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5 Tips To Survive the Hot, Humid Japanese Rainy Season and Summer

2016.07.21

Writer name : KAMIOKA

In Japan, June to July is the rainy season. The high levels of humidity and heat may surprise foreign travelers who have never experienced it before. Here are some tips to help you survive the season.

1. Refrain from over-indulging on cold food and drink

During the Japanese rainy season and summer, your entire body becomes uncomfortably covered in sweat and you'll want to sit in an air-conditioned room and drink cold things, right? However, if you drink nothing but cold drinks, even if you feel great you'll actually freeze your insides, making your digestive system sluggish. This in turn can cause a number of problems, including diarrhea, loss of appetite, or summer fatigue. Because it's a hot season, you should try to eat and drink warm things. For drinks, it's fine to have them at room temperature or slightly chilled. Though it's true that shaved ice (kakigoori) and cold drinks are delicious. After you imbibe something cold, it would be good to have warm food or drink afterwards to warm your system.

2. Have vinegar and citric acid

If you only eat refreshing things during the summer, you might suffer from fatigue. If that happens, the best thing is to buy some vinegar. Vinegar has citric acid in it, so it's very good to help recover from and ward off fatigue, help digestion, improve appetite. Vinegar also has antibacterial properties, so it's good for preventing food poisoning. It would be good to actively try to imbibe vinegar in your food or drink. In Japan, May is the season when harvested plums are pickled in salt to become umeboshi or are mixed with rock candy to make a plum syrup that is added to water in the summer. Plums also have citric acid, so it's known that they're good to ward off fatigue. Lately you can find plum drinks in vending machines and convenience stores, so if you see it you should try it. Lemon and honey also have citric acid so it's a standard drink to recover from exhaustion. It would also be good to eat pickles, which can be found in any supermarket. Please try this if you feel a loss of appetite.

3. Exercise until you sweat lightly

You might feel that the hot, muggy Japanese summers are making you sluggish. When the outside humidity is high but you're not sweating out the heat in your body, it can cause joint pain, sluggishness, and edema. If that happens, you should exercise lightly until you sweat, such as going for a walk. If you release the extra water levels in your body, you'll be relieved and your stomach will work better too. It has the same effect as sweating in a sauna. If you're affected by the heat and you feel heavy, move your body lightly to sweat out your extra moisture and it will help your stomach work better so you can properly eat. Being in an air-conditioned room the whole time and keeping yourself cold is actually bad for you, so please be careful.

4. Use aromatherapy

When the humidity is high, rooms can get a muggy, stale smell. That smell is potentially thanks to a variety of bacteria, so you won't be able to relax from the tiredness of travel in that room. If that happens, it's recommended to use natural aromatherapy that help with eliminating bacteria, getting rid of bad odors, and prevent mold. The recommended scents for that time of year thanks to their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties are tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil. It's important to use aroma pots or sprays using purified water to diffuse their scent around the room. The refreshing tree scents will also help you refresh your mood. You can use it to eliminate smells and bacteria in your shoes and closet too. In order to fully benefit from these scents, properly dry it after use.

5. Use newspaper

During the rainy season the humidity inside apartments and houses gets high. If you leave wet shoes and hats without drying them out, then bacteria will grow making them stink and maybe even grow mold. In order to prevent that, use newspaper. Ball it up and stuff it in your shoes or wrap your hat in it and it will suck up the moisture. When the newspaper is wet, you can trade it for a new one. If you do this properly you'll be surprised not just by how fast it dries but also at the lack of smell. You can recycle the newspaper or just throw it out so it doesn't take too much work. This is something Japanese people often use, so please try it.


It's important to not cool your body down too much when it's hot. Please enjoy sightseeing in Japan while taking preventions against the humidity.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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