Jul 31, 2017
Heat in Japan hits it hard in summer from the beginning of July till the end of August. Though there is no lack of cooling equipment in Japan, you still need to find ways to keep cool. Here are a few survival tips for when it gets hot in Japan.
Water with ice - To prevent dehydration, we need to drink a lot of water. Invest a few yen in ice trays and drop ice into your tea and water throughout the day. Glasses of water with slices of fruit and ice are refreshing when it gets hot. Luckily strawberries and other fruits available in summer in Japan are great for making milkshakes, so investing in a blender is also worthwhile. Here is an espresso milkshake recipe I personally like in summer:
(Don’t worry about exact measurements…just throw in the blender and enjoy!)
Recipe for milkshake:
Milk (300gr) - whole milk
Ice-cream (3 cups)
Ground coffee (about 1tsp)
Cream (1/2 carton) if you want a rich taste
Spicy food is “hot”, but it is a great way to cool down. When we lived in Sichuan, China, my husband and I ate spicy food almost everyday. If you are close to an international neighborhood, may be it is time to discover Sichuan hot pot restaurants. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also good for you. Here’s an interesting article about spicy food and why it is good for health: http://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/2017/04/19/5-reasons-why-spicy-food-is-good-for.html
(Caution: Fire in the mouth, milk and more ice water will save you.)
Japanese style food soumen and udon noodle recipes are also best to discover while you are in Japan.
If you can keep heat out of your apartment or house, you will keep yourself cooler. Some people cover their windows with mylar (reflective side out) which can be purchased at Cainz and other homeware stores, but this is not enough by itself. (Also hundred yen stores sell them)
Unfortunately, I have not found the secret to keeping a house cool in Japan. But air conditioning and fans are hard to beat. If you don’t have these, they are worth investing in. If you choose not to, you might regret it by the end of August.
If you have an air conditioner and don’t know how to use it, look for the words below on your remote control:
Tokei- clock 時計
Unten -operation 運転
kirikae- switch 切替
fuuko- Wind direction 風子
Kaze Ryou - airflow 風良
Reibou- cooling 冷房
Jidou - self-driving/automatic 自動
Yowai- weak 弱い
Tsuyoi- strong 強い
Susumu -to advance すすむ
Yoyaku -reserve 予約
Torikesu- cancel 取消
Teishi- stop/suspension 停止
If all else fails, you can always apply cold washcloths to your forehead with a few drops of essential oil and neck to cool yourself down.
Escaping the heat
Swimming is a great way to cool down in the heat of summer. If you’re not sure about safety and water quality of rivers and lakes, look for the nearest swimming pool and make a habit of going. If you want to go really escape the heat, Hokkaido is beautiful and cooler than most of Japan (but I haven’t been there, yet…)
A mother who is interested in taking photos, hiking, and traveling. Favorites are sewing, knitting, sipping coffee. I am very happy to be found city-cost expat community in Japan, to dedicate it to improve writing skill.