Beat the Humid Heat! 5 Select Handy Items to Help You Overcome the Japanese Summer
If you are coming to Japan in the summer, you should be careful of the intense sunlight and humid heat. Staying outside for a long time without adequate protection and hydration will increase your risk of getting heat stroke. Here are some items that will come in handy to protect you from the scorching summer heat and sunlight.
1. Cooling Sheet
Stick-on cooling sheets can be handy whenever you feel hot. The gel used in cooling sheets is rich in moisture, so it can absorb heat and expel it from the body once it comes in contact with your skin. It provides instant coolness and relief once it is placed on your forehead or on your neck. For added cooling effect, try placing it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before use. Before applying, wipe off sweat and moisture from your skin. Be careful not to let it stick to your eyebrows or body hair, as it would not stay on as well then. The nice thing about cooling sheets is that they can be easily purchased in convenience stores and pharmacies, and are available in various sizes for adults, children and infants. It is usually sold as a sheet for the forehead, but there are also cooling sheets specifically for the neck and the body.
2. Instant Cold Pack
The instant cold pack are great for cooling down even in an emergency. It is a pack containing a water bag and cooling agents, and is a convenient item that you can bring anywhere with you. The water bag inside the pack bursts when you hit the bag. The water then comes in contact with cooling agents, which melt and instantly become frozen. Its main components are water and ammonium nitrate, but some cooling packs may also contain urea. The latter type has a better cooling effect, but note that it is not suitable for long-term storage, so caution is advised when using one. Duration of effectiveness vary depending on the size of the cold pack - the large ones last for about 60 to 90 minutes, and the small ones for about 15 to 30 minutes. It can be used to prevent heat stroke, for first-aid purposes, and even for cooling down after sports and other activities. They are available in most drug stores.
3. Cooling spray
A cooling spray is also recommended, as it provides an instant cooling effect with one push. They come in different levels in terms of coolness, and depending on the type, can be applied directly to the skin or on top of clothing. It can be used to create an instant cold towel by spraying it on a damp cloth or handkerchief. Some brands offer scented and deodorizing cooling sprays, as well as powder types. Choose one according to your preference. It can be easily bought from most drug stores.
*Take caution when spraying directly onto skin as it can cause frostbite if not used as instructed.
Popular as a souvenir in Japan, sensu (fans) also help cool you down from the heat. They are compact and foldable, so you can easily carry one around. If you have one in your bag you can use it whenever you need. Fans are either made of paper or cloth - go for the paper type if you want more air flow, and go for the cloth type if you prefer a more durable one. Most stores, particularly souvenir shops, sell them, but you can buy one from a 100 yen shop if you want a cheaper fan. However, if you want a high-quality fan, go for a handcrafted one created by skilled craftsmen using traditional techniques.
In Japan, many people use umbrellas during the summer. A lot of people use it to block the sun's harsh ultraviolet rays, which is one of the main causes of skin ailments. However, as summer heat becomes more intense year by year, it has become a popular choice to combat both heat and harsh sunlight. The key in choosing a good one is to check whether it is able to block light, and if it is insulated. By blocking out infrared rays, which is the main factor of heat, it can provide coolness and comfort. The foldable type that you can keep in your bag is recommended. There are all-weather umbrellas too. It is sold in most department stores and general goods stores, as well as large supermarkets and 100-yen shops.
Aside from the items mentioned above, there are other ways to combat the heat, such as wearing absorbent, fast-drying and breathable clothing, and to keep yourself hydrated. Use the items in this article and enjoy a comfortable trip, even in the hot summer weather.
*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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