Updated: April 17, 2018
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Best Season For Foodies! List of Most Common Autumn Food of Japan

In Japan, fall is said to be the season for eating or having a good appetite because there are a bunch of delicious seasonal ingredients in that time. Seasonality is also very important in Japanese cuisine, so you should enjoy the natural greatness of each autumn food of Japan!

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1. Sanma

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Sanma (秋刀魚/さんま), or saury in English, is a fish which represents the fall of Japan. The word "sanma" is literally translated as "autumn knife fish" because of the peak season and appearance.

The most common way to eat sanma is "sanma no shioyaki", it means salted, grilled sanma. A whole fish is grilled, to make the fatty sanma fluffy. Usually served with grated daikon radish on the side, which goes very well with sanma. It is also used for sushi and sashimi.
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"Sanma no shioyaki"

2. Satsumaimo

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Satsumaimo (さつまいも) is a Japanese sweet potato which is used in a variety of dishes as a seasonal ingredient. "Satsumaimo digging" is also a common autumn activity especially for kids.

Yakiimo is a popular snack in fall. Sweet potato are simply roasted on pebbles, which boosts the natural sweetness and makes the sweet potatoes more hearty. They are often sold at food stalls and trucks.
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3. Kuri

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Kuri (栗) means chestnuts in Japanese. Japan has a lot of chestnut trees which bear fruits when fall comes. They have been consumed since the ancient era, and are sweet and have nutty flavors.

They can be used in many dishes. The most common kuri dish is "kuri gohan" which simply consists of rice and kuri steamed together. There is also a famous kuri dessert called "kuri manju". It is an adorable steamed cake looking like chestnuts and also stuffed with bean paste and chestnuts paste (or a whole chestnut is wrapped in it).
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"Kuri manju"

4. Kabocha

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Kabocha (かぼちゃ), or Japanese pumpkin, is also an autumn vegetable. It is sweet and hearty, and kind of similar to the flavor and texture of sweet potatoes. You can eat the skin too (after cooking).

Kabocha is used both in savories and desserts. A wide variety of desserts made from kabocha is sold in fall, such as puddings, pies, muffins, and more. They are also cooked (can be simmered, baked, fried) and served as a side dishes. One common way to cook kabocha is simmering in the sweet and savory soup, this dish is called "kabocha no nimono".
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"Kabocha no nimono"

5. Kaki

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Kaki (柿) is translated as persimmon in English. They have many kaki trees and the fruit gets raped in fall. The peel is very bitter so you need to cut off. The fruit itself is very sweet and juicy though. It is also common to dry, which makes it much sweeter and enables to preserve longer.

6. Nashi

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Nashi (梨), also known as Asian pear, is one of the most popular autumn fruits. People also go to nashi picking at the neighboring orchard. It has a crispy texture like an apple, and has very sweet and fresh flavors as they contain a lot of juice.

7. Matsutake

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Matsutake (松茸) is famous as the expensive and aromatic mushroom, just like truffles. They can glow under the fallen leaves of certain kinds of pine trees.

They have a great and appetizing aroma. They are usually cooked with simple seasonings so you can enjoy the unique flavor. Matsutake gohan (rice with matsutake mushroom) and matsutake soup are often served at nice restaurants in fall.
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"Matsutake gohan"


It is totally true that fall is the best season for eating these amazing food! You should try them and admire the taste of Japan's fall while watching the beautiful colored leaves.
I love traveling and eating. My favorites are everything matcha and cheesecakes.

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