Hordes of hungry people lined up in front of kayabaki grilled eel stores and restaurants in Japan on Sunday, this year's Day of the Ox, in a bid to survive the scorching heat by eating the summer delicacy.

Japan has a tradition of eating nutritious grilled eels, believed to be good for restoring energy, on the midsummer Day of the Ox. Amid a long spell of extremely hot days this summer, kabayaki stores and restaurants have been busy leading up to the Day of the Ox.

At Unagiya, a kabayaki restaurant in Tokyo's Toshima Ward that has been in business since the 1960s, all staff members worked hard to serve a large number of customers on Sunday, with the restaurant also offering take-out services. At the grill, Isao Endo, a kabayaki cook with over 70 years of experience, tirelessly grilled eels one after another.