With Thanksgiving being very much a North American holiday, we aren’t really within our rights to expect Nagoya to be celebrate the third Thursday of November in quite the same way as it would be done in the US.
However, like other international traditions such as Christmas, Hallowe’en or Valentine’s Day, there is a distinct feeling that Thanksgiving is growing in stature. Of course, it is not yet celebrated with the same gusto as the aforementioned holidays, but still there are a few places dotted around the city that put on a Thanksgiving spread. Here’s a short list we’ve compiled of our favorites. Please note that most require reservations.
From November 23-26th Midtown BBQ, perhaps Nagoya’s finest American barbecue establishment, is holding a ‘Smoked Thanksgiving’ event. This is what they have to say about it:
“We’re taking the traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu and adding a whole lot of smoke in the right places. We look forward to seeing you there!
Smoked Turkey Plate
Smoked Crispy Skin Turkey, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Shallot Gravy, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Cointreau Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Butter Rolls – 1900 JPY
Smoked Jumbo Plate (more of everything)
Smoked Crispy Skin Turkey, Smoked Sausage, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Shallot Gravy, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Cointreau Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Butter Rolls – 2900 JPY”
They advise that seats are limited, so booking is strongly recommended.
- Where: Naka Ward, Nishiki, 1 Chome−16−10, Midtown BBQ (map)
- Website: midtown-bbq.com
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 052-898-5080
Coat of Arms
A regular haunt for us at Japan Info Swap and our friends at More Than Relo, Coat of Arms regularly holds international events, and their Canadian Thanksgiving in October went down a storm. For Nagoya’s American community, they are putting on no less of a top-notch spread with a special turkey dinner from November 23 to November 26. This will include roast turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, green peas, homemade stuffing, turkey gravy and of course cranberry sauce, all for 1,900 JPY.
CoA have a new chef, and he is said to be experimenting with different turkey recipies, s0 they are hoping to offer something a little different to what you can find elsewhere in the city.
Shooters Sports bar is so American that, should you cut it, it would bleed apple pie. But at this time of year that pie takes on more of a pumpkin flavour, as Shooters is perhaps the best known place in Nagoya for its Thanksgiving spread. This is what they have to say for themselves:
“Shooters is the longest standing American sports bar in Nagoya and is well respected in the community for having great food and drinks. With the largest seating restaurant/bar venue in Nagoya we strive in making any and all events meet our customers’ expectations.”
Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and a dinner roll. A kid’s dinner is 1,600 JPY, a small is 2,100 JPY and a regular is 2,600 JPY. If you’re still hungry after all of that you can chuck in a piece of pie for an extra 300 JPY.
- Where: Naka-ku, Sakae 2-9-26, Pola Building 2F (map)
- Website: www.shooters-nagoya.com
- Contact: 052-202-7077
In a signal that Japan is slowly catching up with the Thanksgiving trend, there are a few non-expat places in the city that are getting involved. Some of the major hotels will have Thanksgiving buffets – it’s a good idea to call around to see which is closest to you – plus there are a few other places that may surprise you.
The Hilton in Fushimi holds a Thanksgiving buffet every year. At the time of going to publication their menu had yet to be decided, however last year’s highlights included:
Salmon, apple and avocado salad
Assorted Italian sausage with Hilton special pickles
Pork pastrami and pear compote, with tomato salsa
Roast turkey and cranberry sauce
Gateau Chocolat Pair Tart
Mont Blanc Brammantier in fruit sauce
The price of the buffet for adults is 5,553 JPY, for children aged four to six years it is 1,197 JPY and fir children between seven and twelve years it is 3,173 JPY. All prices are inclusive of tax.
Little World Museum of Man
This is one of the more unusual Thanksgiving events, but it’s perhaps a great way to get the kids involved in the fun. The Little World Museum of Man in Inuyama is a fun open air museum of an amusement park that celebrates cultures and cuisines from around the world. So, for Thanksgiving they are going all American offering up both roast turkey and apple pie. On the same plate. It’s not quite like home, but your children should enjoy the day out.
- Where: Aichi Prefecture, Inuyama, Imai, Narisawa 90−48 (map)
- Website: www.littleworld.jp
- Contact: 0568-62-5611
If you’re looking to crank up the oven and do it all yourself, you can pick up all the trimmings at the Foreign Buyers’ Club, which also has turkeys, but ask most expats in the area, if we’re talking turkey, The Meat Guy is the place to go.
By Mark Guthrie