Hot, humid, damp, and muggy. When it comes to Japanese summer, you might feel like this. “暑い(Atsui)” is kind of how people say hello in this season. You might hear it here and there. These days, there are a lot of places where they break the record of the hottest temperature. People are suffering from serious heatstroke. In my opinion, I feel more uncomfortable here than in subtropical countries because the air conditioners work well at shopping malls and restaurants in the latter. Of course it’s different if you are traveling or living there. And you might not feel that the air conditioner is a good choice to keep the room at 28℃ if you’re worried about global warming.
Today, I’m going to introduce a few items that can help you survive the scorching Japanese summer.
They’re not expensive, and you can get them everywhere. Let’s dive into it.
1. Portable fan
You might see many students use these. These are also common in the subway because there is no air conditioner. You can find the type of portable or hanging with your neck. The price usually starts around 300 JPY.
2.PCM Neck Cooler
As far as I know, it’s been a fad since last year because celebrities introduced it on TV. That happens a lot in Japan. Now there never seems to be enough in stock. This item consists of PCM which can cool down to around 20℃ in 10 minutes and keep you cool for about 60 minutes. You can use it again and not worry about getting your shirt wet. However, in my opinion, I don’t think it looks nice.
3. Cool Towel
It’s also a popular item in summer. All you have to do is soak your towel in water. The fabric consists of a special material, so the towel can keep the moisture inside. The downside might be that you might wet your shirt, but I wouldn’t think it would be a problem if you’re outdoors.
4. Body Sheet
They are sold at convinis, groceries, and pharmacies in Japan. It looks like a disinfecting sheet with alcohol, but it’s different. It is for wiping your body. The sizes depend on where you’re going to wipe. After you wipe your body, you definitely feel cool and comfortable. Your skin will also feel smooth and not sticky. During a hot day where you can’t take a shower, that’s the best time to use it. Many cosmetic companies are selling a variety of items, so you can find your favorite. I’d recommend that you must have it in your bag.
5. Hand Towel
Unlike what your country is probably like, Japan doesn’t have paper towels here and there. Additionally, hand dryers have been suspended due to COVID-19. Therefore, you need to wipe your hands with something after going to the toilet. There are a lot of types of hand towels out there. One might feel fluffy. Another one might have a cute design. Sometimes we can send hand towels as a small gift. You can find your favorite one. Carrying it is really common and it seems like good manners as a decent adult in Japan. Also, it’s helpful to wipe your sweat because we still have to wear masks during hot summer.
6. Instantaneous Cooler
At my age, I usually call it “パッチン” (pachin) because that’s the sound it makes when you crush the bag to activate the cooling. It’s been around for a long time. “Pachin” comes from the sound of the crushing. After you crush it, the chemical reaction starts, and then the bag turns cold. The downside is the disposal, but the benefit is that you can use it immediately. It’s not a new item, but many people use it even now.
7. Cool gel sheet
It’s designed by a pharmaceutical company to cool down people who have fevers. You can use it when you want to cool down your head. When the special gel which has water inside evaporates, it removes the heat. This item takes advantage of this feature. You can stock it and use it for a long time. On top of that, once you put it on your head, it never slides down off your head.
8. Nagashi Somen (流しそうめん)
“素麺” (somen) is kind of a thin ”うどん” (udon) which is made of flour. When people don’t like eating because people are tired in the hot summer, people often eat somen in Japan. “流し素麺” (Nagashi somen) means originally that people eat somen floating on the water with bamboo outdoors. Now, we have a special machine that lets you enjoy it at home. Looking at somen floating on the water, you will cool down! Why don’t you have one this summer?
How was that? If you want to look for items for dealing with the hot summer in Japan, the key phrases would be ”冷感” (you feel cool ), “氷” (ice), and “スッキリ, すっきり” ( comfortable) in Japanese. One more thing, “極” means extreme or very, so “極冷” means super cool. That’s all for today. I hope you survive the extremely hot summer here. Thank you for taking time to read my article to the end. See you in my next article soon!
I’ve been working at a trading company for many years. I live in Tokyo with my wife. Love skiing, traveling, IPAs, wine , X-treme sports, fashion, and learning English and Chinese.