Have you ever heard how hot and humid it is in the recent Japanese summer season?
Fire and Disaster Management Agency of Japan reports,
160 people lost their lives in 2018 and 90,710 people were taken to hospitals due to heatstroke or heat-related illness. 71,317 people were urgently transported due to heatstroke nationwide from May to September 2019. This is the second number in history with 126 deaths after 95,137 in 2018. 52% of carriers were older than 65 years.
Moving towards the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and 2025 Osaka World Expo, and also for preparation for the recent increase of tourists from overseas, the Japanese government and sightseeing organization prompt cautions of Japanese extreme hot and humid summerfor especially foreign tourists.
Fatal summer heatwaves in Japan are becoming common in recent years, so you should warn yourself of heat-related diseases and heatstrokes if you want to travel to Japan.
What Is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke, heat exhaustion is a condition caused by your body overheating, which your body cooling system can’t regulate body temperature due to the hot and humid environment.
It can occur when the body temperature rises to 40 Celsius (105 Fahrenheit) or higher and then requires emergency treatment. The damage worsens the treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
The Symptoms Of Heatstroke
- Muscle cramps
- Abdominal cramps
- Heavy sweat or a lack of sweat
- Abnormal skin condition
- Mental confusion
The Heatstroke Prevention
Anyone has a risk of heatstroke, at any time, and in any location under heat and humid environment.
National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan reports 76% of patients in 23 wards of Tokyo who lost their lives in 2018 became heatstroke indoors.
If you don’t get used to a sticky hot climate, (even though the Japanese haven’t get used to it. ), you have a risk of heatstroke more.
Avoid an over-scheduling trip plan, and give your body time to adjust to the summer heat.
9 Things For Prevention
•Drink plenty of water (or sports drink ) during the day
•Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
For ladies, keep the light jacket or cardigans with you because inside buildings and trains might be too cold.
•Avoid outside activity in the hottest time of the day
Normally in Japan, between 12 p.m. to 2 p. m. is the hottest time of the day. But I would say, it is hot all day. )
•Wear hats or caps to protect from the direct sun.
•Use UV or ULTRAVIOLET umbrellas, which is very common in Japan. If you don’t have one, you can buy one anywhere.
•Stay indoors in an air-conditioned area whenever you feel too hot.
•Get good quality of sleep
In Japan, even night time is hot and humid.
Turn on an air conditioner or dehumidify function all night.
Make sure your accommodation has an air conditioner.
There is a possibility some old house and apartment house don’t furnish it.
•Check the temperature, humidity and heat stroke index.
In Japan, there is the heatstroke index on the weather forecast during the summer season.
Check it before going out, you can check it on
- The weather forecast on TV such as NHK World TV
- National wether web site http://www.wbgt.env.go.jp/en/
- Applications such as “safety tip” “Japan official Travel Apps“
•Take rest often in a cool place.
Applications for heatstroke warning
First Aid Of Heatstroke
If you find a person who has any heatstroke symptoms, seek immediate medical help.
Call 119(Not 911) or ask someone near you.
- Get the person into shade or indoors.
- Remove unnecessary clothing, and loosen a person’s belts, ties, and hooks.
- Cool the person down with whatever available — splashing water, blowing cool air, place ice packs, cold wet towels on the person’s head, neck, armpits, and groin.
The summer season in Japan, it is beautiful and fun.
Lots of festivals and fireworks are held throughout Japan, and nature is sparklingly beautiful.
However, you can also think about visiting Japan in other seasons to prevent heatstroke.
Japan has four seasons,
- Spring (March-May)
- Summer ( June – Early September) * June, sometimes July has a rainy season.
- Fall (Mid September – November)
- Winter (December – February)
Spring and Fall seasons have comfortable weather and beautiful flowers and trees. The winter season is cold but you can enjoy spectacular winter scenery and comfort foods.
You can find out many interesting things to do in any season of Japan, but just be careful of dehydration, heat, and humidity if you travel in the Japanese summer.