Beat the Heat with Unagi

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Since one slick, quick-thinking fishmonger started an eel sales promotion on one mid-summer’s day in the 18th Century, it has been tradition to eat unagi (fresh water eel) during the summer doyo period. “Doyo no Ushi no Hi” – a day determined by the old lunar calendar that traditionally was considered the hottest of the season – is the day to eat unagi and supposedly strengthen one’s body against the heat. Doyo-no-ushi-no-hi土用の丑の日falls on July 27 in 2012.

There are several traditional eel dishes available to try and a wide variety of restaurants to sample this Japanese summer tradition at.

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Standard Dishes

Nagayaki Style – (Nagayaki-teishoku 長焼き定食 and Nagayaki-gohan 長焼きご飯) - broiled eel covered in soy sauce is usually served with side dishes of rice, soup, and pickles.

Unagi-donburi 鰻丼– a bowl of white rice topped with broiled eel covered in sweet soy sauce.

Hitsu-mabushi ひつまぶし – a large pot of rice topped with broiled eel covered in sweet soy sauce, served with a variety of seasonings and soups on the side. A serving from the large pot is put in a smaller rice bowl and is then eaten either straight up, with seasonings, or covered in soup. Nagoya is famous for this dish.

■Photo: © NCVB

atsutaAtsuta Horaiken – Jingu Branch あつた蓬莱軒(ホウライケン)神宮店

Address: Jingu 2-10-26, Atsuta-ku 名古屋市熱田区神宮2-10-26
Tel: 052-682-5598
Open: 11:30-14:30 & 16:30-20:30
Closed: Tuesdays (except holidays)
How much: 2205 Yen, 1890 Yen, 2730 Yen (XL 3780 Yen); the menu is available in English, Korean, and Chinese
Access: A 7 minute walk from Temma-cho Subway Station; 50 free parking spaces available.
English Website:
There is also a branch in the Matsuzakaya Department Store’s South Building (10F) in Sakae.

nishimotoUnagi Nishimotoうなぎ 西本(ニシモト)

Address: Yamaguchi-cho 16-14, Higashi-ku
Tel: 052-936-0646
Open: 11:00-15:00 & 17:00-20:30
Closed: Sundays
How Much: 1900 Yen, 1600 Yen, nakazumedon中詰丼 1900 Yen
Access: 1 minute walk from Yamaguchi-cho 山口町bus stop. Take any outbound bus from Shiyakusho Subway Station’s traffic island bus stop; it’s the 4th stop.

ibashoIbasho いば(イバ)昇(ショウ)

Address: Nishiki 3-13-22, Naka-ku名古屋市中区錦3-13-22
Tel: 052-951-1166
Open: 11:00-14:30 & 16:00-20:00
■Closed: Sundays, 2nd & 3rd Mondays
How Much: 1600 Yen, 1650 Yen, 2300 Yen
Access: A 3 minute walk from Sakae Subway Station, exit 1.

sanpukuSanpuku 三(サン)福(プク)

Address: Kanayama-cho 1-2-19, Atsuta-ku
Tel: 052-671-1496
Open: 11:30-14:00 & 17:00-22:00
Closed: Mondays
How Much: 1550 Yen, Unagi-kama mabushi うなぎ釜まぶし 2200 Yen.
Access: 1 minute walk from JR Kanayama Station, South Exit.




unagi_kiyaUnagi Kiya 鰻(ウナギ) 木屋(キヤ)

Address: Higashi Soto-bori-cho 11, Higashi-ku
Tel: 052-951-8781
Open: 11:00-13:30 & 17:30-18:30; reservations required in evening.
Closed: Sundays & holidays
How Much: 1850 Yen, 1850 Yen, 2500 Yen
Access: A 5 minute walk from Shiyakusho Subway Station, exit 2.




This article originally appeared in the Nagoya Calendar August 2008 edition. All prices and times may change.

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