Use of water and wind chimes to stay cool in the summer
To stay cool and comfortable in summer time, Japanese has utilized their wisdom to work out innovative methods. The archetypical ideas include wind chimes which mitigate heat through refreshing sound, and polypody-trimmed residences which visually create cool atmosphere. Glass or metallic chimes hung in breezy places particularly produce sound like stream or tweet of birds, which make “soothing” effect on our brain, and research shows that the effect actually reduces body temperature. Japanese glass wind chime is perfect for souvenirs and handicraft workshops are also available for tourists.
Japan’s custom of Uchimizu (watering) produces effect of reducing temperature as the water sprayed on ground eliminates vaporization heat. Long-established Japanese restaurants still maintain this practice but especially recently, many people take part in nation-wide “Uchimizu Projects” to cool down the earth in order to stop global warming by spraying water simultaneously. Some of the events are also available for tourists.
Ideas for midsummer night: cooling off in the evening, summer night festivals and Bon festival dance
Japanese have reveled in their seasonal tradition such as cooling oneself at verandah-like deck* called “engawa” in midsummer evening or going to summer night festivals at neighboring temples and shrines. Though habit of midsummer night’s cooling has become less common due to the expansion of air conditioners, “kyu Asakura House” in Daikanyama, Tokyo (built in 1919, an important cultural property) offers Japanese cultural experience of “engawa”, which is one of the ultimate spot for tourists.
*The photo shows “engawa”, verandah-like space between house and yard.
Summer festivals and Bon festival dance currently taking place nation-wide are ultimate opportunity for tourists to discover Japanese culture. Visit websites offering information on seasonal festivals across Japan, and take part in events at shrines, temples or local communities.
Taking pleasure in greenery woods and natural garden is part of Japan’s cultural tradition. At humid areas such as a grove at shrine or watersides, however, people have always been bothered by mosquitoes swarming around sweaty skin. In addition to efforts to wear long-sleeved clothes to minimize skin exposure, Japan has committed its expertise to producing insect repellent. Designed for skin protection from mosquitoes, Earth Chemical’s “Saratekuto” offers both spray and tissue types, suiting any environment and outfit. Anti-allergic products without chemical substance are also available in Japan.
The well-loved Japanese custom of bathing in sweet-flag/hot citron bath
Bathing habit has long rooted in Japanese lifestyle. In Edo Era (17-19th century), commoners often rinsed themselves with small amount of hot water in a basin just outside the house (gyozui) or go to public bath (sento). Among samurai society, people enjoyed sweet-flag bath at boy’s festival (on May 5th) or hot citron bath at winter solstice to wish health and longevity. These customs have handed over to present time as seasonal traditions.
Bathing habit nowadays varies with more creative ideas. Bath powder is particularly popular as you can enjoy your bath time with fine aroma easily at home. Earth Chemical Co., Ltd. offers bathing products which contain hot spring components or herbal medicine as well as sweet-flag or citron powder. High quality series “Bath Roman” and “ONSO” satisfy Japanese customers, notably conscious of fragrance, water texture or feel of moisturizing and refreshing after bath. As fairly reasonable in price, these items are perfect for souvenirs to share Japanese bathing culture with your family and friends.
The ultimate items for a good night’s sleep: rush mats, buckwheat pillows, mosquito nets and repellent smudges
For a good night’s sleep to be achieved in humid summer in Japan, people have utilized natural materials in their lifestyle. Rush mat, for instance, releases humidity produced by sweating to avoid sticky skin. Pillow stuffed with buckwheat husks discharges heat and cool off the head. The buckwheat pillow in particular has become widely accepted in the US as a tourist who purchased it online upon return, posted favored comment.
To protect ourselves from mosquitoes for sound sleep, mosquito coils/nets and smudges have long been used in Japan. In 1984, Earth Chemical Co., Ltd. evolved mosquito coils into Japan’s first liquid-type electric device “Earth No-Mat”. Great variation fitting any situation including spray-type “Osudake No-Mat” and portable “Osotode No-Mat” and “Denchi de No-Mat” perfect for outdoor activities, allow for safe and comfortable lifestyle in Japan.
Cultural experience is a major attraction of traveling Japan. If you visit Japan in summer season, along with the repellent products of Earth Chemical Co., Ltd., “engawa” experience at old folk houses, Bon festival dance, and “Uchimizu” events are definite can’t-miss to feel atmospheric summer time in Japan.
*Each freight company and country has their own regulations or restrictions regarding the items you purchased, please contact them in advance.