Summer eating in Japan
When I have previously been in Japan, I've only been to Japan during the Autumn and Winter. I'm travelling there this time in late August/early September.
One of my Japanese friends who does a lot of fishing suggests that the Anago and Aji are very good eating at this time.
Are there any other dishes/restaurants/ingredients that chowhounders recommend in the hot weather?
If you can find a place where to eat cold somen noodles, it's a very simple and refreshing summer food.
In some places it's eaten in river streams or long halved bamboo with running cold water. In my house, my wife will simple serve it on ice in a simple bowl. You dip your noodles in a dipping sauce and enjoy.
Okayama peaches are indeed delicious and filthy expensive. Japanese grapes have a very distinct taste and the local peels them since the skin is thicker than our grapes back home.
If you'll be in Kyoto, you could try hamo. I don't find it very interesting, but it's a special summer thing.
I agree on the fruits--peaches, cherries if still available, etc. It may be too early for figs, but if you can find some, try them. I love Japanese figs.
Somen is one of my favourite summer foods. Hiyashi udon, hiyashi soba, etc. are also very common summer dishes.
And don'f forget stuff like warabimochi, kakigori, and all those delicious summertime treats!
since you got some suggestions on fish from a fish lover, i would like to give you some info on fruits because i am a fruits lover.
during that season, i very much recommend kyoho (grapes) and hakuto (peaches). they are a bit pricy but so tasty. i hope you would try them:)