Despite being from Singapore where it is hot all-year-round, Japan’s summer can still be a chore for Singaporeans. Summer in Japan is typically hot, humid and sometimes even stifling. However, it is also the season for festivals, fireworks and beer gardens! For the travellers who are heading there this July to late September, here are some tips to make the summer travel more bearable!
1) Everyday must-haves
It is easy to overlook the essentials when you are trying to minimise the weight in your backpack. The glaring summer sun makes it a must for sunglasses, a cap and sunscreen whenever you head out. Remember to reapply the sunscreen every 30 minutes while out in open areas due to the high humidity. Wear sunglasses that specifically protect you from the harmful UV rays, as well as sunscreen with higher SPF. Unfortunately, summer is also the season where mosquitos and bugs are out in full force. Do not let it get to you by having the handy insect repellent in your bag at all times.
2) Freebies along the road
It is not difficult to spot people giving away pocket tissue or paper fans along shopping streets and near the subway. Considered a popular mode of advertisements for shops, these freebies come along with a piece of printed advert. Bigger retail chains such as Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera sometimes have their staff giving out these freebies right at the entrance, or put in a cart beside the doors. Do not shy away from these, as they will help you get through the scorching summer without breaking your wallet!
3) Drink the right stuff
There are specific drinks that Japanese people drinks in summer to help them get through the heat. 1000 Japanese were surveyed on their go-to summer beverage, and 90% answered Mugi-cha (roasted barley tea). Mugi-cha is a sugar-free drink that is well known as a cooling beverage, easily available at convenience stores and vending machines.
For hydration purposes, sports drinks such as Pocari Sweat and Aquarius are also easily available at vending machines. These drinks are a good substitution to water during summer where you sweat a lot more than usual. Mugi-cha and sports drinks are also easily available in powdered packets in Japanese supermarkets. Travellers to Japan can easily buy these back to Singapore, since we battle with the heat every day of the year!
While summer in Japan can be daunting for many, it is also a season of fun, with many festivals lined up! Do not miss the Nebuta Matsuri, and the Kanto Matsuri if you are in Japan this August! Moreover, with more than 20 fireworks festivals in Tokyo, be part of one without fear of a heatstroke with these tips!