Nov 23. 2020Topics

Important information for foreigners living in Tokyo. How to prevent catching a cold and how to keep warm in Tokyo


Avoid crowds in Tokyo?

Foreigners visiting Tokyo from abroad may be surprised by how crowded Tokyo is. In particular, those who are planning to stay in Tokyo for work may want to avoid crowded sightseeing locations as the chances of catching a cold or being infected with influenza are common.

Extremely cold weather has come to Tokyo, but are you ready to battle the cold? If you catch a cold in Tokyo, chances are it will ruin any plans you had. Therefore, in this article, we have some useful wisdom about how to prevent catching a cold and information about how you can keep warm while in Japan. Keep your body warm and take preventative measures to avoid getting sick, especially when you are around a crowd of people.

Different from other countries! How to avoid getting sick

What preventative measures do foreigners take to avoid catching a cold? Just as cultures around the world are different, the preventative measure to avoid getting sick are also different. The following information will inform you about how Japanese people avoid getting sick. Cold prevention methods used by Japanese people has been effective for a very long time so feel free to try some of these methods.

・Gargling regularly

In Japan, from a very early age, children are taught that gargling regularly is an effective preventative measure against getting sick.

Gargling not only reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth, but also moisturizes the mucous membrane of the throat and nose and is considered to be an effective method in preventing colds. Gargling and washing your hands regularly is extremely important. Japanese people usually gargle and wash their hands as soon as they return home. There are very popular brands of mouth wash that are sold at drug stores made especially for gargling, so if you find yourself with a sudden soreness in your throat, or if you feel more tired than usual after being in crowded areas, we recommend that you gargle as soon as possible.

・Even if you don't have a cold, you should wear a mask

Foreigners may be surprised to see that Japanese people wear masks when out and about, at airports and train stations etc., in Tokyo.

In the United States and France, it is quite rare to see people wearing masks outside of medical facilities or when performing cleaning activities, and people who wear masks are often mistaken to be people who are sick. However, not only is it necessary to wear a mask to prevent colds, but it is also a good idea to wear a mask if you have a cold so as to not pass your cold on to someone else.

In fact, it is said that masks help to maintain moisture and protect the throat and nasal mucous membrane from viruses that spread in the cold, dry air of winter.

Foreigners who are reluctance to wear a mask when out and about are encouraged to at least wear a mask when sleeping. .

・Drink Green Tea

Green tea has a variety of health benefits, and the catechin and polyphenol contained in green tea has a bactericidal effect that is effective in preventing influenza infection. This fact is being confirmed through research by Shizuoka University and the company ITO EN.


While in Tokyo, you can easily buy some of the most delicious Japanese green tea available so why not give it a try and keep yourself hydrated. In addition, green tea is often prepared and presented as a service drink at hotels in Japan, so it is being used as a luxury drink. Green tea is also good to gargle with in order to prevent colds and also has positive health benefits, so please try it when you have the chance.

Recommended for foreigners! The wisdom to know in Japan about


keeping your body warm

The Japanese, who are known for longevity, pay close attention to their health and are good at keeping themselves warm. Warming the body from the core and boosting metabolism can also help to prevent colds, so take advantage of this Japanese wisdom while in Tokyo.

・Soak in the bathtub

Japan is a country that is known for its love of bathing and it is customary to use a bathtub. Taking a bath can improve blood circulation, relax, de-stress, detoxify and control body odors. Most Japanese hotels have a bathtub, so be sure to give it a try when you have the chance. Also, Japanese hot springs are said to have a long-lasting warming effects, so be sure to also try them out when you come to Japan. Enjoy the hot springs or use bath salts from hot springs that you can find at your local drug stores.

・Cover your stomach with a stomach wrap

Covering your stomach with a blanket or towel can also help to keep the body warm. In Japan, lots of people, especially the elderly and pregnant women are known to use a stomach wrap. Foreigners may not be immediately accustomed to the winter climate in Japan, so it is safe to have a stomach wrap on hand. You can use it at bedtime or when you go out.

Originally, the stomach wrap was used to keep the internal organs warm, especially the kidneys which are said to be responsible for staying healthy. Warming your internal organs from the core of the body can increase your basal metabolism.

In addition, since stomach wraps are a rare sight for foreigners, it would also be a nice souvenir from Tokyo. Look for a stylish stomach wrap with a design you like.

・Disposable Body Warmers

Absolutely necessary winter items in Japan include the disposable body warmers. Disposable body warmers are now available overseas, but they are actually a major invention of the Japanese. There are various types of disposable body warmers, such as body warmers that you can stick onto clothes and body warmers that you can put into your shoes. They are safe to use by putting them in your pockets when you go out.

However, if the disposable body warmers come in direct contact with your skin, you run a risk of getting low-temperature burns, so be sure to place it on the outer side of your underwear or t-shirt so that it does not come in direct contact with your skin. Also, it is not recommended to use the disposable body warmers when sleeping. A wonderful item to have during the winter time, but please be careful when using.

In Conclusion

In this article, we have covered some of the details of Japanese wisdom and how to prevent catching a cold while in Japan that foreigners who plan to visit Tokyo and foreigners living in Tokyo should know. It should be noted that there are a lot of places in Tokyo that are crowded with people and tourists when compared to other countries. Colds and the flu are already prevalent, so be sure to take measures before coming to Japan and take the necessary precautions during your stay.

We hope that based on the information in this article you can enjoy your time in Tokyo. Whether in Japan for sightseeing or for work, be sure to take the proper measures to keep warm and avoid catching a cold.

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