To my displeasure, winter has arrived. In my opinion there are only 4 good things about winter:
1. mikan- clementines, which are much more delicious here
2. kotatsu- the coffee table with a heating element under it
What's nabe? It's often translated as "hot pot." Basically, you cut up a bunch of vegetables (napa cabbage, green onions, carrots, daikon radish, etc), get some meat (pork, meatballs, rolled cabbage, etc), maybe some dumplings and noodles, and some nabe soup you bought at the store. Then throw all of these things in a pot and cook it. But it's not just any pot. It's a pot that is heated on a portable gas stove, which is sitting atop your kotatsu. Then you sit around the table with your friends cooking, eating and having a good time. It's the life.
There are all kinds of soups you can get:
よせ鍋 yosenabe - the general soup
キムチ kimuchee - kimchee
みそ miso - fermented soy (?)
ごま goma - sesame
豚骨らめん tonkotsu ramen
ちゃんぽん champon - champon is a seafood based ramen-like soup that is a Nagasaki specialty
鍋 nabe literally translates to "pot." My pot is special because it's split down the middle, so you can cook two different flavored soups at once. It's novel, really. When I tell people about it, they get really excited. Pots come in all different sizes from personal sized ones to ones that can serve up to 8 or 9 people.