Gourmet, Nightlife,

What’s Oden? Japanese exquisite winter food that will warm you up! [Otako/Shimbashi]


This article is about a special winter dish that you have to try when coming to Tokyo during the colder months of the year! That’s ‘oden‘. If you want to try it yourself, you have to visit “Otako”, founded in 1932 in Shinbashi. It’s a restaurant specialized in oden and the perfect place to try it for the the first time!

What is Oden?


Oden – the perfect dish for cold winter months

When visiting Japan in winter, you might see something interesting next to the cashier in a convenience store. A container with steaming broth with a lot of skewers inside. That’s the Japanese winter soul foodーoden. Oden is one of the traditional dishes of Japan: vegetables and meat are stewed in a broth made of bonito and kelp. The veggies are stewed and served in a warm broth, making you feel cozy and warm from the inside. Of course, you can try it at most convenience stores, but we definitely recommend to try authentic oden at a restaurant specialized in this winter treat!

Shinbashi in Tokyo

Try authentic oden at Otako!



A red lantern with “oden” written on it. This means just one thing: winter has come!

Otako is a Japanese style restaurant where you have to take off your shoes and sit around a low table in a room with tatami mats.

The menu is in Japanese only with no photos, so ordering might feel a little bit challenging. But don’t worry. To make it simple,  just ask for an oden set. Otako offers sets in three different sizes. Just select the size suitable for the number of people and the shop will do the rest by preparing a bowl filled with their recommended oden.

When trying oden for the first time, a good idea might be to try the smallest set with 12 pieces.

Eggs, radish, shirataki, tofu, chikuwa, kelp, negima (green onion and chicken), etc. are all common ingredients for oden. Oden usually comes with Japanese mustardーkarashi. It’s spicy so be careful not to use too much of it!

Japanese mustard karashi

You MUST try oden – it’s delicious!

Oden at Otako is exceptional! You can really taste that the broth has soaked into the core of each piece. Delicious! Moreover, the more you eat, the more your body warms up from inside.

If you want to experience a special Japanese cuisine during the winter season, the thing to try should be oden (of course, it’s also delicious in summer!). Have a great winter stay!!


Shinbashi Otako

Kawabe Building B1, 3-7-9, Shibashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/q3h5vaNsn6z2XT7B9
Nearest Stations: Shimbashi Station, Toranomon Station, Uchisaiwaicho Station
Business hours: 15:00-23:00
Closed: Sundays and holidays

For more typical Japanese winter food, read our article about onabe!

Eating out with friends? Share Japanese chicken “onabe” hot pot! (Toranomon/Shimbashi)

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I was born and raised in Kiel/Germany. When I was 16 I came to Japan for the first time. I fell in love with this beautiful country, so I returned after my university graduation. Since then, I have been living in Tokyo - and I don't plan to change anything about that ;-) My hobbies are taking a stroll around the city, taking photos and drinking coffee.

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