How to Stay Cool This Summer in Japan

How to Stay Cool This Summer in Japan

Summers in Japan are not for the faint of heart


What comes to mind when you think of Japan? For those living here in the summer months, heat and humidity are usually high on that list. With over 50,000 people hospitalized due to heatstroke every year, it’s important to know how to stay clear and cool.  

We’ve quizzed the staff at local drug stores and home centers to gather the best ways you can help yourself survive the months ahead. All prices are accurate as of May 2022.


Summary: The home center staff personally recommends this jacket for those who will be spending extended hours outside in the heat. However, newer styles have been made geared towards a more casual look. These jackets use a mixture of air conditioning technology and UV-protection material to keep you from overheating. 

Price: ¥2,980 (price varies depending on the style)

Considerations: This jacket can be also ordered online in various sizes and styles. The amount of time the jacket can operate to keep you cool will vary depending on the voltage of the battery. It is recommended to recharge the battery after you use it to ensure maximum effectiveness.

2. 熱さまシート and ののじエコ氷のう (cooling gel sheets and reusable ice pack)

Summary: The gel sheets are created to stick on your skin using an adhesive that is similar to tape. The gel inside is used to cool the surface of your skin. It can be used to combat the heat or when you have a fever. The gel sheets come in various sizes for both adults and children (including babies). The reusable ice packs are marketed for both combating the heat and for inflammation reduction after injuries. Just insert the ice cubes and you’re set to go. 

Price: ¥398 (large size gel sheet), ¥499 (baby gel sheet), ¥1,790 (reusable ice pack)

Additional note: There are many brands of gel sheets, they are typically found in the same area in drug or home stores. They are even sold at many convenience stores, so they can be found easily.

3. アイスノンソフト (cooling pillow)

Summary: This multi-layered ice pillow is used for sleeping during times of high heat. The packaging says that the top layer for your head remains soft after freezing and the lower layer remains hard, offering “cushion-like” support while sleeping. These pillows can be found in most drug stores.

Price: ¥980

Considerations: The packaging says that this pillow will last about 10 hours. Additionally, to fully “recharge” it should be put in the freezer for around 12 hours. The package warns that condensation will occur in times of high humidity, so be sure to wrap additional towels around it. Also, this should not be kept in the freezer for long periods of time as the “soft layer” may freeze or start to smell.

4. カビキラー、お風呂の防カビムエンダ、黒カビ生やせない

Summary: From left to right the following chemicals are mold killer (general), bathroom mold spray and black mold growth-inhibiting gas. As you can gather, there are many kinds of mold killers in Japan. Due to the high humidity, it is an easy breeding ground for mold. Out of the 3, カビキラー seems to be the most versatile and was recommended by the home center staff.

Price: ¥278 (カビキラー), ¥1,080 (お風呂の防カビムエンダ), ¥298 (黒カビ生やせない)

Considerations: Use gloves and ventilate the room well when using these products. If possible, use protective eyewear as well as a mask. The chemicals in these products are quite strong and can be hazardous if exposed to the skin or inhaled. For the black mold growth-inhibiting gas, add water to the line indicated on the cup inside and wait at least 30 minutes to reenter the room.