Mugicha is essentially barley tea that’s drunk cold. The barley actually helps to cool down your body but more importantly it helps with your hydrations. Since mugicha isn’t caffeinated, it helps you keep the water inside your body. So while you can drink mugicha all year round, because of its abilities it makes it a stable summer drink.
I certainly couldn’t talk about summer foods that keep you cool without mentioned kakigori of course! Kakigori is essentially shaved ice that is topped what a flavoured syrup of some kind and sometimes with some condensed milk as well. The shaved ice is exactly what you need on a cool day at the park!
When you think of the perfect summer drink in Japan, the first thing that comes up is ramune. The popular lemon soda is well known for its blue color, typically found in anything that is ramune flavoured, and the marble bead. Meant to be flavoured as a lemonade, it’s no wonder ramune does so well during fesitvals.
The Japanese eat lots of soba noodles, so what is one to do in the heat of summer? Have cold soba of course! Cold soba, or zaru soba, are cold noodles that come with a dipping sauce of some kind. If you’re looking for the perfect summer meal, have yourself some cold soba, you’ll love the cool feeling in your belly.
Another staplesummer meal is hiyashi Chuka. It’s a meal consisting of chilled ramen noodles (don’t want them hot on an even hotter day!) topped with some strips of meat and veggies with a tare sauce. Some typical toppings include strips of omelette, cucumber, ham, and carrot. They’re easily found in convenience stores for a quick meal.
Usually only available in summer because of the use of ripe peaches, hakuto jelly is quite the little delicious dessert. Most will come in the shape of a peach and the jelly has a very soft and smooth texture that just melts on the tongue. If you’re a lover of anything peachy, you’ve got to try this! Since the peaches differ from year to year, the taste of the dessert always varies just a little.
Soy Ice Cream
This list wouldn’t be complete without some type of ice cream for you to enjoy while you’re in Japan. Soy ice cream isn’t just your typical ice cream, not only is it dairy free, but the ice cream itself is smooth and the taste of soy doesn’t over power your taste buds. If you’re looking to try a not so typical flavor, get some soy ice cream, you won’t regret it!
Another festival food, anzu ame is on the list because the soft syrup kind is typically kept on a block of ice to keep it from melting. If you’ve never seen anzu ame before, it certainly will catch your attention! Most often it is some type of fruit, strawberries or grapes typically, skewered and wrapped in syrup. They’re definitely hard to miss and the soft kind will keep you cool since the syrup has been sitting on ice.
Ice Cream Mochi
Now mochi is amazing any time of year, but mochi ice cream is perfect for summer time because it’s stuffed with ice cream! You can find them in all kinds of ice cream flavours from matcha to chocolate to strawberry. The mochi still keeps its soft texture and keeps the ice cream within in a nice little round shape.
You’ve probably seen it and wondered what the heck it was, but nagashi soumen is quite the little particular dish! Soumen noodles are typically very thin and white wheat noodles served cold. Then fun part about Nagashi soumen however, is that it’s typically eaten while it’s sliding down some sort of half tube. You grab it up with your chopsticks while it’s on the move! Give it a try if you’re looking for a unique eating experience that will keep you cool and keep you entertained.