Jul 13, 2016

The Gaijin Summer Survival Kit

Believe me when I say that the irony of the most popular Nintendo game in recent history not yet being released in Nintendo’s homeland of Japan while I am in Japan is not an irony which is lost on me.  

The Gaijin Summer Survival Kit photo

(though I did manage to catch a server test the other day while it was up for an hour… and then I also caught an Evee.)

In any case, best get my weekly blog post in before PokemonGO *does* release in Japan because lord knows that I will fall into that void for at least a week or so.

The Gaijin Summer Survival Kit photo

So. This was the weather report this morning while I waited at the train stop. That’s 9:15AM. 30 seconds after I took this screen shot a wave of torrential rain fell from the sky while the earth continued to reach higher and higher temperatures. How does anyone survive the temperature/ humidity/ sudden downpours that are so common during this season? 

Let me introduce you to... My Gaijin Summer Survival Kit

The Gaijin Summer Survival Kit photo

this stuff (minus the hat) lives in my backpack all summer long.

  1. Sunglasses. Because when it isn’t raining, there seems to be an endless supply of windows and other various reflective surfaces which will surely burn out your retinas. 
  2. Brimmed hat. See above reasons. Also it keeps your ear-tips from getting sunburned and crispy like you’re growing bacon on the sides of your face.
  3. Sweat-rag. Because you sweat when it’s hot and then when there’s so much humidity in the air that you’re basically walking through a soggy sponge on your commute, that air isn’t going to let any of the aforementioned sweat evaporate. Take matters into your own hands. Your handy dandy sweat rag is your new bestie.  
  4. Umbrella. Because it rains so much harder when you don’t have one. The heavens… they know.  
  5. Ever-cool neck towel. You add water - hot or cold, doesn’t even matter! - and then place this thing around the back of your neck. As this towel slowly dries out it magically stays cool, and by proxy, keeps you cool too. I don’t understand this magic, but I am thankful to our unicorn overlords for bestowing their gift upon us.
  6. Bottled water. ...Or at least 110 yen in your pocket so you can buy a bottle of water at the next vending machine. Or better yet both. You’ll need it. Stay hydrated folks!
  7. Oil Blotting Paper. The post sweat-rag option for when you’ve found your destination and have managed to get yourself back inside a building (preferably a building with Air-Con*). A handy maneuver to look a little less like you visited an olive oil factory and fell into the processing tank.
  8. Hair Style Reset Wipes. These claim to take the excess oils and sweat out of your hair once you’ve successfully escaped the outdoors. They don’t really “reset” your style to it’s original condition, but they do make you feel a little less gross if'n you don’t have immediate access to a shower.
  9. Body spray fragrance in travel size. Because no matter how amazing your deodorant, it doesn’t last as long as you need it to in this weather. However, just so we’re very clear, body spray is no excuse to skip the deodorant. I wish I could tattoo this sentiment on the people I always get stuck next to on crowded trains.
  10. Not pictured: nylons or spandex-y undergarments. I know you might think: “Oh God, another layer of clothing? What on earth are you thinking!?” To which I say: Skirts give your legs access to some air circulation, but heat rash/ chub-rub is a very real and present danger to the non-Japanese proportioned gal. Nylons add a buffer zone and fix that. You’re. Welcome. Side-note, Uni-Clo offers boxer-short type things made of fabric which boasts “sweat wicking technology." This is a technology I would not have guessed I’d be ready to offer virgin sacrifices, but you know, here we are with an alter, a pure goat, and a pair of cooling boxer briefs.

What do you keep in your survival kit - 
tell me in the comments!

today’s little language lesson


kono kisetsu wa tsuyu to yobarete imasu. Daremo ga sore wo kiratte imasu.

This season is called the rainy season. Everyone hates it.

*today at my Japanese lesson, we were talking about vacation spots around Japan. My teacher told me she spent a few years living in Thailand and it was beautiful, but so hot that she had to keep the air conditioner on 24 hours a day! The incredulous tone to her voice made me pause and ask "wait. how long do you keep your Air Con on during this season?" To which she replied, only when it is too hot. Maybe an hour or two each day. Guys, I don't know when I last turned the Air Con in our house off.



The name is Kp or KpMcD (Kristin, actually, but for the sake of continuity let's stick with the nickname, shall we?) Hailing from the Midwest US and living in Nagoya with my husband (The Mister), my dobermutt (Mac) and an elitist marmalade tabby who answers to no one (Bubba).


  • Saitama

    on Jul 13

    I love the scented cool down wipes, that remove perspiration while freshening you up and replacing sweaty odor with a fragrance of your choice!

  • KpQuePasa

    on Jul 14

    @Saitama My husband SWEARS by those! I use them occasionally, but I never seem to remember I have them in my pack until I'm home and then shower is always the better option. :)

  • Saitama

    on Jul 14

    @KpQuePasa Hehe! I have to admit I did that for a couple of summers, but finally this summer I am remembering that I have them and using them. :-)