Eating eel is a popular way of relieving the effects of natsubate (summer exhaustion). Today is national eel eating day.
The story of the magical healing power of unagi (eel) is a bit of a con, an old sales trick. Old tricks mesmerise me though, and I love being part of a crowd. So, I joined twenty odd others packed into a small traditional diner in Ningyocho today for an eel lunch. All the diners were sat on tiny wooden chairs or on the tatami floor.
The steamed eel was tender and refreshing. I liked it, sprinkling tangy sansho pepper on it made it even better. The whole custom confuses me and inspires me. But overall I think, Eel Eating Day makes Japan great.