Surviving the Japanese Summer during the Coronavirus
In Japan, August would normally be the time of obon (お盆) festivals. Obon is a traditional Japanese holiday centred around Buddhist customs of paying respects to one’s ancestors.
Due to the coronavirus, the majority of festivals and attractions have been closed to the public this year, but there are still many ways to enjoy the holiday. As Japan is well known for hot summers, Mixess has prepared a guide to surviving the Japanese summer during the coronavirus.
Keep a cooling spray to hand to lower your temperature during the hot Japanese summer. Most drugstores and konbinis will also stock Hiyaron cooling packs, which work like ice packs, but don’t get wet, making them more convenient to carry around.
Whilst wearing a facemask doesn’t contribute directly to heatstroke, it can raise your heart rate and cause you to sweat, two factors that can put you at a higher risk of heatstroke. Avoid strenuous activities whilst wearing your mask, and keep yourself well hydrated.
Watermelons are the quintessential fruit of the Japanese summer, and are perfect for cooling you down on a hot day. How about some kakigori (かき氷)? Kakigori is a sweet shaved ice dessert with syrup and condensed milk, and you can even make it yourself from home.
Follow precautions when visiting open attractions in Japan
Although coronavirus regulations prevent travel outside of Japan, there are many great attractions that are open in Japan for summer 2020. For some, it will be safer to stay at home, but if you do decide to go out this summer, restrictions have been put in place to ensure that people are kept safe at venues and restaurants, so check the venue’s website before attending.
The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (also known as the Miraikan) is one attraction that is opening to visitors, so you can meet Honda’s humanoid robot Asimo, or experience the wonders of science and space in the Dome Theatre. Restrictions include limited seats in exhibitions, and require advance bookings.
Tokyo Tower's annual 'Milky Way Illumination' is also being staged up on the first floor observatory until August 31st. The light show, which is held 150 meters above ground, features 21,000 LEDs which represent our galaxy.
Enjoy Japanese media
If you’d rather stay home, the summer is the perfect time to sit back and relax with a good book in the heat of the Japanese sunshine.
Japan is renowned for its crime fiction writers. The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino and Out by Natsuo Kirino have won many mystery fiction awards, and are the perfect reads for #stayathome days.
Or perhaps you prefer listening to podcasts? The Japan Times’ ‘Deep Dive’ podcast delves into Japanese news stories, whilst Tofugu has a podcast to help you refine your understanding of Japanese language structure and grammar.
Follow Japanese accounts on social media
It's more important than ever to keep a connection with the outside world. If you're staying at home in Japan during the coronavirus, another way to experience Japan is to enjoy the sights and culture on social media.
There's something for every interest. To stay on top of news and culture, you can follow The Asahi Shimbun and The Japan Times. If you like pictures of mouthwatering Japanese food, there’s Tastemade Japan.
And now you can keep updated with Mixess on Instagram, with a mix of technology, work and culture for foreign programmers and tech workers in Japan.
Plan a career change in Japan
With restricted access to many holiday retreats, now is the perfect time to get productive and think about your career in Japan.
Perhaps you're interested in learning a new coding language. There are a variety of different online learning platforms to develop your skills for a career in software development. Or perhaps you want to plan a future career change?
Whether you decide to go out or stay at home, there are many ways to enjoy the Japanese summer safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
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