Summer in Japan is known to be quite difficult because of the temperature and the humidity. Despite this, it is when all the Matsuri and the conventions are held all over the country, which is very attractive to tourists. Fortunately, the Japanese have thought of all kinds of solutions to help you survive the summer.
So, let’s think about some tips to make the most of the Land of the Rising Sun between June and September!
First, you should know that while summer temperatures vary between 30 and 40 degrees in Japan, which is a bit more than our Canadian temperatures, it’s the humidity that makes the summer so much harsher. While being a country much closer to the equator, we perceive a climate close to tropical, especially in southern regions such as Kyûshû and Okinawa. The sun and the moon also seem closer to you!
Moisture in addition to heat means one thing: sweat. Sweating will dehydrate you, causing headaches and irritation on your skin So the first thing to do, of course, is to drink plenty of water. This is where Japan differs from Canada, which doesn’t have a lot of water fountains for free drinking.
Present in the many beverage dispensing machines and konbini (convenience stores), several sports drinks particularly help with hydration and taste super good, including Pocari Sweat, for example.
In addition to being very humid, the sun rises extremely early in Japan. In fact, at 4 am, during the summer, the sun has already risen. It is already well above the sky at the 7 to 8 o’clock turns, and the temperature is already very high. No need to wait until noon since the heat is already there in the morning. The good news is you get used to it quickly, once you’re already sweating the rest of the day goes pretty easily.
Against sweat, another product comes into play: body wipes. The Gatsby brand is the most famous of all and is sold in all konbini. The effect of these wipes is quite magical: every slightest gust of wind will create a feeling of freshness, keeping you cool for a good part of the day. These wipes are sold “for men”, but women also use them because they are effective.
The Matsuri is the attraction of the summer. You can follow specialized websites for the exact dates and locations of the Matsuri, since most only last a day or two. We can think of the Matsuri Gion in Kyoto, which is a festival of purification, and the Shinto prayers taking place in July, the Nebuta Festival in early August, Japan’s biggest Matsuri, where a gigantic lantern is taken through the streets of Aomori to celebrate a legendary naval battle. This matsuri offers its share of traditional shows based on taiko and other flutes. As for transport, you’ll prefer night buses which are generally the cheapest. You will be happy to leave the city for the freshness of nature!
Another invention that may sound like a joke but is quite serious is portable fans. Whether around your neck or in your hand, portable fans are extremely practical. Japanese people wear them all over the streets, so don’t be shy to do so too. It looks like headphones! Your portable fan will help you cool your face.
Obviously, sunscreen is a must for the body, especially the neck. It will help against sunburn. As a reference, Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Japan’s most famous pharmacy, is available in all cities. You can find cream and all kinds of migraine medications there.
In the konbini, there is also an array of sweets and ice creams of all flavors that you can take advantage of to beat the heat.
But by far the most important thing is to stay hydrated. You should at least drink 4 to 5 bottles a day, preferably without sweetener.
During August 2020, when there was no containment measure in Japan, the heat-related deaths far outnumbered those linked to the coronavirus! So, the heat is not to be taken lightly.
Japan is well prepared with all kinds of tools at your disposal, so don’t forget to use them. Once you get used to it, summer in Japan becomes a magic experience. Have a nice trip!