taste, seaweed and parmigiano cheese fried galette, and more. Save some room for dessert though, as the zunda (paste made from edamame beans) ice cream and strawberry matcha crepes are sure to blow your mind. Drop by for lunch and ask for the lunchtime mini tapas – only ¥200 per dish!

Tabisuru Shintora Market’s Winter Edition Kicks Off in the New Year

Starting in January, Tabisuru Shintora Market will take on a new look with new cities, under the theme of The Dawn of Spring and Enlightenment. 2018 will be the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration, a time of new beginnings and change. This edition of Tabisuru Shintora Market will be a celebration of people, lifestyle, crafts and arts, with history as a focal point.

For Tabisuru Shintora Market’s map and contact info, visit our Events Calendar listing.

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