Every country has their own taste of summer, and we’re sure you’re able to name some foods you particularly enjoy eating in the summer! In this article, we’ll be looking into some foods eaten by the Japanese for when they want to beat the heat! Summer is particularly a good time to visit Japan, so here are some foods you should try out during your trip to Japan!
Shaved ice desserts are always the best to eat during the summer, and it’s the same way in Japan! Kakigori is basically shaved ice with syrup and a sweetener. Some popular flavors include strawberry, green tea, melon, cherry, and a lot more summery flavor. The ice is more smoother and fluffier than the typical snow cone because of the way the ice was obtained. The shaved ice was made from mineral water, and was taken from natural springs. Kakigori is also usually served with fruits, ice cream, or tapioca pearls on top. Kakigori is one of the staples of summer festival foods, which you can read about here! Nothing says summer like a bowl of Kakigori!
Are you a fan of tofu? Then look no further! Hiyayakko is a Japanese dish that consists of chilled tofu and toppings of your choice. The typical hiyayakko has chopped green onions on top, dried tuna flakes, and soy sauce. But do you know what makes this seemingly bland dish so good? The toppings you can possibly use for this dish is endless: ranging from plum paste, to mustard, to ginger…the sky’s really the limit for this dish! If you’re up for a versatile dish that you can even create in your own home, then this dessert is just for you!
Watermelons, aka Suika, are definitely an oldie, but a goodie. In the middle of a hot day, the taste of a sweet watermelon slice can make anyone wake up and ready to do more summer activities! Farming watermelons is one of Japan’s specialties, after all. Even better: if you’re enjoying your watermelon with some friends, you can even play a game called Suikawari. Basically, you take turns hitting the watermelon while blindfolded and the first one to make a crack on the watermelon wins! After the game, you can even share the chunks of watermelon you all made from playing the game, definitely a win for all at the end of the day!
Mochi truly is an all-around food! Kuzumochi is basically mochi made from kuzu powder. You may be thinking: there’s nothing even remotely summer related in mochi. Kuzumochi is actually chilled mochi, making it a fun snack to eat during a hot day. You can top this snack with kuromitsu and kinako, and this is usually made locally in Tokyo. So if you’re planning to spend a summer in Tokyo, this is definitely the sweet treat to try during a sunny day!
Most of the snacks so far have been cold and refreshing, but what about something more on the meat side? Summer is also the perfect season to be eating savory foods paired with your favorite drink. Yakitori is skewered chicken that is seasoned during or after being grilled over charcoal. This is a really fun snack to try, and it’s easy to find! Yakitori can be found all over the streets of Japan, in stores called yatai. Besides the streets, you can also find small Yakitori shops that offer take-out. If you’re not the kind of person to eat outside, you can find restaurants or food courts that serve Yakitori. Wherever you are, the savory flavor of the seasoned chicken and a nice cold beverage is really a way to start off the summer!
Beating the Summer Heat
Food is truly diverse. Knowing all about the different kinds of food people eat in the summer, especially in different parts of the world, is truly interesting! Some cultures share similar desserts as the ones they have in Japan, but isn’t it cool how we can also be connected in one way or another, whether it’s food or having fun under the summer sun? We do hope you try our recommendations during your next trip to Japan! What are your favorite things to eat in the summer? We would love to hear what you guys have in store!