The return of oden stalls is the hallmark of the Fall season. These outdoor restaurants feature fish cakes and other ingredients such as tofu. Often located near train stations, oden stalls offer hot, fast food and cold beer. Oden dining represents the epitome of casual dining.

If you’re looking for a more formal experience with a wider range of choices, try an oden restaurant. In addition to the traditional fish dumplings, a variety of vegetables is also available. Our first experience in a true Japanese restaurant was oden, and while we nervously placed ourselves in the hands of our waiter, we were soon happy that we had (although to this day, we maintain that the staff kept yelling out that the gaijin wanted another beer — which was not far from the truth).