Angry Gaijin

Cameron Ohara

How to beat the Summer Heat in Japan this year

You’ve been in Japan for a couple years and you think that you’ve seen and heard it all when one day someone comes up to you and says the following:

“What have you been doing to beat the heat?  Me, I eat eel.”

Wiggly squiggly eel!

Yes, if you’re looking to stop your sweats, beat the heat, stay cool like a ghoul…

un-tether from the weather…

broke that heat stroke, uhhh….

have a hydration re-gentrification………………..

then get ready for some unagi!

Various stories exist to explain this bit of culture, one of which suggesting that it was simply the ploy of an unpopular Eel restaurant to sell more eel in the dead heat of summer.  Think Edo Period fad!  Who wouldn’t want to eat a stinky fish in the middle of summer???

I kid you not – – and according to this Wikipedia page, the high amounts of vitamin A and B in eel give birth to results for those suffering from summer heat fatigue or loss of appetite.

And the best time to indulge in this tasty ocean dweller?  Why, every year on the Midsummer Day of the Ox!  This wonderful year of 2012, people across the nation of Japan will enjoy a little eel on the 27th of July.

As your Japanese friends and elders about it!  Maybe they’ll treat you~ :)

12 responses to “How to beat the Summer Heat in Japan this year

  1. Susie July 31, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    Oh I love eel, it’s so tasty! Sucks that the price just jumped here in California. Has your price for Unagi gone up where you live?

  2. Grae July 29, 2012 at 3:13 AM

    It’s pretty hot here in the Peg, maybe S and I need to find some place that serves eel…urp!

    Did you get M to try any eel?

  3. chris July 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    My students have passed this one along to me. Tried it once…..once.

    A cold towel wrapped around the penis works pretty good…gives ya shivers too.

  4. island traveler July 25, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Oh wow. I didn’t know that Unagi cools our body down. Summer is hot this year. I do love Unagi. Yummy. Thanks.

  5. ristinw July 21, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    I thought they were chicken wings at first sight! XD I wanna eat them!

  6. Kathryn July 21, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Last summer in Japan I ate eel a few times and it made me feel more energetic!

  7. Tom July 21, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    I’ve made unagi kabayaki a couple of times, but since it was cooked, It kinda made me a bit more hot.

    There is another way to stay cool in the summertime in japan, move to Hokkaido and think of nothing but Jewel Staite. I could do that.

  8. cocomino July 20, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Eel makes us full of energy. :)

  9. Ἀντισθένης July 20, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Eel shortage this year. Prices already up 200% that I’ve seen, and much of that eel is coming from as far as Africa.

  10. AdrienneTheCook July 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    Ha! After the temps this summer I’m tempted to try it. Interesting!


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