Goya or Nigauri, a vegetable that keeps you cool in the summertime.
Summer in Tokyo is extremely hot. The temperature rarely reaches 35 C degree, but the high humidity makes you feel really uncomfortable and exhausted. It can get as muggy as a Sauna.
To keep yourself healthy and regain energy in such summer heat, it is a good idea to drink a lot of bottled water and to eat seasonal vegetables. One of those vegetables becoming popular in Japan, is Goya ゴーヤ, or Nigauri にがうり, a type of bitter melon.
Goya used to be a vegetable locally produced and eaten on Okinawa islands in the southern Japan, and the production has now widely spread throughout Japan while increasing the popularity.
Goya contains a lot of Vitamin C and other nutrients that also helps to keep your skin beautiful. There are many Goya products, like Goya Juice or Goya tea. You can even buy Goya supplements at drug stores too.
I, myself, like Goya and even grow Goya in my garden every year. In fact, municipal governments in Tokyo has encouraged residents to plant Goya for a shade that helps to block heat, to cope with heat-island effect. Amazingly, the plant is so vigorous that I can grow many Goya so easily. So, I eat Goya every day in every hot summer. What I ate yesterday was Goya and what I eat today is Goya and what I will eat tomorrow is Goya... (to be continued.).
There is not only Goya dishes but there are many delicious foods from Okinawa. If you come to Tokyo and if you enjoy traditional Japanese food like Sushi, there are also other enjoyable and unique foods like Okinawan food. You can find a good Okinawa restaurant in Tokyo.