Written by Jenni Silvola
Keep Cool This Summer With These Ingenious Japanese Inventions
How to survive Japan during hot, boiling summer days? We introduce here products that will help you fight the heat making a Japanese summer day more bearable.
As you probably noticed the first thing you got off the plane: it is hot. Really, really HOT. But do not despair, the Japanese have invented many wonderful gadgets that will cool you down and leave you refreshed! With these tips, you will be able to enjoy the humid Japanese summer and your time in this beautiful country to the max.
The massive, nationwide discount store chain Don Quijote, better known as Donki, also offers an incredibly wide variety of these essentials as do most drugstores in cities big or small.
When you go searching for these cooling goodies in stores, look for words such as “ice”, “cool” or “summer” written in English. Don Quijote usually displays big signs with images of ice, penguins and polar bears so it will be easy to spot them in the store.
Let’s have a look at some of the products that can help you make the most of the Japanese summer without breaking the bank.
Cooling Sprays and Lotions
It is like magic, but these cool sprays are just like an icy relief in a can: shake, spray and feel instantly cooler! Perfect instant relief when you are out in the sun exploring the city. Due to its small size and lightweight this will fit in your bag perfectly.
The cooling lotions work in a very similar way to the cool sprays but I personally recommend adding the lotion on your skin before heading outside in the sun.
The cooling lotions are especially divine after you are done with a hard, hot day of sightseeing: after a relaxing shower the cooling lotion will be your best friend, especially if you managed to get a little bit too sun and need something to ease a sun burn.
Avoid contact with eyes and swallowing the product. The price of these sprays and lotions starts from around 100 yen and they can be found in most stores.
Undershirts that are made of breathing, fast drying materials are sold as cooling clothes and though you may be skeptical, I personally assure that wearing a sweat soaking, breathing shirt under your “real” shirt will make a big difference. As your outer layer will not get (as) sweaty you will feel less like bathing in your own perspiration.
If you are worried about additional laundry fear not: you can easily hand wash these lightweight undershirts after a day out, hang them to dry overnight and use them again the following day of fun in the sun!
Socks that are made of similar fast drying, breathing material can also be a lifesaver - that is if you are wearing shoes. And whether you are walking around wearing closed in shoes or sandals I recommend cool spray for your feet - simply invigorating on a boiling day out!
The price of cooling clothing items starts from around 300 yen per product. They can be found in most stores.
In addition to “traditional fans”, which are very beautiful but do require that pesky manual labor, the alternative is a battery operated, small portable fan that fits in your bag easily. When purchasing one make sure it comes with batteries - some stores provide them, others do not.
Want to go a step further? Daiso sells a portable fan that has a small water container added to it: hence you have a fan that sprays fine mist. Put a few ice cubes in the container and you have yourself a fully automated cooling spray! The cold mist is bound to refresh during a hot day out in the sun.
The portable fans are sold at prices starting from 100 yen. They can be found in most stores.
Parasols - Now Available for Men, too!
Honestly, they work. I used to be a skeptic and would snicker when I saw ladies outside in the sun rocking their parasols. But now I very much understand how they can save you from both getting sunburned as well as keep you cooler in the scorching sun.
The parasols (called "higasa" in Japanese) are sold at prices starting from around 300 yen and can be found in most stores. Parasols are now available for men, too. To be clear, their purpose is not only to avoid an unwanted tan. The use of a parasol prevents the heat fatigue and headaches that can affect those exposed to the powerful sunlight.
Soak this piece of cloth in water and the gel inside will turn cool. You can then wear it around your neck or wrap it around your head and it will keep you cool most of the day no matter if you are hiking up a mountain, on the beach or in the city. So simple it is ingenious: cooling down can not get easier than this!
These headbands can be found at Don Quijote stores and their prices start from around 300 yen.
Sweat Absorbing Accessories
My personal favorite, the Japanese-written-all-over-this-innovation product: the underarm, sweat absorbing pads. They are truly a miracle worker for those of us who hate underarm stains in our clothes.
A single-use pad is attached to a piece of clothing, sleeveless or sleeved, and voilá, you’re ready to go! As you sweat the pad will absorb the moisture instead of turning your armpits into wet furnaces. A very quirky, yet incredibly useful Japanese innovation.
You can find these pads at Daiso shops at prices starting from 100 yen.
Summer in Japan can feel unbearable at times but with these smart, ingenious Japanese products you can definitely fight the hot weather and enjoy your time more. Keep cool and carry on!