Japan has beautiful weather a lot of the time (outside of the rainy/typhoon seasons, perhaps!), and they are very proud of the fact that they continue to have very defined seasons each year. This means Summer is no exception, and Summer can be a rough time in Japan! Whilst the average can be anywhere from 26-28°C (79/81°F), it can reach up to 40°C (104°F) degrees in some parts of Japan! (ﾟдﾟ；)
This means learning how to stay cool and beat the heat can be a lifesaver in some cases. That’s why we’re here to offer you 5 of our top tips in case you ever find yourself over in Japan during the hottest months, that way you can enjoy Japan even in the sweatiest of weather!
First we turn to snacks, and when you think about cooling down then ice is best! Kakigori is a traditional Japanese sweet snack and is super easy to find, especially when Summer comes and there are more street festivals. Traditional festival Kakigori is a combination of shaved ice, either made by an electric shaver or by a less seen, but still seeable hand-powered shaver, and flavoured syrup such as lemon, strawberry, ramune and many more! You can also find a more elegant version of Kakigori in some stores, made with a combination of thinner shaved ice, green tea and other traditional ingredients such as azuki beans, mochi and suger syrup!
Mugicha is a form of barley tea that, whilst available at all times of the year in Japan, is most popular in Summer. The Japanese believe that barley tea holds the ability to cool down the body, which is possible, as it is very rich in fiber, iron and vitamin B! Japanese restaurants usually serve water at least to their customers, but whilst some might serve regular green tea at other points of the year, in Summer you’re almost guaranteed to be served barley tea! Outside of that it’s a pretty popular drink in all convenience stores and vending machines, so you’re bound to find some close by!
3. Go out during the hottest part of the day
Wait, I know what you’re thinking. This suggestion sounds stupid, right? Why would you want to go out at the hottest point of the day rather than waiting for the cooler parts? In fact, even taking just an hour outside can help your body to adjust better to the temperature, and it means that you don’t miss a big part of the middle of the day by staying indoors. If you prefer to keep cooler then there are always shadier areas such as beer gardens, parks, or other areas with a lot of shading outside.
A common sight in Japanese culture is historical pictures of women carrying beautiful parasols with them, in fact they are widely recognised! There is probably a reason for that (outside of women wishing to keep their skin a lighter, less tanned tone), and it’s probably the same reason that you’ll see women today still carrying around parasols or sun umbrellas now. In fact, they can be very useful! A lot of sun umbrellas you can buy now not only have extra UV protection and a cooling effect but they can be used both in sun and rain, meaning more convenience for you in any situation! Plus the designs can be super cute! Of course, if umbrellas still aren’t your thing, then another option is a hand fan, handkerchief or even cooling body sheets available in all convenience stores.
5. Ice Pillow
We’ve covered the day and snacks, so why not cover how to sleep at night? In recent years Japan has had a boom in cooling technology, with all the well known home brands coming out with their own cooling bed sheets, clothes or other items. Pillows are no exception, with specifically designed ice pillows becoming a perfect aid to help you drift off to sleep in the hottest of heats. These can be pricey however, so another option is to stock up on ice packs, wrap them in a protective layer and sleep next to those too. Might not be as pretty but it can be just as effective!
Well, that’s our recommendations on how to survive the Japanese Summer. Hopefully we’ve given you at least some tools to help you keep your chill in the hot hot heat! How about your country? Does it get hot where you live? Have any other tricks that might work for us too? If so, then let us know below!