August in Seattle marks the beginning of the end of summer with some of our warmest weather this year. It is the time of year to enjoy all of the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer and taste all the delicious delicacies that the local waters bring to us. In Japan, August is known as one of the hottest months, but also one of the liveliest months. Let’s celebrate the end of summer with late night dinners with friends and family.
Wakasagi (Ocean Smelt) – Native to the Pacific NW, Ocean Smelt can literally be found in our own backyard. These fish are so local to Washington, that there isn’t even an actual word in Japanese for Ocean Smelt. At its peak during the summer, our chefs prepare the mild fish with ginger, house-made ponzu and scallions for the perfect summer dish.
Wakasagi (Ocean Smelt)
Bincho Maguro (Albacore Tuna) – Sourced directly from the Oregon Coast, this big-eyed fish is known for its firm, yet buttery texture. While albacore can be prepared in a variety of ways, it is a Japanese favorite when served with just a touch of soy sauce, bringing pure joy to your palate.
Bincho Maguro (Albacore Tuna)
Kubota “Suiju” (Daiginjo Nama) – A limited number of the Kubota “Suiju” bottles are produced each year, and we are fortunate enough to offer some at Shiro’s. Only produced between April and September, this delicate, smooth sake is a rare delight. Giving off floral notes on its initial taste, this unpasteurized sake ends with a semi-dry finish. Clean, elegant and refreshing; it’s the ideal sushi pairing!
AUGUST in Japan
Ochugen (Summer Gift Season) – We are approaching one of the two gift giving seasons in Japan known as Ochugen. It’s a time to recognize someone who has helped or served you in some way, perhaps a friend, relative or mentor. In Japan the traditional gift is a thoughtfully prepared dish or a new kitchen gadget. But hurry, the last day to give a gift is August 15.
Ochugen (Summer Gift Season)
Obon (Lantern Festival) – Celebrated each year from August 13-15, Obon marks the return of our ancestors to earth to visit their relatives. During the three-day holiday, families will visit graves of loved ones and place either a cucumber, representing a quick journey home, or an eggplant, symbolizing a slow methodical journey home, for their traveling ancestors.
Obon (Lantern Festival)
Bon Odori (Lantern Festival Dance) – A long-time tradition respected on August 15, the Japanese say goodbye to their visiting ancestors with a huge festival. It’s a celebratory event with dancing, praying and partying on the streets throughout the night.
Bon Odori (Lantern Festival Dance)
- August 2- 6 – Seafair: Fleet Week and Boeing Maritime Celebration
- August 6 – Lantern Ceremony at Green Lake
- Through August 25 – Concerts at Seattle Center
- August 26 – Belltown Block Party