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Friday, August 21, 2015

Coping With Japan's Summer Heat & Humidity

Above, Shinjuku in the distance from Tokyo Tower during the summer of 2004. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Summer is a month away from ending, but this blog post should be useful to you if you're planning to visit Japan during an upcoming summer season.

First off, I have been in Japan once during summer (that was with the first G-TOUR in 2004) and the temperatures were hot and humid. Thankfully, most of us knew ahead of time about Japan's hot summers and packed accordingly (except for one pair of slacks, I packed nothing but cargo shorts). I don't think I've ever drank so much water in my life.

The most recent G-TOUR ended about a couple of weeks ago and those who went said Japan was very hot. A major heat wave hit Japan during the time of the tour. The weather reports from Japan confirmed that it was one of the hottest summers in recent memory.

Japan's hot & humid summers are one of the reasons I prefer to visit Japan in the autumn or spring. Dry heat I can take, humid heat is brutal. I am heading to Japan this coming October.

But, if you are only able to visit Japan during summer, InsideJapan Tours has some tips on keeping cool.

They begin with:
Japan isn’t traditionally thought of as a “hot” country, but let me tell you – Japanese summers are flipping roasting. Unbelievably warm, in fact – and with an atmosphere so humid that you can almost swim in it. 
Now don’t get me wrong – summer is a great time to visit Japan. Not only are there fewer crowds, but it has a whole plethora of its own unique attractions – from delicious summer foods and crazy ice cream flavours to beautiful beaches, fantastic scuba diving, amazing hiking opportunities, and some really awesome summer festivals. (If you need any more convincing, you can read our 10 reasons to visit Japan in the summer here.) 
But there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s bloody boiling – and this can take some visitors by surprise, even if they have had a peep at the weather forecast before they travel. Sunburn isn’t the only danger – heatstroke is a real issue for those who fail to prepare adequately for the weather, and every year Japan sees a number of heat-related deaths and hospitalisations. 
If you prepare correctly, however, there’s absolutely no reason why summer in Japan can’t be a thoroughly enjoyable time of year to travel. To help you beat the heat, we’ve whipped round a few of our Japan-based colleagues for their top tips on staying cool!

To see what they recommend to keep cool, go here.

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