Summer in Japan is (almost) unbearably hot and humid. Trying to survive summer can be a challenge, especially when you first arrive as a JET in Okayama.

Keeping cool tips
  • Wear an undershirt or layer to soak up sweat.
  • Wear light, loose, cotton clothes
  • Don't wear dark colors.
  • Use fans and air conditioners at home, try cooling only smaller areas (1 room), and go into air conditioned convenience shops and stores to have a break from the heat.
    • Note, you can save money this way as well by being outside your house during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Bring a fan with you when you travel.
  • Bring a sweat towel with you when you travel, or wipes.
  • It's popular to carry an umbrella during summer to create shade for yourself.
  • You can buy 'deodorant' wipes at convenience stores and supermarkets to 'clean' the sweat off yourself during the day.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Stay in the shade.

Dress code
  • 'Cool biz' - you'll hear about this at Tokyo orientation, and Okayama orientation.
  • It's basically: short sleeved shirts with the top button undone, regular trousers and skirts or capris/other three-quarter pants. (Unless you teach lower levels, wearing shorts for men/women is not common practice)
  • Cotton undershirt to soak up sweat
  • If you cycle to work, wearing one set of clothes, and changing into your work clothes when you arrive is acceptable
  • Bring extra underwear/undershirts and change during the day if you feel uncomfortable

Deodorant
  • There is a common opinion that deodorant in Japan is not effective at reducing sweat or odour.
  • Here is SuvivingInJapan's guide to finding good deodorant in Japan.
  • You can check out this detailed guide on deodorant for some more information.
  • For something familiar, 7-11 (and some drug stores) carry multiple flavours of ADIDAS 'action 3' dry spray anti-perspirant deodorant. The Body Shop also carries deodorant.

Summer and your home
  • Japanese homes are not well insulated, so this can work in your favour, as heat is not 'trapped' in your house.
  • The flipside of this, is that your house will often be the same (or slightly higher) than the temperature outside.
  • Having and using air conditioners is the best option for keeping cool.
  • You can buy and use fans to help keep cool (tip: put a bowl of ice in front of the fan to make the air colder)

Bugs
  • Summer is the season of bugs, spiders, and other pests.
  • Ensure your screen doors/windows are properly shut, otherwise you'll get an army of insects invading your house for the light.
  • Don't park under a light source, especially in the country.
  • Buy mosquito coils or other repellants.
  • Don't walk under low trees (in the countryside at least)