Adjusting To the Japanese Summer

As I’m sure everyone is aware, Japan is a chain of islands, many of them tropical. What some people may not be aware of is that this means in the summer it is extremely humid and hot. Many people arrive in Japan during the summer, and those experiencing their first summer in Nagoya always have my sympathy – especially those that do not have their summer essentials.

A hand fan and sweat towel or kerchief are must have summer essentials. Trust me, you have not sweat until you have sweat in Japan. In Japan, every pore sweats, and this can be a rude awakening – especially for ladies wearing eye make-up. I advise ditching eyeliner and mascara and instead opting for a light dusting of tinted powder above the eyes and tinted sunscreen below.

For men, I advise purchasing a “cool biz” suit upon arrival. They are vented jackets made to be worn in the summer heat. If you are lucky, your employer will not require a jacket in the summer. For everyone, I advise staying hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you and drink plenty of fluids. There are numerous amino-acid replenishing drinks available if you don’t like to drink water. A good hat or sun visor is also advisable. Protection from skin cancer should be taken seriously in Japan. Wearing sunscreen is about much more than not getting a tan. Thin, long-sleeved shirts protect skin from the sun while staying cool by allowing the air to circulate.

The hot days of summer last until September or, as in past years, as late as October. Taking care of yourself and being well prepared will make a world of difference for how the Japanese summer is survived. The heat and humidity tend to cause an increase in irritability, fatigue, and motivation. Finding someplace away from home that has good air conditioning and cool beverages will help recharge your battery and boost your energy.

Joining social groups and visiting expat hot spots can help with irritability and provide camaraderie. Don’t face the summer alone. Get out and socialize to keep your spirits high. Remember that everyone is suffering, and you’re not in this alone.

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Posted on 07 Jun 2015 04:58

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