The summer humidity in Japan simply isn’t a joke at all. You can be too hot to relax, to hot to work, and to hot to sleep at night. On one occasion I even resorted to sleeping by the door leading out to the front garden next to the dog. It’s made even tougher when your mother-in-law continues to claim how ‘suzushii’ (cool in temperature) her room is at night. Yokatta ne okaasan!
I don’t like to use the air-conditioner because it’s simply unnatural, kills the environment, and does not settle well with my throat and skin (nor does it with the family). Whilst many of my friends in Japan have come down with flu’s, fevers, and cold’s… My family and I have remained a picture of health, despite not having been exposed to the Japanese summer humidity for 2 years. So, this is how you do it:
1. If you like to exercise/jog/run/cycle – then do it very early morning before 9am or after 5pm in the evening. You seriously don’t want to be doing it during the day, as it could be quite fatal to your health. If you’re not into exercising, then I would recommend going for a walk. You may be on holiday or feel tired, but your body needs positive exercise to help keep a balance.
2. Try not to use the air-conditioner because this gives out a serious gush of cold air, and quite frankly there is no accurate temperature balance. If you do use, try opening one of the windows… this may help find a balance in temperature as the cold and hot air meet within your room. In general I would say draw the blinds/curtains during the day to block the sunlight (leave window open if possible) and open the curtains and window for the night, allowing what rare breeze may find its way to you.
3. Drink plenty of water (I’ve been downing a bottle of either Spring water or Alkalised Ion water everyday), keep shaded, and take a hand towel around with you.
4. Take a change of shirt with you. Nothing goes down worst than a smelly foreigner… but hey, your body is just not used to the heat… luckily I’m okay with it. But many people, including Japanese, take an extra shirt out with them.
5. Be careful of going on the train and inside convenience stores… as your going from one extreme (hot humidity) to another (super cool/cold air).
6. Take natural supplements. I have been taking cod liver oil and multivitamins & minerals each day. I believe these along with the above have most certainly helped.
If you do visit Japan in the summer, then I hope some of the above will be of benefit to you.
Below are some snaps of my second week in Japan.