cold

Who do Japanese women want to care for them when they get sick? (Hint: it’s not their boyfriends)

Who do Japanese women want to care for them when they get sick? (Hint: it’s not their boyfriends)

As the new business and academic year takes its toll and Japan collectively sniffles with a case of the May blues, people all over the country are hiding under their blankets and calling in sick (probably using paid vacation days rather than actual sick leave, but that’s another story). When you’re feeling under the weather, it’s always nice to have someone to fluff up your pillows, cook you comfort food and generally feel sorry for you.

Japanese website My Navi Woman surveyed Japanese women in their 20s and 30s, asking them: “When you get a cold, who do you want to be by your side looking after you?” You may – or may not – be surprised to hear that boyfriends came in at a measly third place, with only 22 percent of women saying they’d want their man to care for them.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the rankings, and at what reasons Japanese women gave for wanting (or rejecting!) someone’s love and attention.

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Escape the cold this winter in a faceless fleece bodysuit!

Escape the cold this winter in a faceless fleece bodysuit!

Every year as the temperatures drop, Japan finds another creative way to make the cold winter months more bearable. This year, a Japanese outdoor product company has the newest way to keep warm—a full-body fleece suit that turns you into an anonymous humanoid!

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Feel better fast: Eight home remedies from the little old ladies of Japan

Feel better fast: Eight home remedies from the little old ladies of Japan

The only thing worse than catching a cold is feeling like you’re about to catch a cold. That achiness you can feel in your bones, followed by dread, worry and the thought, “I’m too busy to get sick now!” It’s enough to make you sick on the spot.

But fear not, the grandmothers of Japan have a plethora of home remedies that’ll get you feeling better in no time. Some may be little more than old wives’ tales, but when you’re feeling under the weather, why not drink hot onion water or smear ginger on your forehead. It actually might be good for what ails you.

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Six Crazy Things I Did Because I Was Cold 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

Six Crazy Things I Did Because I Was Cold 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

Japan is cold. No, I’m not talking about the people; it’s the weather that sends a chill down my spine. No insulation, central heating, or double-paned windows, and in most public buildings – schools included – there’s no hot water; modern Japanese construction ensures that you will feel every bone-chilling drop in temperature once November rolls around.

When the mercury dips below freezing and there’s nothing to stop the cold from leeching in to your home, sometimes you have to take drastic measures. And when you’re backed into a (freezing cold) corner, it makes you do some crazy things… like wrap your entire house in bubble wrap.

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“Warm Share” Initiative Rewards Environmentally Friendly Residents with Discounts and Free Coffee

“Warm Share” Initiative Rewards Environmentally Friendly Residents with Discounts and Free Coffee

As much as Japanese people love to go on about how “Japan has four distinct seasons, you know!” (yes, so does the UK…), the gap between summer and winter – that fantastic period when you’re neither dripping with sweat nor trying to get the feeling back in your fingers –  is mercilessly short, and we already seem to be at the end of it.

Japanese buildings are usually made from lightweight materials and, outside of places like Hokkaido in the north, have very little insulation, which means they start getting cold as early as late October. By the time January arrives, you’re wearing a wooly hat in bed and putting off getting up as long as possible since it means surrendering your body to the icy air in the kitchen while frantically boiling the kettle to make a cup of anything hot.

While most of us try to be sparing in our use of our heating (except my neighbour who runs her air conditioner 24/7 so that it constantly sounds like there’s a car idling outside…), more often than not we burn more gas and electricity than we really need to, locked away in our private little sanctuaries.

With this in mind, a number of businesses, shops and community centres in Japan have launched a new campaign for winter, known as Warm Share, which encourages people to switch off their heating at home and head out to a heated public area where, as the name implies, they share the warmth with everyone else.

It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet, it gets you out of the house.

But perhaps the coolest thing about Warm Share is the fact that many locations offer discount coupons and completely free hot drinks to visitors who simply utter the magic words: “I switched off my heating and came here instead.”

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