With the growing community of American expats, Thanksgiving Day is starting to make its mark in Japan. This traditional American feast takes place on the third Thursday of November. Japan has its own Labor Thanksgiving Day, on the 23rd of November, but an increasing number of restaurants and food stores offer US-style Thanksgiving foods to celebrate the American holiday as well. Although not the wide variety of options found in Tokyo and the bigger cities, Kobe is home to a few establishments that offer residents the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving outside of the home. Here is a selection of Thanksgiving dining opportunities in and around the city.
This popular New York-style restaurant is located on the busy Meriken Wharf. You can enjoy various Kobe beef and lobster dishes cooked by a world-class French chef. The restaurant offers two Thanksgiving menus – a buffet served between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. and a fixed menu available between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Menu delights include roasted butternut squash and ginger soup, honey glazed roasted turkey and traditional pumpkin pie. Special children’s menus are also available. Costs range from around 4,500 – 6,000 yen per person.
Website: Ocean Place
Well-known for its legendary ribs and also offering a mean line of grilled steaks, Tony Roma’s in Kobe’s Harborland likes to mix it up for the Thanksgiving season. If you’re after something that comes in within budget, the roasted turkey dinner is around 2,000 yen per person and comes with juicy trimmings including garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, stuffing, cranberries and gravy. Served until 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day with advanced bookings taken.
Website: Tony Roma’s
If you fancy something with a bit of a quirky Japanese twist, you can get yourself down to La Shomon. Located within walking distance of both Tarumi and Yamanoshitake stations, this Yakiniku bar specializes in mouth-watering Wagyu beef. You can swap the traditional turkey for Japanese beef dishes served up with salads, kimchi, soups, and rice dishes. A starter and a main course will cost you around 2,000 – 2,500 yen.
Website: La Shomon
If you don’t mind traveling a short distance, Tadgs Gastro Pub (located in Kyoto) has become a notorious Thanksgiving haunt in recent years offering a tasty three-course menu with all the trimmings for around 40 people.
Many still see Thanksgiving as a time to spend at home and enjoy a home-cooked feast with the family. If you’re looking to prepare your own slap-up family meal, you can buy all the necessary ingredients from the Kobe-based Foreign Buyers Club. Top-quality meat can also be ordered online from the Meat Guy. Or perhaps you’d like to have a go at organizing your own Thanksgiving event with a few others in the community. You can check out these great places to meet expats in Kobe, where you can drum up some interest.