Missed Grilled Eel Day in Japan? One more chance to boost your summer energy on Aug. 4

Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

Missed Grilled Eel Day in Japan? One more chance to boost your summer energy on Aug. 4

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Japan

You may have noticed an abundance of eel at your local supermarket store seafood counter. Even your local convenience store might be selling a limited time offer of grilled unagi (eel) bento with the glazed ocean delicacy arranged over a bed of rice.

The sudden spotlight on eel coincides every year with Doyo Ushi no Hi, which fell on July 23 this year. The summer season in Japan is especially brutal in heat and humidity, so tradition holds that it is a good time to eat eel (especially grilled ones) to boost energy.

The “doyo” part of Doyo Ushi no Hi, refers to the 18-day period where one season transitions to another, according to Weathernews.com. “Ushi no Hi,” translates to “the day of ox” and originates from counting days on a 12-day cycle that assigns the animals of the zodiac to each day, according to Japanese lacquerware manufacturer Yamada Heiando.

Though “Doyo Ushi no Hi” occurs in the 18 days prior to the start of every season, the one before fall is special because of the eel eating tradition. This year is a little unique because there are two days of ox (Ushi no Hi) during the “doyo” period from July 20 through August 6.

The next “Doyo Ushi no Hi” arrives Aug. 4, so make sure to follow the Japanese tradition and enjoy some delicious grilled eel.

Eel can set you back a few hundred yen to several thousand yen at the supermarket. You can also head to local bento shops in your area for unajyu, grilled eel on rice.

Why not join the bandwagon and boost your energy to survive the hot summer in Japan?

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