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50 Must-Haves For Summer in Japan

50 Must-Haves For Summer in Japan

The rainy season is upon us, and it’s time to brace ourselves for summer temperatures! I’ve curated a list of 50 must-haves for summer in Japan. My list contains 5 categories:

1. For Adults
2. For Babies and Children
3. For Cats and Dogs
4. Food and Drinks
5. For the Home

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For Adults

1. Yukata

Nothing says “summer in Japan” like a yukata! Unlike kimono, which have layers upon layers of garments and fasteners, yukata are relatively simple to wear. Plus, they’re lightweight and made from breathable fabric, making them an ideal summer garment for life in Japan. This Red Hanakago Yukata was designed in Kyoto and is made from 100% cotton. It’s available exclusively on Japan Objects, where you’ll find a selection of yukata,  kimono and accesories to complete your summer look.

2. Straw Hat


You can’t go wrong with a straw hat in the summer, and this particular hat comes with 4 different tones, all accented with a sophisticated black bow. The material is also soft and flexible enough that you can fold and store it in your bag without ruining the shape. It also comes with a chin strap to prevent flyaways when riding your bike or when out on a windy day. Available on Amazon Japan.

3. Sun Umbrella



This one-touch auto open sun umbrella blocks 99% of UV rays and also also doubles as a regular umbrella. It’s something you’ll definitely want to have in your bag once the rainy season begins. The diameter when opened is 98cm wide, so it will keep both the sun and rain away. The teflon coating repels rain while its 8 sturdy prongs can withstand strong gusts of wind. Comes in 6 colors. Available on Amazon Japan.

4. Compact Portable Fan


An absolute must-for sweltering days, this 6-speed compact portable fan can be charged with a USB cable and can operate for up to 35 hours on a full charge! Use it as a hand-held fan outdoors or as a mini-desktop fan at work or at home. It comes with a lanyard so you can also wear it around your neck. Comes in 2 colors. Available on Amazon Japan.

5. Tenugui

Tenugui are a wonderful item to add to your summer arsenal. These thin, rectangular cloths are quick-drying and very absorbent, so take one on a hot summer day to wipe away sweat. They’re also useful as a hand towel in public toilets, thereby reducing your personal waste. They fold neatly into a compact size that won’t take up space in your bag. Tenugui are an item versatile, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner! Available on Japan Objects.

6. Vessi Shoes

 

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These unisex, ultralight, waterproof shoes are perfect for the unpredictble showers you’ll encounter this summer. Wear them when doing light exercise, on your commute or in the classroom, or when camping. You can save $25 with the coupon code WADATENI25. Available at Vessifootwear.com. Check out my complete review of the Vessi Everyday Slip Ons here!

7. Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk For Sensitive Skin


This is the latest version of Shiseido’s best- selling Anessa sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin. It’s SPF 50+ and PA++++, the highest rating possible in Japan to block both UVA and UVB rays. I’ve introduced Anessa sunscreen on the blog previously, but what I love about it is that it doubles as a fantastic makeup primer. Even when I want to go makeup-free the powdery finish does wonders in reducing shine from my oily forehead. Available on Amazon Japan.

(If you need more sunscreen options, head to Japan Objects for my list of 18 Best Japanese Sunscreens For Every Skin Type.)

8. Rohto Merano CC Serum


Target sunspots, freckles, and other blemishes caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays with Rohto Merano CC Serum. Vitamin C blocks the production of melanin, the cause of discoloration, while Vitamin E stimulates blood circulation and encourages new cell growth. To use in the morning, appy 4-5 drops to the face after cleanser and toner. Follow-up with sunscreen. Available on Amazon Japan.

9. My Beauty Diary Citrus Cool Mask


Give yourself instant relief from Japan’s humid summer with this Citrus Cool Mask from My Beauty Diary. The thin, translucent mask fits like a second skin to lock in the refreshing menthol feeling. I like to use these after returning home from a long walk and also after my bath. Store in the fridge before using to enhance the tingling sensation! Available on Amazon Japan.

