5 tips for surviving the Japanese summer

When freshness is often within reach

Summer in Japan can be a trying time, with temperatures sometimes approaching 40°C in full sun, and humidity high enough to damage even the most resistant make-up. For a first-timer, this climate can be particularly hard to bear. 
To prevent heatstroke and other inconveniences, here are five tips to make your summer as pleasant as possible on the archipelago!

1/ Stay hydrated

  • Drinks: Mineral water is your best ally for summer, but Japanese pharmacies also offer beverages for hot weather. These include drinks with the "FOSHU" (Food for Specified Health Uses) label, which promote health without being classified as medicines.
    These beverages, like mineral-enriched waters, are particularly effective for staying hydrated and combating intense heat. Our recommendation: try Pocari and Karada Shinto drinks, ideal for countering summer fatigue and anaemia.
     
  • Accessories: Opt for reusable bottles and use public water fountains to stay hydrated without producing plastic waste. What's more, many reusable bottles are designed to maintain the temperature of the water, keeping your drink cool all day long, an appreciable advantage under the intense Japanese summer sun.

2/ Refresh yourself

  • Refreshing wipes: Use wipes (reikan shīto) to refresh yourself quickly. Fragrant and easy to carry around, refreshing wipes are definitely a must-have for summer.

    They can be used on a hike as well as in the office, and their cooling agents are a great help in regulating your temperature while you wait for the sacrosanct cold shower at the end of the evening.

  • Body sprays: Cooling body sprays are a popular option in Japan for beating the summer heat. These sprays, available in most pharmacies and supermarkets, often contain ingredients such as mint, eucalyptus or cooling agents, which provide an immediate sensation of freshness on the skin.

    You'll find specific sprays for different parts of the body, including versions for the face and feet. Some sprays also include moisturizing agents to prevent the skin from drying out.

  • Ice packs: Reusable ice packs are another effective way to keep cool in summer. These are often available in pharmacies and sports stores, and can be frozen before use to provide a portable source of freshness.

3/ Protecting yourself from the sun

Sunscreen is essential to prevent sunburn and UV damage. In Japan, there is a wide range of high-quality products with different sun protection factors (SPF) and properties.

  • Recommended SPF: Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and make sure it offers broad-spectrum protection against UVB and UVA.
     
  • How to apply: Apply sunscreen generously 15 to 30 minutes before going out, and reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
     
  • Popular products :
    • Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence: Lightweight and non-greasy, it's perfect for everyday use.
    • Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen: Highly protective, ideal for prolonged outdoor activities.

The parasol is also a traditional Japanese accessory. Historically made of oiled paper and known as wagasa, Japanese parasols, now mostly replaced by Western umbrellas, remain one of the best ways to protect yourself from the sun. 
However, if this very "Japanese" look isn't to your taste, remember that sunscreen is still a very good option to avoid turning crayfish red. 
And that's just as well, since Japan is full of skin care products with sun protection factor included.

4. Clear your mind

 

Whether in restaurants, konbini or even on the train, it is customary to turn on the air conditioning when the good weather returns. A habit that you quickly acquire a taste for, and which would almost make you feel helpless once you find the outside.

Fortunately, pocket fans are here!

 

Straight from South Korea, handheld fans gradually won the hearts of the Japanese following the Korean Wave ( the ''Korean wave'' of which drama and K-pop are the figureheads) that swept over the archipelago a few years ago.

We now find them in the hands of the Japanese, and in particular young people who see them both as fashion items and as very practical little tools to face the scorching heat.

 

Les ventilateurs de poche se sont développés au Japon grâce à la Korean Wave

Pocket fans developed in Japan thanks to the Korean Wave

Wikimedia

5. Eat local

 

Eating light and cold is perhaps the watchword of summer in Japan.

This is why one will easily find somen in this season, these fine wheat noodles that are eaten cold with a soy-based sauce. On the same principle, we will also appreciate the HiyashiChuka, a dish of Chinese origin made of cold noodles accompanied by vegetables.

As for dessert, let's not forget the stars of the summer table either: kakigori, traditional Japanese ice cream made from shaved ice!

Crushed ice kakigori, a refreshing treat in the summer!

Kakigori shaved ice is an essential summer refreshment in Japan!

yoppy

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