Staying Cool in the Summer

Heat Illness Prevention

Taking care of yourself in the outdoor heat and humidity is so important, especially if you’re not used to this kind of climate! Even locals sometimes have trouble. We know it’s a rough time of year to be in Japan so we wanted to make sure you are prepared. Here are some good items to keep you cool (can be brought or bought)!

  • sunscreen (look for it in a convenience store or drug store – some good brands here are Aqua, Biore UV, and Anessa)
  • a hat with a brim to shield your face (better if it has UV protection)
  • sunglasses
  • a traditional folding fan (wood/plastic and paper/fabric – can be found at a 100 yen shop, MUJI, Tokyu Hands, LOFT etc.) — seriously, these are great to have in the heat!
  • a handheld chargeable/battery electric fan (sold in similar shops to the folding fan)
  • a long, thin towel to drape around your neck (good for wiping sweat, fanning yourself, and keeping the sun off your neck – can be found anywhere, but convenience stores, especially Family Mart, have good ones)
  • a cool neckband (check a drug store, LOFT, and Tokyu Hands for many options)
  • body wipe sheets (great for freshening up, can be found at convenience stores or drug stores — some good brands are Biore, Sea Breeze, Gatsby, MUJI, etc.)
  • a sunbrella/parasol with UV protection (optional, but it’s a lifesaver when you’re out and about and can’t find shade)
  • water, sports drinks (Aquarius, Pocari Sweat, or OS-1 if you’re really dehydrated) drunk in intervals consistently throughout the day in small sips (chugging a full bottle suddenly is not advised)
  • Ice cream! Shaved ice! Other cool sweets! Cold noodle dishes! There are many delicious ways to cool off.
  • shade (no joke, keeping yourself in the shade as much as you can when you’re outside will make a HUGE difference)

Some of these things work great in combination (ex. cool neckband + fan), and we know everyone is different so we encourage you to find what works well for you. Our final advice is: don’t underestimate the heat. You may feel fine until you suddenly don’t; heat exhaustion can come by surprise. The best thing to do is take good precautions and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Your safety and health is of the utmost importance!

What to do in case of heatstroke or illness

It is important to know what to do if you or someone around you is experiencing heatstroke or illness.

Learn what to do here (scroll down to First Aid for Heatstroke). The article also has some helpful tips on how to prevent heat illness (please see a previous section titled Preventing Heatstroke Outdoors). This video is also a helpful illustration of what to do.


We may update this article in the future with more information.

(Last Update: 2023.8.9 – added “What to do in case of heatstroke or illness”)