It so happens that for many travelers, summer is the most convenient and best time to visit Japan. Unfortunately, it coincides with what most people would consider being the worst time to visit. It’s humid, it’s hot, it’s rainy; sometimes all three at the same time! Every year, tens of thousands of people end up in the hospital due to heat-related injuries and many people lose their lives too. It’s a good idea to be prepared to avoid exhaustion or heat stroke. Here are some tips to survive the summer in Japan:
Stay hydrated! Vending machines and convenience stores are abundant and always less than a few steps away. Japan is also one of the few countries that have drinkable tap water.
Skip the hot meals
There are several popular foods that are summer-friendly such as cold noodles or shaved ice. It’s also typical to eat eel during hot days.
Carry a towel
Sweating is inevitable. It’s a good idea to have a towel or handkerchief handy to wipe your sweat off. It’s also convenient to use to dry your hands after washing them as some bathrooms don’t have towels or hand dryers. Be sure to wash and dry often!
You can get cheap ones that fold and non-folding ones from a 100 yen store and they make great souvenirs. If you feel like splurging, there’s also the option of a mini electric hand fan. You’re essentially just fanning hot air at yourself but science says that it works and the breeze helps!
Use a parasol for shade
It’s commonplace to walk outdoors carrying an umbrella in Japan. They’re good shields not only from the rain but the sun as well. The air temperature doesn’t change, however, it is much more comfortable to be in the shade versus having the sun directly in your face. Plus it’s better for your skin! Which brings me to..
Dermatologists recommend applying sunblock when it’s cloudy so it’s a no-brainer to apply it and reapply again throughout the day when it’s sunny. It would be a bummer to get sunburn while on vacation.
Visit the beach
Tokyo specifically doesn’t boast the best beaches but being in Japan, you’re never too far from a beach. It could be a good experience overall depending on which beach you visit; I can’t think of any other place where I can eat a bowl of ramen on the sand a few feet away from the water.
Do indoor activities
It can be tough to visit places while the sun is out. There are plenty of department stores and indoor amusement parks available where you can entertain yourself for hours. Besides temples or places that have early closing times, save must-visit spots for the evening when the sun starts to set. In Tokyo for example, Ginza, Roppongi and Odaiba are places that are equally great in the evening. Hatago offers several tours in the evening time.
Summer in Japan isn’t too bad if you follow most or all of these tips. Please come back again in the future when it’s cooler 🙂