The rainy season is upon us in Japan, which means summer is right around the corner. And with the season inevitably comes the heat! For most of us it has been quite a while since we’ve been able to enjoy a summer festival, and some of us may have forgotten just how hot (and dangerous) the summer temperatures can get. But don’t let that get in the way of having a great time at Fuji Rock! Here are some little tips to help beat the heat while you rock the fest.
This one cannot be stressed enough, if it is hot and sunny, make sure to be drink a lot. A lot. Unfortunately beer doesn’t count here. Mugi-cha, Pocari sweat, or just plain old water. Go through more of it in a day than you think you need to. This will keep you safe and hydrated through those long, hot days. Japanese pro tip: keep some ume-boshi on hand and chow them liberally, the salt will help keep your electrolytes up when the sun beats down.
Hats, Shade and Sunscreen
Grab a hat with a nice big brim and slather on the sunblock if you are planning on spending time out in the open. The sun is our friend, but it can turn on us in a heartbeat if we aren’t careful. Re-apply that sunscreen liberally and dust off your widest, floppiest brimmed hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your shoulders. Don’t forget to spend ample time in the shade around midday to keep those core temperatures at bearable levels. You can even dip your feet into some cool river water around Tokoro Tengoku! On a similar note, dress appropriately for the weather. Don’t let looking cool take priority over literally staying cool.
Stock Up On Cooling Down Supplies
Drugstores, grocery stores and even convenience stores around Japan have a wide range of products to keep you feeling cool and relatively fresh when the mercury soars. These vary from chemical ice packs you can stick straight on your skin, cooling sprays to chill off your sweat towel and, of course, the essential cooling sheets. These come in a variety of forms, but the ‘ice-type’ ones are the best quick fix for both de-griming and giving your skin a nice blast of evaporating mentholated alcohol goodness.
No Shame in a Fan
Hand fans or portable electric fans might not be your idea of high fashion, but they can be a lifesaver when the temps rise and the wind dies. It is also a good chance to do some creative festival accessorizing! Pack a battery-powered fan color matched to your favorite sneakers, bring a fan emblazoned with little illustrations of Mt Fuji, or just pack or just break out an old promotional uchiwa you’ve had sitting in a closet collecting dust. A little breeze can go a long way!
Nature’s Air Conditioner
We all know that evaporating water pulls heat from the body and cools us down, right? That is the basic principle of sweat. But sometimes mother nature needs a little help, and that is when you can buy a bottle of cold water and, basically, dump it on your head. This can be a lifesaver if you are feeling close to sunstroke, and can give a revitalizing burst of cooled-down energy when you are feeling drained and baked.
Listen to Your Body
If you are feeling lightheaded, getting dizzy or have a headache coming on, these could be warning signs of impending hyperthermia or sunstroke. This is something you want to avoid at all costs. A trip to the hospital would definitely put a damper on anyone’s festival experience. Be on the lookout for signs like these within yourself, and if you are starting to feel a little under the weather it means it is time to find something cold to drink and a cool place to do it in. Don’t let over-ambition ruin your festival experience or worse.
Stay cool, safe and happy out there, folks