Surviving a Japanese Summer: How to deal with the heat and humidity
1. Use an ice pillow at night. The concept is simple, Japan sells a specific type of freeze pack (like you know, the kind you put on injuries) that are specifically designed to be a pillow.
If you don’t feel like shelling out the cash for a “special pillow,” then just go down to your nearest 100 yen shop, pick up a regular ice pack, and throw it in the freezer. At night, you can take it out, wrap it in a towel, and put it on top of your pillow.
It keeps your head cool throughout the night which works really well at keeping the rest of your body cool.
Invest in a nice ice-pack or ice pillow.
2. Go out during the hottest part of the day. This seems counter-intuitive, but bear with me. Go shopping, to karaoke, to Starbucks, or to the movies during the hottest part of the day, from about 12 noon to 3pm.
Why? Because establishments typically blast their air conditioning. Even just a hours disruption from the heat and humidity of Japan can be a lifesaver.
It breaks up the day and gives your body a break from sweating.
If you don’t want to go out, then try taking an hour long nap every afternoon around 1pm (using your ice pillow, of course).
3. Keep your windows open in the morning and evening. No matter how hot it gets, when the sun goes down, there will be a cool breeze. Embrace that. Don’t fall asleep with your window open, though – especially if you have a sun window. When I visit my friend’s houses, they always double check (and occasionally double-lock) those large windows. People are afraid of bedroom intruders.
4. Drink lots of 麦茶(Mugi cha / barley tea).
Mugi cha is a summer drink. People drink it more than water in the summer. I don’t know why, but my Japanese friends swear it makes the Japanese summer more bearable.
5. Keep a fan running at night. If you can crack your window open a bit, stick a fan next to it to keep your room cool. If not, put the fan on “low” and stick it next to your face.
The cooling of sweat should keep you cool enough that would won’t have to use the air conditioning,
6. Find a way to reflect the sun. I like to hang a large, white (dirty) sheet on the side of my apartment that faces the sun. I keep it on my laundry bar. I’ve noticed when sun isn’t hitting the wall of my apartment, it seems cooler.
Shade goes a long way.
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