The Japanese are known for their longevity as a population in spite of widespread smoking and drinking among their equally famous 'salarymen,' but once you leave the big cities and head into the countryside, the slower pace of life synced with the seasons, tight social networks and an incredibly nutrient dense traditional diet combine to support one of the best anti-aging and timeless beauty regimens in the world.
In Japan, starches such as taro and the Japanese sweet potato form an important and satisfying part of winter meals. They are also slow carbohydrates with high fiber content to slow the release of naturally occurring sugars into the bloodstream - in fact, the Japanese sweet potato which has a white or pale yellow flesh inside, is an even slower carb than the more commonly found orange sweet potato.
When it is cold like this in winter, all you want is a hot, comforting drink like “Amazake (甘酒)”, which means “sweet sake” in Japanese. You will see people selling it when you visit Shinto shrines during the New Year’s holiday but it is also widely available to buy in Japan throughout the year.