10 Best Products to Stay Cool in Japan’s Summer

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Writer’s Profile

Misty Fujii is a Canadian who moved to Osaka, Japan, in 2019 and married her Japanese sweetheart. In 2022, they had a baby and moved to Fukui for the clean country air. She is a DJ who teaches English part-time and writes to share Japan with the world. She gets excited about collecting vintage vinyl records, food from all countries, travelling, and renovating her traditional Japanese house.

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Summer in Japan hits differently. Festivals are in full swing, fireworks light up the sky, and the smell of street food fills the air. There’s just one teeny, tiny problem: the sweltering summer heat! Japan’s summer heat is no joke. The temperature soars and humidity rises to unbearable levels, but leave it to Japan to develop genius hacks to keep you comfy.

Discover our top 10 best products to stay cool in Japan’s summer. From high-tech gadgets to refreshing traditions, we’ll have you saying “konnichiwa” to having fun in the sun (with minimal sweat)!

1. Cooling Towels

When summer arrives, you’ll spot a practical trend adorning people’s necks or shoulders. These are cooling towels, known as tenugui in Japanese. They come in two forms: pre-moistened disposable towels and reusable fabric towels. These smart pieces of cloth, often made of fast-drying materials like mesh or cotton, offer instant comfort. Some take it a step further! They wet the tenugui, seal it in a plastic bag, and chill it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes for maximum coolness. With a variety of colors and patterns, tenugui can even make a fashion statement!

2. Neck Ice Rings

Neck ice rings are another popular choice. These reusable ice packs are frozen and then worn around the neck, providing a cooling effect on the pulse points. They’re not just for adults; you’ll see men, women, children, and even dogs sporting these! For an extra refreshing experience, pair them with a cooling towel. Neck ice rings are particularly favored during summer festivals due to their lightweight nature and discreet cooling properties.

3. Cooling Sprays

Believe it or not, Japan sells a ton of different cooling sprays designed to cool you down a few degrees. There are two main types: body spray and clothing spray. The body spray is ideal to cool down your skin, while the clothing spray will give your clothes a cooling touch on your skin. Thanks to the menthol, you feel cooled down instantly, and some even have other fragrances added to help deodorize any stinky summer smells. It’s easy to carry a small spray bottle of this goodness in your bag, and it can be pulled out anytime you want to freshen up and cool down.

4. Makeup

Hands down, this one takes the cake as far as I’m concerned. Have you ever wondered how Japanese women look flawless even when the temperature’s cranked up to inferno? Cooling makeup! These ingenious cosmetics were built for battle against the heat. First, it acts like a superhero shield, keeping makeup exactly where it belongs – on your face! Next, these products are infused with cooling ingredients that you’ll feel working their magic. Imagine, flawless makeup that keeps you cool?! BB creams and mattifying powders are the MVPs here; trust me, they deliver. 

5. Vented Jackets

I also always wondered how people work outside all day in the blistering heat. Well! It’s because a lot of the time, people are wearing their own personal air conditioners. Vented jackets are lifesavers; thanks to strategically positioned air vents, they can allow air to circulate and keep you cool. Cool air can blow in, and the jackets help carry away heat and moisture. The best part is that they come in many styles, from sporty to dress casual, so that you can wear them to school, work, picnics, festivals, or anywhere you want to stay cool! Sometimes, instead of vented jackets, you’ll see jackets with fans built into them; these are also perfect for outdoor workers like mail carriers or construction workers. 

6. Personal Fans

Spend some time walking outside in the summer, and you’ll see countless people with their own personal fans. These fans come in many designs and styles, from traditional paper to hand-held electronic fans. There are also fans that you can wear around your neck, fans that clip onto baby strollers or bicycles, and fans that connect to bottles of cooling spray, fanning you with a cooling mist as you go about your day! These are portable lifesavers for anyone! To keep an electric fan buzzing all day, make sure you have extra batteries, or if it’s a USB-powered fan, keep it fully charged and have a backup battery pack on hand!