10. Portable First Aid Kit


A well-stocked first aid kit is a must, especially during this time of the year. After all, summer is the season of outdoor play, and with outdoor play comes bug bites and scrapes. This compact first aid kit fits in your diaper bag or purse and contains tweezers, safety pins, gauze, bandages, scissors, a flashlight and more. It’s just what you need to take care of ouchies. You can’t go wrong with storing an extra in your car, too! Available on Amazon Japan.

For Babies and Children

11. Nivea Water Gel SPF 28 and PA++


This is the kid-friendly version of Nivea’s hit sunscreen for adults, Super Sun Water Gel. Like the adult formula, this one is made in Japan and developed for the domestic market. It contains eucalyptus extract, an anti-inflammatory that can tone down redness. It’s SPF 28 and PA++ to block UVA and UVB rays. Available on Amazon Japan.

*I will be very, very honest with you: I still haven’t been able to find a sunscreen that won’t irritate my child’s skin. I have bought nearly everything, domestic and imported brands and just end up covering her from head to toe when we’re outside. With that said, she’s getting older and we’ve been having progress with her medication. Nivea Water Gel is a product that I’d like to slowly introduce this summer. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

12. Insect Repellent Stickers


It seems like every child is covered in these stickers around this time of the year. Not only do I put them all over Miss M, I also stick them on the baby carrier and all over the stroller, too! These insect repellent stickers are a great choice for infants and children with sensitive skin. Available on Amazon Japan.

13. Insect Repellent Bracelets


I’ve continuously bought this brand for my daughter, and the Pooh characters are very cute. It uses lemon eucalyptus as an insect repellent which lasts up to 12 hours. Miss M and I go outside multiple times a day (outside play, dog walks). I always put the bracelets back in the bag so she can re-use them later in the day or later in the week! Available on Amazon Japan.

We recently we ran out of the Pooh bracelets, and I bought this sea creature version by Kincho in 7-Eleven earlier this week. I personally prefer the fruity smell, but we’ll see how this brand holds up in the coming weeks…

14. Stroller Insect Repellant


As summer nears, you’ll probably see this DEET-free cute baby blue elephant on strollers everywhere! It uses chrysanthemum extract to repel mosquitoes. I can’t vouch for its effectiveness as I always paired it with insect repellent stickers stuck all over the stroller. Can’t be too careful! Lasts up to 90 days. It also comes with a date label so you’ll easily know when to replace it. Available on Amazon Japan.

15. Muhi Baby Anti-Itch Roll On


No matter how hard we try to prevent mosquito bites, they’re unfortunately inevitable. I like to use Muhi Baby Anti-Itch Roll On because it gives instant relief. My daughter also gets a nasty sun rash at this time of year, so this product does double duty! It can also be used on diaper rash, too. Suitable for infants 3 months and older. Available on Amazon Japan.

16. Stroller Cover


Block out the sun’s rays and keep insects at bay with this 2-in-1 mesh stroller cover. It can be affixed to nearly any stoller type by simply pulling it over, starting under your child’s seat and over the canopy. This stroller cover even folds into itself for easy storage! Machine washable. Available on Amazon Japan.

17. Cooling Gel Pads


Commonly used as fever reducer pads, the cooling gel pads are a great way to give temporary relief on a hot day. (I keep a package in my diaper bag for this reason!) To use, simply peel away the plastic film and stick to your child’s forehead or back. Cooling effect lasts up to 8 hours. The above sheets are suitable for infants 6 months and older and use no artificial colors or fragrances. Available on Amazon Japan. If you’d like the toddler plus size, please click here.

18. Cooling Pillow


Give your child a comfortable night’s sleep this summer with this soft, double-sided cooling pillow. This pillow is also great to have on hand year round to give relief from fevers and night sweats. Freeze for up to 4 hours before using. Suitable for infants to adults. Available on Amazon Japan.

19. Thermos Water Bottle


Foster independence in your little one (and have one less thing to stash in your bag) by giving your child a water bottle that they can carry on their own. I like this style of water bottle because it has a strap, and the push-to-open cap reveals a straw, rather than a drinking spout. Holds up to 400 mL and keeps drinks cool for up to 6 hours. Comes in light blue and pink. Available on Amazon Japan.

