How to Stay Cool in Japan this Summer

Jul 01, 2024

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Summer in Japan offers diverse experiences, aesthetically pleasing activities, and tourist destinations. However, as temperatures escalate and humidity intensifies, it can become tough to enjoy your travel experiences, especially in the mainland and down south. Therefore, it's essential to be aware of the potential health risks of extreme heat. From bustling urban centres to tranquil rural retreats, Japan presents numerous options to stay cool and enjoy the season to its fullest. Here are some ways to keep your cool in the sweltering summer heat!

Enjoy outdoor activities

Beat the heat by taking a summer adventure into exquisite beaches you cannot miss. Engage in water-based activities like swimming, kayaking, diving, or even witness the scenic views of sunsets by the sea. Many locals and tourists visit the island of Okinawa to unwind on the white sand beaches and refreshing crystal clear waters - hot but plenty of water to escape into!

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Apart from this, you can find cooler and chiller areas with higher altitudes or greener areas, including gardens and forests, to recover from the urban heat. Some of the most popular areas are located in the Hokkaido and Nagano regions. Rich with nature and historical sites, these regions offer cool retreat spots with breathtaking views that make you feel that you are slipped into a different world.

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For those exploring urban areas, seeking shade under the lush greenery of parks or strolling through air-conditioned shopping arcades can provide relief. Many Japanese homes and businesses also employ noren, traditional fabric dividers hung at entrances, which help create pockets of coolness by restricting airflow and preserving cooler indoor temperatures. Additionally, Tokyo boasts of exchanging conventional Japanese gardens that offer a tranquil atmosphere with ponds and shaded trees.

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Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is non-negotiable, no matter where you are. It's a key measure to prevent heat stroke, headache, dehydration, and other health issues. Two popular drinks in Japan are mugicha, a barley tea with a savoury taste that contains minerals to prevent dehydration and heat stroke, and sports drinks like Pocari Sweat, OS-1, and Aquarius, which help maintain electrolytes in the body. These beverages are your allies in the battle against the summer heat, providing much-needed relief and reassurance.

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Be ready with cooling and sun-blocking products

We recommend using innovative cooling and sun-blocking products, such as cooling wipes, sprays, and UV lotions. These products provide a cooling sensation and optimal skin protection throughout the day, ensuring you stay comfortable and protected from the sun's rays.


Apart from this, many people carry small, portable, and affordable fans that can be purchased from department stores, online, and in other stalls. There are hand-free neck fans that are only held onto some of the time. One of the most innovative options includes built-in fans in clothing such as vests and jackets, providing a cooling effect developed by Kuchofuku.


Consider investing in a UV-blocking umbrella for a classic way to protect yourself from scorching sunlight. These are often lightweight and easily carried in a bag, making them convenient and practical.

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Explore indoor activities

There are a variety of indoor parks and activities to choose from, including museums, shopping malls, aquariums, and other commercial buildings with refreshing air conditioning. In Tokyo, famous indoor theme parks like Joypolis in Odaiba and Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro allow you to escape the scorching heat and enjoy the beautiful scenery of nature.

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Sunshine Aquarium

Try out old-school remedies

Japan has two traditional and practical practices to ease the heat during summer. First is the use of fuurin (wind chimes). These are made of glass domes with a metal zetsu (clapper), filled with air and the cooling sounds of the summer breeze.


Another traditional practice is the uchimizu (sprinkled water). During the Edo period, it was believed to provide a cooling breeze and remove dust particles. These two practices, deeply rooted in Japanese culture, can significantly affect your comfort during the summer.

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Immerse yourself in a summer festival.

Witness vibrant natsu matsuri (summer festivals) and hanabi taikai (fireworks festivals) from all over the region, where you can dress up in yukata (summer kimono), indulge in Japanese street food, and view the magnificent fireworks display. Where people can dress up, try street food, and view the beautiful fireworks display.

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Savour summer treats and drinks

Cool down with the perfect summer delicacies and quench your thirst with refreshing drinks in Japan. In cafes, restaurants, and festivals, you can indulge in summer staples like kakigori, a shaved iced dessert. Try cold noodle dishes like hiyashi chuka, morioka reiman, or nagashi somen if you want savoury. There are plenty of summer delicacies to choose from!

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These practical tips and Japanese cooling techniques are your secret weapons for making your summer in Japan refreshing and memorable.

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