7. Cooling Clothes

Plenty of clothing companies in Japan have the key to looking fashionable and staying cool! Wearing cooling clothes of all different styles is an easy and popular way to function during the heat. Made from lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics, cooling clothes help to keep you cool and dry throughout the day while still looking sharp. One of the best features of cooling clothes is that many offer UV protection to keep you safe from the sun (along with ample sunscreen!). While there are heaps of stores selling cooling clothes, one of the most popular companies is Uniqlo, whose world-famous ‘AIRism’ line offers everything from underwear, shirts, leggings, arm covers, face masks, and more. 

8. SEA BREEZE Deo & Water

I already told you about cooling sprays, but Sea Breeze cranks things up with extra protection from the summer heat! This deodorant spray is famous for masking odors and keeping you feeling fresh all day. Unlike regular cooling sprays, which usually contain menthol to provide their magic, Sea Breeze goes one step further with added deodorizing powder. It comes in scents that range from floral to fruity, but whichever smell you choose, it’ll leave you feeling as fresh as a sea breeze! An added hack? Keep it cool in the fridge before you use it, and thank me later. 

9. Cooling Bed Linen

Forget cranking the AC all night; locals find plenty of ways to keep cool inside as well. One of the best ways to do this is with cooling bed linens! From menthol-infused pillows to pillowcases, moisture-wicking bed sheets, and blankets that leave a cool feeling on your skin, there are ways to snuggle in bed without getting sweaty. Japan’s a masterclass in comfort innovation! They use natural fabrics like bamboo and hemp, with hollow fibers that breathe like nobody’s business, keeping you cool and comfy all night long.

10. Body Sheets

Keep a pack of cooling body sheets in your arsenal for maximum refreshment on the hottest, stickiest days. These are amazing when you want to transition from day to night or from one activity to the next without having a chance to shower in between. And while nothing is as good as a cool shower, body sheets come close! These wet wipes come packed with things like menthol and alcohol to cool the skin, moisturizing ingredients, and even deodorizing powder to tackle any stinkiness. You only need to grab a sheet or two and wipe it anywhere you want to feel refreshed. Voila!

These products can help anyone have a great time in Japan, even in the hot summer. Don’t forget, you still need to drink lots of water/electrolyte drinks, keep yourself shaded and protected from the UV rays. And as far as cooling products go, new products are released yearly, so keep your eyes peeled for other cooling items like eye drops, eye masks, diapers, portable ice packs, and even cooling vests for your pets! Which ones are you going to use?

Recommended Summer Experience

Yukata (Summer Kimono) Rental is Now Available!
Discover Japan’s summer essence with a traditional Yukata from Kimono Rental Wargo! Explore cities or join festivals effortlessly starting from just ¥3,300. Our shops are conveniently located in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kawagoe, and Kanazawa. Elevate your adventures with the elegance of the Yukata and create unforgettable memories in Japan!

Japan Wonder Travel Tours 

Japan Wonder Travel is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan. 
From private walking tours to delicious Food and Drink tours, we can help you organize the best tours just for you! If you want to explore Japan and learn more about the history and backstories of each area you are visiting, our knowledgeable and friendly English speaking guides will happily take you to the best spots! 
In addition, we can provide you with any assistance you may need for your upcoming trip to Japan, so please feel free to contact us if yu have any questions or need some help! 

Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market Food and Drink Tour
Explore the most lively and popular fish market in Tokyo and try some of the local’s favorite street foods and sake with one of our friendly and knowledgeable English speaking guides! 

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Tokyo 1–Day Highlights Private Walking Tour (8 Hours)
There’s no better way to explore an area than taking a tour with a knowledgeable local guide. You will have the chance to learn about the history and interesting background stories of Tokyo, as well as discover some hidden gems which can be hard to do without a guide.

Asakusa Tokyo private tour

Mt. Fuji Day Trip Bus Tour from Tokyo
Experience the breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji by visiting the highlights of the area on our guided sightseeing bus tour! Departing from Shinjuku in central Tokyo, you can travel comfortably to all of the best spots in the area by bus.

mount fuji chureito pagoda

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