Updated: November 06, 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 because there are so many delicious seasonal foods during that time. Seasonality is also very important in Japanese cuisine, so you should enjoy the natural greatness of each of these autumn foods 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 their appearance and the fact that the peak season for the sanma is in the fall.

The most common way to eat sanma is "sanma no shioyaki", which 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 the fall. Sweet potatoes 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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"Yakiimo"

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 that looks itself like chestnuts and is also stuffed with bean paste and chestnuts paste (or a whole chestnut is put 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 savory dishes and desserts. A wide variety of desserts made from kabocha is sold in the fall. You can find kabocha puddings, pies, muffins, and more. They are also cooked (can be simmered, baked, fried) and served as a side dish. One common way to cook kabocha is simmering in a 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. The are many kaki trees in Japan and the fruit ripens in the fall. The skin is a little bitter so most people peel it off for consumption. The flesh is very sweet and juicy. It is also common to dry kaki fruits, which makes them much sweeter and enables them to be preserved for a long time.

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 orchards. It has a crispier texture than 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 and known to be an expensive and aromatic mushroom, just like truffles. They can grow 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 their unique flavor. Matsutake gohan (rice with matsutake mushroom) and matsutake soup are often served at nice restaurants in the fall.
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"Matsutake gohan"

Lastly...

It is totally true that the fall is the best season for eating some of Japan's best foods! You should try them and discover the taste of Japan's autumn while enjoying the beautiful colored leaves.
haru
I love traveling and eating. My favorites are everything matcha and cheesecakes.

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