7 things you need for a Japanese Summer

So the cherry blossoms have fallen, and the blazing heat of the rising sun is upon you. What just happened?! One minute the weather was but perfect and now you can barely walk outside for five minutes before you realize you either should have put on more deodorant, or have brought a change of clothes.

Here are some things to expect as well as some advice for summers in Japan:


I sweat. You sweat. We all sweat. But do you know you sweat a lot (Or, more than Japanese people anyways)? If you do, it might be best to bring some of your favourite deodorant from home or buy some online. Many foreigners complain about the weak deodorant here, that seems to just wash away with the first signs of sweat. You don’t want to be that person who’s BO is getting wafted all over the office. I swear that might have been me at one point!

For the ladies, it’s interesting to note there are special types of deodorant to be used on the back, legs, as well as neck (and hairline) to prevent the much loved shiny streaks of sweat. I haven’t had much experience using this sweat balms, but the few times I have used it, depending on the area seems to hold up quite well. I’ll write a review later on about them.


So in the west, we may laugh off handkerchiefs as things of the past when you might be surprised at how prevalent they are in Asia. You’ll find everyone during the heat equipped with very unique hadkerchiefs, from cute motifs to characters to ones with brand or business names printed on them, which are sometimes handed out on the street. They come in an assortment of thicknesses, and sizes. Having experienced two summers in Tokyo already, I’ve had the privilege of collecting quite a few interesting ones. These are tucked away in the business men’ ‘man bags’, womens’ purses and almost everyone’s pocket. Whip them out when you feel the beads of sweat trickling, and you’ll be all good once again.

It’s normal not only to use them to wipe away the sweat, but also to lay them on your head under the blazing heat. It’s not unheard of to see construction workers constantly sporting towels or handkerchiefs on their heads.


Don’t even thinking about biking to work (if you do, make sure to bring a change of clothes and lots of water!), the humidity is so strong a 7 minute bike ride is enough to make you feel the burn. Opt for the train and bus if you can, but if you can’t, try these:

UV Sun Hat

When buying a UV Sun hat, always opt for practicality over fashion. You may look like the most unstylish goon, but hey, who’s the last one laughing when your face is all nice and theirs is peeling from the sunburn? Always try to look for a sun hat that has a wide brim. If the brim is too big, it has the tendency to flop and sway over your eyes, which makes seeing difficult. The trick is to find a firm hat that has a wide brim; usually ones with a thicker material (not just cotton, but maybe woven, etc.) have proven to be practical at protecting not only the head, and face, and but also the eyes. Making the hate UV lets the hat reflect the rays which usually makes the hat warmer, and thus heats your head. You can find any UV sun hate almost anywhere in Japan during summer. Check out your local clothing store, dollar stores, and even the convenience stores. 

UV GLoves

 These might seem ridiculous, but I’ve used them not for fashion but because while you’re biking your arms will burn! These are great for keeping exposed arms or hands cool. If you’re like me, my hands easily get dry and not just in winter but also have the tendency to burn in the summer. 


A no brainer but wearing these can make such a big difference in protecting your visibility, as well as being able to see without squinting.

Breathable, Cooling Clothing

I can’t stress this one enough, and you can buy so many clothing that is breathable and allows the wearer to cool down much easier. The obvious stores are Uniqlo, GU, but also Shimamura where you can find cheap and lots of selection. On this note, try to avoid heavy material such as wool, heavy cotton, etc. and choose lighter and more breathable materials such as stretch fabrics, light weight cotton, chambray, etc. 


Beauty products with SPF: For ladies with colored hair, brittle hair, etc. try spray with SPF to reduce frizzing and damage from the sun. Try lip products (chapsticks, etc) with at least 5 SPF to prevent chapping and burning. I’ll be posting a full indepth review and post about some of my favourite and top sunscreens here in Japan, and what I look for when shopping for sunscreen. 


Hi, I'm Bettina

Hi, I'm Bettina

I believe life is an adventure and the best dreams are the kind made into reality through faith and hard work. A passion for travel and exploration, as well as self-development and entrepreneurship.


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