This might be your first summer in Japan or your twentieth and you still wonder how to survive it! There are several ways on how to not let summer stress you and make you enjoy it more. Get ready for summer with these top advice:
Though this is basic and people naturally drink once they are thirsty, in summer in Japan this can be even dangerous when forgotten. Sometimes, when busy, you might end up forgetting to drink and when you are sweating more than you drink it is a real hazard. Try to keep a drink always nearby and keep in mind to get drinks regularly by getting a drink every time you pass by a vending machine, convenience store or a possibility to purchase live saving liquids.
A handy foldable fan is lightweight and not a problem to have ready in your pocket. It is very effective when needed and much healthier than artificial air conditioning. Some are being even handed out at the station, definitely grab one to make sure you can get a cool breeze during the day!
Japan has nice cold dishes for summer: hiyashi udon (冷やしうどん), hiyashi chuuka (冷やし中華), reimen (冷麺) just to name a few. You can also indulge in cold fresh fruits, smoothies, ice cream, or anything that comes from the fridge.
If you are going to stay outside the whole day, you have to make sure you have your head covered with a big straw hat or similar and wearing light clothes. If you are working, ask if your company allows ‘cool biz’, that is a more casual approach to business wear, leaving the tie at home and wearing no suit jacket.
In the country of inventors, Japan developed numerous tools to help people feeling cooler in summer. There is the neck towel, for instance, you keep in the freezer for a couple of hours before wearing. There is the standard USB fan if you have to work at the computer. But there are even bed sheets to have a significant cooling effect and clothes, that also let your skin breath and are airier. Try to find something, that fits you the best!
Another very important advice would be mental preparation. Summer is hot in Japan, no big news, so try not to complain about it and believe, that you are not really feeling hot. You are okay with it! Nothing can get to you :) You will see, if you try to feel better, it will make the heat less bad.
This is an advice particularly for women, who tend to cope better with the heat and feel cold on trains and in other air conditioned places like department stores. Once your body gets used to the cold atmosphere it can be devastating if you have to go outside. Besides, it is not healthy to expose your body to such huge temperature differences. So, once you enter a colder room, try to wear a cardigan as soon as you almost cooled down and have adjusted to the temperature. This way you might feel warmer, but will not suffer that much from the gap that waits outside.
It is scientifically proven, that if you drink hot liquids, your body gets warmer and tries to cool down more actively, especially on a scorching summer day. How does it work? Once your body feels hot it sweats. The sweat though evaporates very quickly from the skin. And when water evaporates, it cools you down. Thinking about huge levels of caffeine and other effects, drinking hot tea is the best choice, rather than ice-cold soft drink or artificially sweetened juices and will cool down your body by approximately -1℃.
If everything does not work, if the summer seems not to end, always remember, that autumn is on its way. Summer in the Kanto area usually starts after the rainy season, during mid-July and lasts officially till mid-August, but temperatures around 30 continue till the end of September. Try to look forward to the cooler seasons and do not give up hope!