New in August 2023

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Summer is arguably one of the most beautiful times of year in Seattle! We invite you to enjoy dinner at Shiro’s, dine-in or take-out, as our beautiful summer continues with many of our traditional August events, from festivals to fairs, Seafair to wine tasting, and don’t forget about the hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding and more outdoor adventures.

What’s happening at Shiro’s

Our new plates at Shiro’s bring another touch of Japan to your dining experience. Each plate has been handcrafted by a wonderful and talented artist in Japan, designed specifically to bring out the color and shape of each piece of sushi we serve. Because of the artisan touch, many of these dishes require hand washing, but we hope you’ll agree that it is well worth the effort to dine on such custom plates.

Fish in August
Aka-Amadai (Japanese red tilefish)

Amadai has been known as a luxury fish for centuries. One ancient tale regarding Amadai and how it received its name is rooted in the Edo era. The first Shogun of the Edo era, Ieyasu Tokugawa, loved a specific fish delivered from one of his maid’s hometown of Suruga (currently, Shizuoka). In fact, he enjoyed the fish so much that he changed the fish’s name to Amadai, the last name of his maid’s family, to honor her for presenting such a delicious fish!

Amadai is harvested in the southern part of Japan throughout the year, but the peak season is August to October. Strictly speaking, Amadai is a different fish from Tai or Madai (sea bream), but because of its appearance and rarity, Amadai shares the name with Tai. There are three types of Amadai: Aka-Amadai (Japanese red tilefish), Shiro-Amadai (Japanese white tilefish), Ki-Amadai (Japanese yellow tilefish).

At Shiro’s we use Aka-Amadai served as bite-sized Matsukasa-Yaki (“Matsukasa” means “pinecone” in an old way of speech, and “Yaki” means “broiled”). Aka-Amadai is limited in the market even during peak season. Matsukasa-Yaki is known as the best way to serve Amadai, and we do it at Shiro’s by serving it over our sushi rice with chopped Oba (perilla leave) and sesame, topped with orange zest and a hint of salt. Enjoy it now as part of our omakase at our Sushi Bar!

What’s happening in Seattle in August

Seattle’s hot summer continues from last month’s All-Star Game and Taylor Swift concerts. Seafair Weekend Festival, one of the biggest summer events in Seattle, is coming this weekend from August 4-6!

In 2020 and 2021 events were held online due to Covid-19, so this year is just the second time since the pandemic that Seafair has returned to in-person. That said, 2023 will be even more exciting with events and festivities around the city.

The Seafair weekend festival has some attractive events, but the performance of the Blue Angels in the Boeing Seafair Air show is always one of the highlights with their amazing acrobatic performance in the Seattle sky. Enjoy these highflying shows in places around Seattle, not only at the main event venue.

Drink in August
Mugicha (Barley Tea)

In addition to Iced Green Tea we are now offering Mugicha for the summer season. Mugicha is a tea made from roasted barley, also one of the main aromas, along with toasty smells and malty flavors.

Iced Mugicha is an iconic drink during summers in Japan, with many households increasing consumption by large amounts during the summertime.

While regular green tea is made from leaves, therefore containing caffeine, Mugicha is made from barley, which eliminates the high caffeine. There are additional health benefits of drinking Mugicha:

  • Rich in minerals → Rich in potassium and calcium
  • Rich in polyphenol → Has antioxidant effect
  • Relaxing aroma → The aroma comes out from roasting barley, which softens stress and can help make you calm by stimulating the parasympathetic
  • Prevent teeth from decaying →contains ingredients, such as polyphenols and melanoidins, to prevent cavity-causing bacteria from attaching to the tooth surface.

Mugicha is easy to enjoy – served by the bottle at Shiro’s, dine-in only.

Japan in August
Fireworks Festivals

Summer is the time when most fireworks festivals take place across Japan, from July to August. The fireworks festivals are not just about fireworks, there are also many food stands and rows of stalls called “Demise.” Apart from the food, all ages can enjoy other carnival or fair-like activities at Demise, such as shooting games, a goldfish scooping game, or ring toss.

We often see fireworks in Seattle, such as last month’s events for July 4th, New Year’s Eve fireworks, and even during select sporting events. However, Japanese fireworks are different in size and shape. Here are the two biggest displays:

  1. National Fireworks Competition “Fireworks of Omagari”Daisen-shi, Akita
    The annual competition, first held in 1910, to decide the best pyrotechnics in Japan. This is the only firework display in Japan with daytime fireworks.
    Launched fireworks: 18,000 in a day
    Date of event: 8/26/2023
  2. Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks DisplayNagaoka-shi, Niigata
    First held in 1879, this is one of the largest-scale firework displays with about over 1,000,000 people in attendance every year.
    Launched fireworks: 20,000 over two days
    Date of event: 8/1-8/3/2023 (Fireworks only 8/2-8/3)