Although Japan has its own Thanksgiving Day in November, the holiday isn’t celebrated in quite the same style as in North America. However, with a growing American expat community in Japan, Thanksgiving on the third Thursday in November is beginning to take hold in the Japanese calendar.
Outside of Tokyo, it is still quite hard at present to find restaurants that serve the traditional American Thanksgiving meal. There are a few places in the Kansai region that offer Thanksgiving dining for those who want to eat out. Here is a selection of a few.
Tadg’s is a popular Irish gastro pub in Kyoto’s Nakagyo ward. It has gained a reputation over the past few years for its authentic and tasty Thanksgiving menu enjoyed by expats and tourists alike. There is limited seating available (around 40) and it usually sells out quickly.
Meals are served from 6:00 p.m. for around 3,500 yen per person.
The menu consists of:
Starter – cream of mushroom soup, rustic bread and Tadg’s seasonal salad.
Main course – traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings.
Dessert – pumpkin pie.
A selection of local beers are available.
Where: 498 Kamikorikicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0923
This friendly establishment in Osaka specializes in a range of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine as well as serving some European-influenced dishes. The restaurant has started putting on Thanksgiving meals for expats missing the home experience, consisting of a turkey spread with a local seasonal touch. Inquire with the restaurant for details.
Where: 362 Matsuzakicho, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-0053
For those that want to try something a little different, La Shomon in Kobe offers Thanksgiving dining with a twist. Rather than traditional turkey, you can choose from a mouth-watering selection of Yakiniku and Kobe beef dishes along with salads, kimchi, soups and rice dishes. A typical meal with a starter and accompaniment will be in the region of 2,000 to 2,500 yen.
This is not so much a restaurant as a social media space and online community where people organize things such as classes, parties and events. They have often organized Thanksgiving feasts (costing around 2,500 to 3,000 yen per person, with kids eating free) for Americans and other expats with forum members sometimes offering to host independent Thanksgiving events.
If dining out over the season is not for you, you can purchase all the necessary ingredients to make a home-away-from-home Thanksgiving feast of your own at the Foreign Buyers Club in Kobe or you can order top quality meat online from the Meat Guy. Happy dining!