Japan’s coolest summer goods: atsui desu ne!

Summer in Japan is… an experience. We’ve got loads of summer festivals and fireworks displays! It’s shaved ice season! And it’s super hot outside. That’s all anyone can talk about for nearly 4 months. You’ll burn to a crisp if you stick even an elbow out into the light.

Sure, you can try staying indoors, where it’s so cool you’ll think winter came back. But many of Japan’s best sights and tourists spots are outside. What are you gonna do?

Handle a hot summer the Japanese way, with some, loads, or maybe all of these seasonal goods.


If the heat doesn’t get you, the sunburn will. It’s hit over 20 degrees nearly every day since May started. And trust us, those UVA and UVB rays don’t discriminate. Smother yourself in sun cream before even thinking about leaving the house.

Japanese sunscreen brands have seriously good reputations. Loved for their gentle, skin-friendly ingredients, and their strong sun protection. Many are SPF 50+ as a bare minimum. And there are so many variations – gel, cream, essence, etc. – that there’s a product out there for every skin type.

See our blog post about Japanese sunscreen brands for some top recommendations.

Super strong deodorant/anti-perspirant

You’re gonna sweat – a lot.

Deodorants in Japan often claim to be strong. Are they? YMMV. Some people say they’re pretty normal, compared to brands from other countries. Others swear by Japanese deodorant formulas for total dryness.

If you ask us, using something‘s always better than nothing – but we’ve found our faves here, too.

Remember, we can only post you wipes, roll-ons, and liquid sprays (if they’re not flammable). Don’t order the aerosol cans, those can’t be sent internationally. If you buy something that we’re unable to ship, we can’t refund you. Sorry. Anyway…

The front-runners are:

When you put this stuff on, don’t stop at your pits! You’re gonna sweat in other places, like your neck and chest. Hey, that’s also why the special foot deodorants exist.

Body deodorants are safe to apply almost all over. We can’t recommend trying to sweat-protect your butt.

Cooling gel pads

Too hot to sleep? Stick an ice cold gel sheet on your forehead. Seriously. It’s that or ice under your armpits.

Aircon and fans can be kinda loud, which sucks when you’re trying to get some rest. At least a sheet stuck to your face isn’t making any noise. The water-based gel reacts to the warmth of your skin, cooling and regulating it. As your body temperature drops, you’ll drop off to sleep. In the morning, just peel off and go.

We wrote about these gel pads a while ago – and tested them out on our own heads. Check the review to see how that went.

Body powder sheets

For wiping yourself down on the move. Body sheets (also known as powder sheets) feel fresh and smell great, replacing icky sweat with that ‘just washed’ feeling. Quick drying, with no powder residue or stickiness.

Popular types:

Can’t decide what you wanna smell like? Get body sheets that change fragrance over time. And they’re big changes: mint to berry, lime soda to peach, stuff like that.

Some body sheets cool as they clean, for a little extra refresh. Biore makes an ‘ice cold’ range that drops your skin temperature 3 degrees on contact.

UV goods

It’s hot outside, so put even more layers on? We know it feels weird. Maybe you’ll feel overdressed, at first. That’s the point. But many items come in enough colours and designs to match the rest of your outfit.

Typical UV protective wear covers stuff like hats (with bonus neck covers), sun visors, face masks, arm covers, and scarves. Huh, those are all for the upper half of your body. Need to protect your legs? You’re on your own.

Hiding your skin from UV rays prevents sunburn, moles, wrinkles, and other signs of skin aging. But remember to uncover and take in that precious vitamin D sometimes! Getting 5-10 minutes of sun, 2-3 times a week works for most people.

A little sunshine’s good for you that way. No sun at all ever… is for vampires.

Cool bedding

A popular way to chill out is by putting cool sheets and pillow covers on the bed. If you’re anything like us, you spend lots of time lying down. Sleep is awesome. Naps are great. Watching TV from bed gets kinda addictive.

With cool pads, it’s easy – just stretch the elastic straps round the edges of the mattress. Boom, job done.

They work in 2 ways: either helping to draw sweat away from your skin, or helping you sweat less in the first place. Same as forehead gel pads, cooling bed pads get your body temperature down quickly. Like sleeping in the fridge. (Don’t really sleep in the fridge, that’s weird and dangerous, use these instead.)

It’s always summer somewhere, right?

Stock up on Japan’s weird and wonderful summer goods, via DEJAPAN. From our lovely air-conditioned office in Osaka, we help you order on Japanese websites with zero service fee.

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