Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just A Few Things To Survive Summer (Natsu)

It is starting to get very hot and humid in Japan. It went from warm, to incredibly hot very quickly. I hear its supposed to become much hotter. We missed last summer which had record breaking temperatures. We are doing our best to stay cool.  Here are some things that people do/use to beat the heat:

Hand Towels (Hankatchi)

Small hand towels are very popular here.  Everyone seems to use one.  They are generally the size of a washcloth, sometimes smaller.  Not only are they convenient in the summer to pat your face and wrap around a cold drink, but they are useful year round because most restrooms do not have paper towels to dry your hands.

Japanese Hand Fans

I have seen many people using paper fans in the heat. Both men and women will whip out their fans when waiting for the trains, buses, etc. The folding fans are nice because they are compact. I always thought these fans were strictly for decoration, but they have a dual-purpose.


I've blogged about how everyone uses umbrellas here when it rains.  Many Japanese women also use a parasol, or sun umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. They are a little smaller than regular umbrellas, sometimes frilly, and often times have UV protection in the material. The other day I even saw a woman riding her bicycle carrying a parasol. She was quite the multi-tasker.

Stick Close To Water

We will be spending many days here this summer.

To stay cool we've been taking advantage of many water activities such as:  going to the beach, going to the pool and going sailing.  We are very fortunate to be able to rent paddle boards, kayaks, boats, windsurfing equipment, etc for a reasonable price on base.  This weekend we are going to watch a friend's windsurfing lesson at the beach.  One certain family member really wants us to buy a windsurfing board ..... but I think we'll have him take lessons first.

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