Food for Summer in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Food for Summer in Japan

By Guidable Writers Aug 12, 2016

To get along with the heat

We will be at a loss for what we’ll have for each meal during summer because strong heat attacks our appetite every single day. Some will skip meals, and have only beverages or alcohol, which will be a cause of malaise or physical weariness. However, we want to enjoy summer events, or have to apply ourselves to our work with content quality. Eventually, we will find that we need to have each meal enough in order to succeed in each occasion with overcoming the heat. So, I would introduce some clues to GET ALONG WITH the heat with enjoyable meals during summer in Japan.


When you have lost appetite…

At first, please learn the Japanese word, “nodo-goshi” which is one of the magic words in Japan. “Nodo” means throat while “goshi” means going through. So, we’ll feel good when something silky goes through our throat, and will say “Nodo-goshi ga ii desune.” Most people seek food which is good nodo-goshi, and every food manufacturer compete nodo-goshi especially in summer.   

Here are seasonal representatives for “nodo-goshi.” You sometimes may hear “Udonn” which is wheat noodle the whole year, but how about “Sou-menn” and “Hiya-mugi?” They are also made from wheat as “Udonn,” and the big difference among them is their each thickness as the picture 2 shows; the thinnest is Sou-menn, the middle one is Hiya-mugi, and the thickest is Udonn. The common point among them in summer is that we cool them with running water after being boiled for a couple of minutes. We prepare cold special soup for each noodle (Menn-tsuyu) to dip them to be slurped. 

#1: Sou-menn: Some people have events called “Nagashi-Soumenn.” They usually use cut bamboos to be made into a slider for Sou-menn and water. People wait for Sou-menn sliding in the water along the bamboo slider, and pick them up with chopsticks to dip them in Menn-tsuyu to be slurped.

#2: Hiya-mugi: We usually have hiya-mugi with some dip into Menn-tsuyu as we do for Sou-menn.

#3: Udonn: We occasionally have cooled udonn during summer while we often have hot udonn for other seasons. For cooled udonn, we add some ingredients with Menn-tsuyu to udonn to be mixed as the picture 3 shows. The ingredients are dried bonito shavings (katsuo,) seaweed (nori,) green onion (negi,) raw egg (nama-tamago,) etc.


When you want to gain energy…

  We cannot have noodles for every meal because they don’t supply enough energy to us, so we dare to have food which makes us hot such as Yaki-niku (BBQ) or Rice & Curry. Yaki-niku for outdoors makes us feel fun because we gain energy by talking and laughing with intimates as well as the food itself supplies nutrition to us. Rice & curry is also popular during summer because the spices in curry are said to promote our appetite. You can try rice & curry at restaurants such as Sukiya or Yoshinoya.




Special dessert

You will see watermelons (Suika) everywhere during summer in Japan. As you may know, watermelon helps us to keep hydrated, and it is recommended to have. Finally, I would introduce another special dessert named “Shiro-kuma” (means white bear) which is from Kyushu district, the southern part of Japan. It is a kind of shaved ice (Kaki-goori,) with several fruits and the sweetened beans are on it. You will find various types of “Shiro-kuma” at supermarkets and convenience stores.



Enjoy the summer!

In order to bask in summer events and activities, you should first gain enough energy. Consider nutrition balances, and don’t cool your stomach too much with popsicles or beer.

Sometimes enjoy looking for the food which is good “nodo-goshi,” and say to your Japanese friends “Nodo-gosi ga ii desu-ne!”