Japanese summers are hot and somehow we manage to enjoy them in the beginning, and endure them by the end. To make this task a bit more easier, you might want to try it the Japanese Way. Besides wearing a Yukata and drinking hot or cold Japanese tea, there are some other ways, you might not have heard of!
Compared with their western counterpart, the Japanese ice called Kakigōri (かき氷) is a much more healthier kind of ice, flavoured with syrup and a sweetener. Since the base is plain shaved ice, it has far less calories than milk based ice. Standard flavours include strawberry, cherry, lemon, green tea, grape, melon, and Blue Hawaii. It is often sold at convenience stores and a must have at summer festivals, the so called o-matsuri (お祭り).
Summer is the season of watermelons in Japan. Be warned, they are a bit pricey, but essential, and the Japanese immediately associate watermelon with summer. It is also a popular game on the beach to try to crack a watermelon blindfolded, which is then shared and eaten together.
A rather unique approach on fighting summer heat is to read or tell each other ghost stories. If they are good, you will get goose bumps and can cool down a bit during boiling days, or evenings.
Foldable fans are more convenient in daily life, but the bigger round types, which are nowadays usually made of plastic have a stronger effect. The latter ones are often distributed near stations with an advertisement on it, so if you happen to forget your own, you can count on getting one near a major station.
How can a wind bell cool you down? The idea is simple: when the wind is blowing, the breeze is playing the chime, which then “announces” to the listener, that hopefully a cool wind is blowing. Japanese then imagine the cool breeze and enjoy the feeling, even if not experiencing it first hand. The vusual and aural garden ornament is usually played by the wind frequently during the day and is the perfect mental cooler!