As many will know, Japanese summers can be absolutely brutal to the unprepared. With high temperatures and higher humidity, the outside air itself can be oppressive, especially when mixed with the rain and the droning sounds of the cicadas that haunt every square inch of the land. However, with the right preparation and a few tips and tricks, anyone can become a pro at staying cool and looking cool doing it.
1. Air Conditioning
This one seems like a no-brainer, right? Many more modern Japanese apartments will have air conditioners built in. However, not every house or apartment does; also, running the air conditioning non-stop can quickly get expensive!
However, you don’t necessarily need to rely upon the air conditioning in your own home; this is where family restaurants and cafes come in. Many family restaurants, like Coco’s, Saizeriya, and Jonathon’s, will have their air conditioners running non-stop during their operating hours, meaning that you can save your electricity by hanging around in these shops.
Additionally, many of them will have a public wifi connection and a drink bar, and as long as you make a purchase, you can generally hang around inside for several hours without any of the workers approaching you. This is also a useful tip for the winters, as they’ll also generally have heating in the colder months.
For those still looking to stay in the comfort of their own homes, fans are a less-expensive alternative to air conditioners. Fans come in all shapes and sizes; for interior cooling, a classical electric fan can be your best friend.
However, Japanese convenience stores and supermarkets will also generally sell more portable cooling options, like hand held electric fans or folding fans, meaning that you can take the breeze with you wherever you go.
It’s actually somewhat common to see people using both of these types of fans walking through the city streets, so there isn’t any worry of sticking out, and the wide variety of designs available for both of these items ensure that you can remain stylish while staying cool.
3. The Many Varieties of Japanese Ice Cream
If there’s one thing that Japan has in spades, it’s ice cream flavors. In addition to the classics, like chocolate and vanilla, you can also get more expressly Japanese flavors, like matcha-flavored ice cream and the soda-flavored Garigari-kun-brand ice cream. On a hot day, it can be a fun pastime to wander into a supermarket and see what fun new flavors you can try!
4. The Beaches
Another bright side to living in Japan is that, wherever you’re living, you’re likely not much more than an hour or two away from a public beach. Like anywhere else, chilling on the beach with a cold drink can be an excellent way to pass the time, and a dip in the waters can be refreshing for both body and soul.
In addition, many of the rivers in Japan are also swimmable, meaning that a dip in the water may be closer than you think, though your mileage may vary on that point.
5. Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!
Of course, the most important thing to do on hot days is to drink lots and lots of water! Remaining hydrated wherever you choose to go is essential to staying healthy and avoiding many of the biggest dangers of the heat; even in high humidity, it’s very easy to get dehydrated! Some will say to drink at least 2 liters of water per day, but even if you at least drink as you get thirsty, you should still be getting enough water to stave off dehydration.
These are the basics to beating the summer heat in Japan! Though some of these tips may be a little more difficult while the pandemic still persists, there are still ways to enjoy your summer while staying safe.
Though we may not be able to go outside quite as often as other years (though with the temperatures looking higher than those of years prior, this may not be a bad thing), we can still make the most of these hottest of months.