Have you ever heard how hot and humid it is in the recent Japanese summer season?
Fire and Disaster Management Agency of Japan reports,
95,710 people were taken to hospitals due to heatstroke or heat-related illness in 2018, 71,317 in 2019, and 64, 897 in 2020. The number of patients who are older than 65 years still has been increased every year.
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?
- The Symptoms Of Heatstroke
- The Heatstroke Prevention
- 9 Tip For Heatstroke Prevention
- Drink Plenty Of Water (or Sports Drinks or *Barley Tea ) Frequently
- Effective Outfits In Prevention Heatstroke
- Avoid outside activity in the hottest time of the day
- Wear hats or caps to protect yourself from the direct sun.
- Stay indoors in an air-conditioned area whenever you feel too hot.
- Get good quality of sleep
- Check the temperature, humidity, and heat stroke index.
- Take rest often in a cool place.
- Applications for heatstroke warning
- 9 Tip For Heatstroke Prevention
- First Aid Of Heatstroke
- In conclusion…
What Is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke, heat exhaustion is a condition caused by your body overheating, which is most likely occur in which your body cooling system can’t regulate body temperature due to the hot and humid environment.
In the worst case when the body temperature reaches 40 Celsius (105 Fahrenheit) and higher, emergency treatment will be required. If the treatment is delayed, it will be increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
Heatstroke occurs likely from July to August every year in Japan. Especially in July right after the rainy season and the temperature rapidly gets higher, the number of emergency cases of heatstroke increases.
Our body expands blood vessels to radiate heat from the body and sweats to evaporate to prevent a rapid rise in body temperature. However, when the weather is very hot and humid, the body heat is not dissipated, the sweat does not evaporate.
Heatstroke can be caused by the lack of body temperature regulation function and the imbalance of water and sodium levels in the body.
During the summer in Japan, average temperatures exceed 30 degrees Celsius all the time, not one day. Not only is the temperature high, but the humidity also is high, the sunlight is strong, and the wind is not strong. In particular, please note that small children, the elderly, those who are in poor physical condition, those who are obese, and those who do not exercise normally are prone to heatstroke.
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 a heat and humid environment.
You can’t be relieved even when you are indoors.
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. Indeed, the number of cases that heatstroke occurred inside of the building has been increased every year since 2017.
There are reports that international visitors were required emergency treatments during their trip due to heat-related illness.
If you don’t get used to a sticky humid hot climate, (even the Japanese haven’t get used to it obviously,) you have a risk of heatstroke more.
So, what you can do to prevent heatstroke during traveling in Japan?
9 Tip For Heatstroke Prevention
Drink Plenty Of Water (or Sports Drinks or *Barley Tea ) Frequently
If you sweat a lot due to activities exceed 30 minutes indoors or outdoors in hot and humid weather, you will be deprived of sodium and minerals as well as water in your body. Hydration is the basic prevention for heat stroke, instead of just hydrating, intake sodium is also important to replenish with it.
Rehydration with water-only can impact the balance of sodium level and mineral concentration in your body, which will cause various symptoms of heatstroke. Sports drinks contain well-balanced sodium and minerals to replenish energy is more effective because it improves the absorption of water and sodium and also helps to recover from fatigue. Avoid drinks containing caffeine as they have a strong diuretic effect.
Barley tea is also recommended for hydration, which is expected to prevent heatstroke in Japan. It doesn’t contain sodium but adding a pinch of salt can help as well.
*Why Barley Tea is good for prevention from heat stroke?
Effective Outfits In Prevention Heatstroke
It is also important to consider your outfits to choose one that reduces the risk of heatstroke by materials that allow the body heat to escape easily and by using summer accessories. The effective materials in preventing heat stroke have “water absorption (or hygroscopicity)” that absorbs sweat and “quick-drying” that dries out sweat quickly such as Cotton, Silk, Linen, Nylon, polyester, Rayon.
Also, check out outfits that have good breathability. Fit tightly have poor breathability and the body heat will be hard to escape. Pack loose-fitting clothes for Japan’s summer vacation. The open neck and fluffy cuffs are better than the tight-fitting clothes to prevent heatstroke.
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 yourself 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.