Wednesday, May 09, 2012

16 Ways to Keep Dry in Japan This Summer

Summer apparently officially started last week. It's going to be pretty humid, in case you didn't know. Here's how you can make a difference!!!!!

I'm sure there are some more points not covered here, so tell us about them in the comment field below. Or tell everyone on our Facebook page. Or Tweet us.

Driclor, why not buy three?

1. Driclor
As we mentioned last year, there is a miracle cure to excessive sweating, and it goes by the name of Driclor - the anti-perspirant which actually STOPS sweat. You have to try it to believe it.

2. Bamboo curtains outside your windows
Hanging bamboo "curtains" up outside your windows is how many people in Japan limit the scorching sunlight even reaching the inside of their house. I tried it, and it does make a significant difference. While proper curtains will stop direct sunlight exposure, these things stop it penetrating the house at all.

3. Cooling bed things
You can buy cool "blankets", filled with some kind of gel (or some other wizardry substance). They really do work. They can be a little expensive in regular shops, but Amazon has some pretty reasonable options.

4. Aircon on dry
Get rid of that nasty humidity, which is by far the worst part of summer here. Can have a bad effect on your throat if exposed to too much dry air, however, so couple with a...

5. Dehumidifier (除湿機 joshitsuki)
For healthy throats! Also works as an alternative to aircon "dry" setting if you don't have it (although the cheap little ones most people buy probably won't cut it). Amazon has tons.

6. Under futon air blowers
Great idea which pipes cool air under your futon. Designed to prevent futon mould in summer rather than keep you cool at night. Can also be set to heat your bed in the winter. Buy one here.

7. Kitchen fans on when it's cool outside
If your house is hotter than outside, and ONLY then, turn the fan in your kitchen (and bathroom) on. Heat escapes, and cool air circulates. If it's hot outside, the fan will just bring that hot air in, so DON'T use it unless there's a difference between in and out.

8. Bathroom fans
Use these after you've showered to rid the room of moisture and not let it seep into your already humid house.

9. Moist towelettes (facial tissues)
Indispensable in the heat, when you're almost immediately a grease-ball. Regular facial wipes do the tricks, but menthol adds a welcome coolness. Reader recommends these.

10. Menthol toiletries
It may sound suspect, but menthol toiletries do give you a cooler feeling than regular. Combined with a gentle breeze it's a welcome relief which has to be experienced to be appreciated.

11. Talcum powder
Old fashioned way to stay dry and limit chaffing. It's called baby powder in Japan. Here's some on Amazon (cheaper than most shops).

12. Fans before air-con
If you have an electric fan, consider using that over air-con. It's easier to localise, faster and cheaper. It's also less effective, so the very pinnacle of summer may need something more.

13. Doors and windows open
Durr... but if you live in a small apartment (and aren't using the air-con), keep doors and windows open so that air can travel straight through your room/s. This makes a serious difference.

14. Cold showers
Yeah, goes without saying, but a hot shower will make you sweat like crazy, while a cold one will help your body stabilise your core temperature. Especially good after a workout. 2-3 minutes minimum, and pay special attention to the back of your neck.

15. Reflective sheeting stuck on your windows
This stuff is like a one-way mirror, so you can still see out, but the sunlight is reflected away from your interior. Available in rolls in most garden/department stores.

16. Dri-Clothes
You can buy these virtually anywhere. The material they're made from allows for quick drying, often controls odour, and on the more expensive sportswear can actually "wick" the sweat away from your skin, which is much more comfortable than squelching around in a pair of stinky pants and getting cracked nipple.

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