20. Jinbei

 

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Once you’ve dressed your child in a jinbei for the summer, you will never go back to anything else! Jinbei are similar to the summertime cotton kimono known as the yukata, except jinbei consist of two pieces. (Infant jinbei are onesies.) They’re perfect for playing around the house, trips to the park and of course summer festivals. My daughter wears jinbei all summer long, even when she’s visiting family in the States. Available on Amazon Japan: Girls | Boys | Infants

TIP: Jinbei are also quirky but useful “only in Japan” souvenirs for when you’re going back home. I got a set for my brother and my nephew, which they loved.)

For Cats and Dogs

21. Automatic Water Dispenser


It’s important that our furry friends stay hydrated, and this automatic water dispenser will keep the water flowing even when you’re not at home. It holds up to 2 liters of water, comes with a carbon filter, and a one year warranty. Available on Amazon Japan.

22. Cooling Pad


Suitable for both dogs and cats, this waterproof cooling pad reduces your pet’s body temperature without refrigeration or electricity. The gel is several layers deep to prevent leakage if scratched or bitten. Pad measures 65cmx50cm and comes with a one year warranty. Available on Amazon Japan.

23. Indoor Insect Repellent


This multi-way indoor insect repellent lasts for up to 130 days. Place it near your pet’s bed, hang it from their crate, or leave it in the genkan, wherever works for you! It also comes with a date label so you’ll easily know when to replace it. Available on Amazon Japan.

24. Fruit-Flavored Dog Sherbet Treats


These probiotic fruit-flavored sherbet are a sweet treat your dog will surely love all summer long. They also contain oligosaccharides to promote gut health and calcium for strong teeth and bones. There’s a handy suggested serving size guide on the back of the package. Recommended for pups 6 months and older. Available on Amazon Japan.

25. Electrolyte Jelly Sticks

Electrolytes are crucial for our bodies to function, and dogs can also benefit from an extra boost when summer comes around. Rather than giving them sports drinks, which are formulated for humans, try these electrolyte jelly sticks. In addition to being an electrolyte supplement for dogs, this jelly also uses cranberry for urinary tract support and oligosaccharides for gut health. Available on Amazon Japan.

NOTE: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If your dog is showing any signs of dehydration, please consult with your veterinarian.

26. Cool Vest


Whether you’re Team Fashion or Team Au Naturale when it comes to dogs, this nautical-themed vest will keep your furry friend cool, literally and figuratively! To use, simply dampen the vest with tap water. wring out place over your dog’s head and fasten the chest strap. This product is not compatible with sea water so take caution when at the beach! Available on Amazon Japan: SS | M | L

27. Paw Balm


Protect your pet’s paw pads from burns with this paw balm. It uses honey, an ingredient with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, to soothe burns. Jojoba, olive oil, and camila oil are additional ingredients that add moisture to paw pads. Because it’s organic, it’s safe for your pets to ingest if they lick their feet. Available on Amazon Japan.

28. Insect Repellent Collar


Fleas and mosquitoes can strike at any time, indoors or outdoors, but you can keep them at bay with this adjustable insect repellent collar. One collar lasts up to six months. It also comes with a date label so you’ll easily know when to replace it. Available on Amazon Japan: Cats | Dogs

29. Portable Water Dispenser


This portable water dispenser provides filtrete water on the go. The one-touch button feature means that you won’t have to play gymnastics with your dog’s leash and tote bag when your friend needs a drink. Holds up to 400mL of water. Available on Amazon Japan.

30. Slicker Brush


Our furry friends have wonderful fur coats that keep them warm when temperatures drop. But, when summer comes, there’s not much they can do about all that fur! Make things a little bit easier for them by brushing away excess hair with this slicker brush that’s suitable for cats, and dogs of all breeds. When you’re all done, simply press the large button to release and dispose of the excess fur. Available on Amazon

Food and Drink

31. Perfect Vitamin One Day Vitamin Muscat Flavored Jelly


Loss of appetite during the summer is common as our bodies tend to regulate body temperature by reducing energy to digest food.
One pouch of Perfect Vitamin One Day Vitamin contains 13 different vitamins so you can reach your recommended daily intake of vitamins even when you’re not feeling hungry. Available on Amazon Japan.

