Summer in Japan is an unmissable season for festivals, fireworks, camping, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. It's also a season to be mindful of the relentless heat, humidity, and strong ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
So we’ve put together a list of the best summer products to help you survive this ferocious, yet attractive season while making the most of your stay in Japan. These items can easily be found in most drugstores, so make a stop before you embark on your big adventure.
Protect your skin from getting sunburnt
Protect your skin from getting sunburnt
It starts heating up in late May in many parts of Japan (including Tokyo) and sometimes daytime temperatures can rise above 25℃ (77°F). The peak of summer is July and August, and temperatures can reach above 30℃ (86°F) almost every day, with UV rays starting to get stronger in May.
In Japan, many beauty-conscious people take extreme caution to protect their skin from the sunlight, as well as UV rays. UV rays can cause many skin problems, including sagging, wrinkles and spots or (even worse) skin cancer if you are exposed to them repeatedly. Here's a list of sunscreen products that you can rely on while enjoying outdoor activities in Japan.
There are many types of sunscreens available in Japan and they all come with different features, such as being waterproof, having high SPF (sun protection factor) or cooling effects. Spray sunscreens are becoming popular because you can apply them without leaving a greasy feeling on your hands. For their ease of application, spray sunscreens also come in handy for parents with small children and can even be applied to their hair.
Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster SPF 50+ PA++++ by Shiseido
Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster SPF 50+ PA++++ by Shiseido(￥1,700～) is a perfect choice for those who want to spend the day near water. Shiseido claims its aqua booster feature protects your skin from the sun even more when you are exposed to water or sweat.
Suncut UV Protect Spray SPF 50+ PA++++ by Kose
Suncut UV Protect Spray SPF 50+ PA++++ by Kose(￥600～) is a power-in spray and leaves your skin smooth under severe humidity. This lightly textured spray is gentle on your skin, so you can use it before or after makeup application, and it comes off easily with soap.
When you spend a day out in the sun, it can leave you with painful sunburn, even if you were careful in reapplying sunscreen. The first thing you should do is get out of the sun and then treat the affected area as soon as possible. An iced towel or a cool bottle can relieve the pain but an instant cold pack is also useful.
Instant cold pack
Instant cold pack(￥100～) will immediately freeze when you punch the bag and becomes a reusable ice pack when you put it in the freezer.
Sunbears Alova Gel by Menturm
Another way to get rid of a sunburn is to use a moisturizer with aloe vera. Sunbears Alova Gel by Menturm(￥500～) is an affordable after-sun lotion that gently soothes and moisturizes irritated skin. It’s even more effective if you put it in the fridge before use.
Avoid getting heatstroke
Heatstroke occurs when the body is exposed to heat for too long and is considered a life-threatening medical emergency. In Japan, heatstroke is becoming a growing concern and according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, 95,137 people were hospitalized with this condition between May and September 2018.
Heatstroke can creep up on you without warning, so it is important to take careful precautions by taking frequent breaks from outdoor activities and keeping yourself hydrated.
Maintain the correct sodium balance
Charge Tablets by Kabaya
A lack of salt could also contribute to heatstroke and taking products like Charge Tablets by Kabaya(￥180～) is one way to reduce your risk. This supplement tablet helps to rapidly increase your intake of salt, so take this product and drink something if you know that you're going to engage in sports or outdoor activities.
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Keep mosquitos away
Summer is the perfect season for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and barbecuing but you have to be careful not to get itchy mosquito bites that could potentially ruin your outing. Here's a list of mosquito repellants and aids that you can easily buy in Japan.
Skin Vape Mist by Fumakilla
Many types of repellents are available in Japan but one of the most popular is Skin Vape Mist by Fumakilla(￥500～). This water-based spray has a long-lasting effect and is gentle on the skin, so you can use it every day.
Mosquito repellent bracelets
Mosquito repellent bracelets like Wristband Type(￥400～) are a kid-friendly option, as they only contain citronella and eucalyptus oils. This elastic bracelet fits perfectly on either children and adult wrists and the effect lasts about a month.
Prepare first-aid supplies
When packing for your summer outing, don’t forget about first-aid supplies. A simple cut can happen easily during outdoor activities and could ruin your day or potentially result in an infection. Makiron by Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare is a popular antiseptic spray for many minor skin injuries, such as cuts, blisters and scrapes. You can directly spray this product to the affected area or apply it with a piece of gauze or cotton to clean the wound.
BAND-AID Kizu Power Pads
Minor bleeding wounds are best controlled by BAND-AID Kizu Power Pads by Johnson & Johnson. While this product costs slightly more than other adhesive strips, it helps wounds to heal quickly, without leaving scabs and scars.
This is because of its lasting durability and ability to withstand repeated water exposure, which protects the wound and promotes body fluid circulation under the skin. Make sure you clean the wound with water and antiseptic lotion first, then cover the affected area with this band-aid.
Keep your skin cool and refreshed
Keep your skin cool and refreshed
What makes surviving the Japanese summer challenging is its blistering temperatures and humidity. Especially in big cities like Tokyo, concrete buildings and asphalt pavements accumulate heat, unlike grass fields and forests in rural areas that reflect sunlight and reduce heat by evaporation.
As soon as you leave a comfortably air-conditioned room and walk for a couple minutes to catch a train, you’ll often end up soaked with sweat and feel sticky all over your body.
Body wipes offer an immediate solution to remove sweat and body odor if taking a shower is not an available option. Many types of body wipes are available on the market and you can easily choose the one you prefer.
Gatsby Body Paper
For example, Gatsby Body Paper series by Mandom(￥350～) is famous for its icy-cool refreshing effect, making you feel like you’ve actually had a shower. It's really strong cool, We It's so cool, We highly recommended for men.
AG Deo 24 Clear Shower Sheet
The AG Deo 24 Clear Shower Sheet series by Shiseido(￥600～) has a long-lasting, drying effect and contains deodorant ingredients. A sheet from either the Gatsby or AG Deo collection is usually big and thick enough to cover the whole body.
Remember to keep one of these in your bag - it will be your reliable partner to combat the insanely hot Japanese summer.