Seasons and culture of Japan

Summer season is coming!!

As the annual rainy season (Tsu-yu 梅雨 ) comes to an end during early/mid-July, the generally cool and humid days slowly change into much warmer ones.  With the onset of the real & hot summer weather, people start to visit beaches for sunbathing & swimming in the ocean.  In the case of Yokosuka City and Kanagawa Prefecture, the various swimming beaches were officially declared open ("Umi-biraki" 海開き) on 06 July.  Of interest, Japanese beaches are lined with 海の家 ("Umi no ie"), which are small shops/buildings equipped with showers and changing rooms -- as well as selling food, drinks, and renting beach gear (e.g., parasols, floats).  So, it is possible for visitors to travel via trains, buses, and/or cars, in their summer/street clothes, and then change in/out of swimwear (+ shower) at one of the beach houses.  The summer heat is also oppressive for students, and therefore schools will close-down for summer breaks -- in the case of Yokosuka City, this year's summer vacation will last from 21 July until 27 August.  Another interesting tradition which will occur on 20 July is "Doyo Ushi No Hi" (土用丑の日), and that is when many Japanese will eat meals which use the meat of freshwater eels (うなぎ "Unagi").  The most common dish is for filets of unagi/eel to be grilled & basted with a hearty smokey-soy sauce, and then served on a bed of rice.  Eel meat is quite healthy, easy to digest, with plenty of vitamin A & E, high in protein, along with Omega-3 oils -- it is a popular "stamina" food for the Japanese summer.  For more information, please see the link below.  Of interest, the hot summer weeks are also very humid, so, air conditioning and fans are necessary, but there is a need to be careful in order to prevent the build-up of mildew and/or mold -- please take a look at the link at the bottom for some advice on this subject.  We hope you will enjoy the Japanese summer times!

Written by Goodfield


Doyo Ushi No Hi & Unagi

Doyo no Ushi no Hi: An Eel-icious July Holiday – Bento&co (

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