Did someone say unagi!
When I first came to Japan, I didn't expect the summers to be as long and as torturous as they are. Hot temperatures both highs and lows, day after day and month after month. Knowing the right drinks for a hot and sticky summer night is easy: beer! Food on the other hand is more difficult.
But if you talk to most Japanese people, the common answer is unagi, or freshwater Japanese eels. Unagi is commonly eaten in the summers and is said to give you strength and stamina to endure the long hot summer as it is rich in protein, calcium and vitamin A. There is even a special day in late July to eat unagi called Doyo Ushi No Hi.
In recent years the price of unagi has been on the increase. But if you do get the chance while in Japan, try an unagi rice bowl or unagi sushi. The unagi is usually covered in a sweet reddish-brown sauce that tastes great.
So, if you want to beat the heat in Japan in summer, try some very tasty unagi!