32. “Cold” Noodles (Hiyash Chuka)


Hiyashi chuka noodles are served cold and topped with sliced tomatoes, julienne cucumbers, and ham, and shredded eggs (and sometimes ice cubes as well!). It’s a very popular way to stay cool in Japan during the summer months. This package of fresh noodles serves up to three and comes with a soy sauce broth. Just add your choice of toppings and you’ve got an easy family-friendly meal! Available on Amazon Japan.

(For more delicious summer treats, see my list of 5 Delicious Ways To Stay Cool In Japan This Summer.)

33. Ito En Mugicha Tea Bags


Mugicha is a caffeine-free tea made from barley that’s a staple of childhood in Japan. It’s also a fixture in refrigerators come summertime. I use these Ito En tea bags to brew barley tea at night for the following day. I also keep several bottles of GREEN DA・KA・RA mugicha in the fridge and as part of our emergency stock. Available on Amazon Japan.

34. Wakodo Aqualite


Wakodo Aqualite is an apple flavored electrolyte drink intended for infants 3 months and older. It’s actually Japan’s first electrolyte drink for infants (Wakodo, by the way, was founded by the Japanese Imperial Court’s physician and first introduced infant milk to the Japanese market in 1937.) Available on Amazon Japan.

NOTE: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If anyone in your home is showing signs of dehydration, please consult with your physician.

35. OS-1


Compared to sports drinks like Pocari Sweat and Aquarius, OS-1 contains less sugar and more electrolytes. Its spokesperson is Tokoro Joji, a bleach blonde bespectacled talento who famously suffered a bout of heat stroke in 2010 when farming. OS-1 is suitable for when you’ve been sweating excessively or are experiencing vomiting, diaherra, or other gastrointestinal troubles. Available on Amazon Japan.

NOTE: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If anyone in your home is showing signs of dehydration, please consult with your physician.

36. Salt Tablets


These lemon-flavored chewable salt tables from Morinaga are a contemporary take on the classic Japanese summertime treat known as “shio ame” (salty candy). One tablet contains sodium, 8 different vitamins, citric acid, calcium, and glucose to recharge you on a hot day. Available on Amazon Japan.

NOTE: This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If anyone in your home is showing signs of dehydration, please consult with your physician.

37. Minute Maid Qoo Jelly


My daughter loves the Qoo drink and jelly lineup, but this mikan flavor is perhaps her favorite. Qoo comes in a resealable pouch and I freeze it before giving it to my daughter on a hot afternoon. Frozen Qoo is also great for road trips, too! One package is under 100kcal and contains calcium, iron, Vitamin D, and other nutrients. Available on Amazon Japan.

38. Coolish


Marketed as Japan’s “drinkable ice cream,” Coolish is a frozen dessert that you pick up for the novelty factor but then you realize it’s actually really good! Coolish is an ingenious way to serve ice cream to kids without all the drama and mess. It comes in several flavors like vanilla, cola, pineapple, and chocolate, but I’m partial to this Calpis flavor. Available on Amazon Japan.

39. Aisu no Mi


Aisu no Mi is another frozen treat that I like to give to my daughter. It’s like a pureed fruit juice frozen into a perfectly round sphere with a semi-hard shell with a creamy smooth filling. The package is not resealable, so I store the extra in a plastic food storage container. Available on Amazon Japan.

40. Plastic Ice Cubes


This set of 18 tropical and fantasy-themed reusable ice cubes are a super cute way to keep drinks cold at home or on the go. You can also add them to your child’s bento box for a fun surprise at lunch time. Available on Amazon Japan.

For the Home

41. Iris Ohyama Oscilating Vertical Tower Fan

I bought this two years ago and it’s still holding up! Paired with a dehumidifier (see below), it’s very effective in keeping the living room/dining area cool throughout the day. The tower casing safeguards little fingers and paws from the temptation of touching rotating fan blades. This fan has three speed settings, a timer function and an on/off switch for oscillation. Note that it can be noisy if it’s not on an even surface. I don’t mind, but sometimes I find the breeze too cold, even on the lowest setting (I guess that’s a good thing?!). Comes in White and Wood.  Available on Amazon Japan.

42. Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifier and Humidifier

You might be familiar with the Sharp Plasmacluster brand of home appliances that clean the air by emitting positive and negative ions. This air purifier also acts and a dehumidifier, a definite must-have for summer in Japan. It removes excess water vapor in the air, reducing humidity, the cause of mold and mildew. The resulting dry, cool air can even help you save money on your monthly electric bills because you won’t have to use the air conditioner as much. Available on Amazon Japan.

43. Earth Electronic Mosquito Repellent

Those fragrant incense repellent coils are one of the most unmistakable scents of summer in Japan. But, they’re not exactly kid and pet friendly. Keep mosquitoes away with this electronic mosquito repellent from Earth. The odorless liquid is effective for up to 60 days, even when your windows are open. Comes in 5 colors. Available on Amazon Japan.

44. Mitsubishi Cleansui Water Filter


One of the best ways to stay cool during the summer is to stay hydrated. Use the Mitsubishi Cleansui Water Filter to instantly clean your tap water and transform the taste of your rice, tea and other instant drinks. One cartridge lasts up to 3 months and can filter the equivalent of 450 2L bottles! Available on Amazon Japan.

45. SodaStream

 

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If you always find yourself reaching for carbonated drinks this time of the year, then it’s time to invest in a SodaStream! This starter set comes with the SodaStream carbonated water maker and 1L bottle, a 60L gas cylinder, and a 500mL bottle. Available on Amazon Japan.

If you’re keen to make custom drinks, then try this deluxe set which comes with 3 bottles of flavored systrup and 2 gas cylinders. One gas cylinder can make up to 120L of carbonated water. When you’re done with your cylinder, order a replacement from this shop on Rakuten. They’ll collect your empty bottle when delivering a new canister!

46. Electric Shaved Ice Maker


This sleek countertop shaved ice maker makes creamy, Taiwanese-style shaved ice called baobing. Use the provided cups to pre freeze water or flavored milk before or use regular ice cubes to create a fluffy treat. Top with mangoes and condensed milk for a taste of Taiwan go for this trio of colorful syrup that’s so popular here. Comes with a 1 year warranty. Available on Amazon Japan.

47. Inflatable Pool


No doubt social distancing will continue throughout the summer. But, you can give your kids a break from “stay home” and have fun in this inflatable pool. It measures 150 cm long and 100 cm wide, so it can fit in your garden or even on your balcony/veranda. There are two valves on the bottom of the pool so you can easily out the water when you’re done. When summer’s over, add some colorful balls to repurpose it as a ball pit! Available on Amazon Japan.

48. Veranda Sun Shade


Cut out direct sunlight and lower the temperature inside your home with a veranda sun shade. It blocks up to 85% of UV rays and will also keep surfaces cool, so you can walk and play on your balcony more comfortably. Available on Amazon Japan.

49. Cool Touch Floor Mat


Kick off your slippers and lounge on this mat that doubles as a cooling pad. Compared to cotton, the polyester knit material dries quickly and stays cool to the touch for an extended period of time. Perfect for kids’ playtime, afternoon naps and Netflix binge fests, this cool touch mat comes in two sizes (185cmx185cm & 200cmx250cm) and three colors. Machine washable. Available on Amazon Japan.

50. Screen Door Cleaner


This time of the year, you’re tempted to leave your windows and patio doors open all day long. But, before you do, give your screen doors a good scrubbing! This extendable screen door cleaner is aptly named “screen door cleaner” (amido souji) in Japanese. It’s a simple device that cleans without the need to remove screen doors from their sliding. To use, swipe the felt brush across the screen, rinse off dust and debris, then repeat. Available on Amazon Japan.

 

Well, that’s it for my 50 Must-Haves For Summer in Japan! What are your summer must-haves? For even more summer must-haves check out this post: 

Get Glowing Skin This Summer — 10 Japanese Skincare Products To Try

50 Must-Haves For Summer in Japan

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