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Japanese Summers: How to Keep Cool

Fiji-born, America-raised, and is currently working in Tokyo. She loves listening to podcasts about self-help and crime. Currently on a mission to improve her UX Design skills, but a love for meeting with friends in new cafes gets in the way! She's currently nine months into an ab challenge, giving her some amazing lines that unfortunately disappear the moment she bends down.
Japanese Summers: How to Keep Cool Posted on September 16, 2020Leave a comment
Fiji-born, America-raised, and is currently working in Tokyo. She loves listening to podcasts about self-help and crime. Currently on a mission to improve her UX Design skills, but a love for meeting with friends in new cafes gets in the way! She's currently nine months into an ab challenge, giving her some amazing lines that unfortunately disappear the moment she bends down.

Japanese summers, the bane of my existence. I’m sweating throughout this time of year. My AC is blasting, but my windows aren’t helping. The humidity keeps getting in and I feel like I’m swimming in my apartment. Last week, I went out for an appointment and came back drained. I was so exhausted, I took a nap on my hardwood floors! I knew then that I was experiencing heat exhaustion. Instantly, my mind was thinking about how I can keep cool in this heat.

Solution 1: Cucumbers

This stand was selling each bag for 50 yen!

Did you know cucumbers are 95 percent water? If you read my article on unmanned vegetable stands in my city, you know how I can buy a variety of local vegetables for under 100 yen. Recently, all the stands have been selling cucumbers and I bought a few bags for 50 yen each. What a deal, right?

With my many cucumbers, I made sweetened vinegar cucumber salad. It’s the perfect Japanese summer side dish or in my case, breakfast!

Cucumber salad ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • ½ tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or regular vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon (or less if you don’t like spice) of crushed red pepper
  • Dehydrated wakame
  • Salt
  • Hot water

Steps:

  1. Thinly slice the cucumber.
  2. Salt the cucumber and leave it for 10 minutes. 
  3. In a separate container, mix sugar, vinegar, and crushed red pepper.
  4. In a bowl, soak a handful of dehydrated wakame in hot water for 5 minutes.
  5. Squeeze the cucumber slices dry. 
  6. Add the cucumber and wakame to the sweet vinegar mixture.
  7. Enjoy!
Japanese summer's snack

I personally like to refrigerate it overnight to have it as a cold breakfast. My friend, on the other hand, munches on this as otsumami (お摘み) or snacks people have with a drink.

Solution 2: Make Your Own Pocari Sweat

With each day hitting over 100° F or 37° C, I knew I was low on electrolytes, but I couldn’t risk going outside to buy Pocari Sweat. Luckily, my friend shared a recipe she just learned on TV. 

I must admit, it’s not as good as the cucumber salad or actual Pocari Sweat. Rather, I felt like I was drinking ocean water, but knowing it gives me electrolytes to not sleep on hardwood floors, I drank it up like medicine.

Japanese summer's drink

Ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Water

Steps:

  1. In a cup of water, add a tiny amount of salt and lemon juice.
  2. If it reminds you too much of the ocean, add more water and lemon juice.

    This is a good time to learn the phrase, gaman suru (我慢する), which means to persevere. 

There we have it, two potential solutions you can make in your own kitchen to keep cool in Japanese summers. Like always, stay cool and check out STAY JAPAN to book a guesthouse with Japanese locals.

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Fiji-born, America-raised, and is currently working in Tokyo. She loves listening to podcasts about self-help and crime. Currently on a mission to improve her UX Design skills, but a love for meeting with friends in new cafes gets in the way! She's currently nine months into an ab challenge, giving her some amazing lines that unfortunately disappear the moment she bends down.

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