January 17, 2020

Hot? Cold? Japan's clothing forecasts and functional clothing

No matter where you travel, you always check the temperature so you know what to wear.

Today, we're going to show you an app that you can refer to when you want to know what clothing is best to wear on your trip to Japan.

We'll also let you know about some handy and functional undergarments to wear that you can buy in the airport or major stations when the weather is unexpectedly hot or cold.

Tokyo temperatures and a useful clothing app

The weather in Japan characteristically varies distinctly by season throughout spring (March to May), summer (June to September), fall (October to November) and winter (December to February), so you have to prepare the appropriate clothing for the period when you're visiting.

Image from the Japan Meteorological Agency

Some of you might have thought Japan's summer isn't so hot, as there are countries that have much higher average temperatures.

However, you will be surprised how hot and sticky it is, as it is also very humid in the summer of Japan.

Temperature difference occurs day to day, so it is important to prepare well with the right clothing!

To tackle this, there is an app that suggests clothing depending on that day's weather forecast called "Oshare Weather."

In fact, it's so useful that it already has over 5.5 million downloads!

This is the screen for Chiyoda Ward in Tokyo.

The weather forecast is updated four times a day and this app seems to always carry the latest information.

It calculates the "temperature felt" based on air temperature, humidity, wind speed, etc., and displays an easy to understand illustration of what would be best to wear that day.

In addition to weather forecasts for towns and cities all over Japan, you can also use this app to check the weather around the world and what clothes you should wear no matter where you are.

Below is the screen that we're shown when we set the area to Paris.

We know that the clothes suggested are for women, but this app is really handy for when you're planning an international trip too.

Check out the people on TV

Since the numbers that the app uses are based on weather forecast data, they're very credible, and I, myself, always use this app in conjunction with the news on TV to plan my outfits.

Although when I say that I watch the news to plan my outfit, it's more to get a picture of what other people are wearing while out and about on that particular day than just to view the weather forecast.

What I mean by this is that even when the weather forecast recommends that I wear a thick coat, sometimes the TV will be showing people dressed more lightly or even dressed completely opposite to the forecast's recommendation, so watching what those people wear is actually much more indicative of what you should be wearing too. You could even look at YouTube videos recently uploaded from your area for some ideas.

You'll be spending a lot of time on the train or indoors with the air con on, especially in cities like Tokyo, so depending on your travel plans you might not even need to worry too much about the temperature outside.

In the city, it's easiest to dress in clothing that's easy to move in and carry a coat that's not too bulky.

Conversely, when traveling to the countryside in the winter, it's extremely cold, so you do need to take some more extreme anti-cold measures!

How to use functional clothing well

But still, no matter how prepared you think you are, there are still times when we get caught by surprise by how hot or cold it is. To prevent this, we recommend buying some of Japan's famous "functional clothing."

Uniqlo, a clothing brand that has become famous for this in Japan, has stores in all of Japan's major airports where you can buy these kinds of clothes when you land.

Although the stores inside the airport are on the smaller side, they mainly stock rain clothes and functional undergarments in case you land and the weather is not quite what you expected it to be.

Functional undergarments are made with special fibers meaning that they keep you cool in summer and keep you warm in winter, so just owning one of these items is extremely handy.

They're of course perfect for life in general, but also great for outdoor activities like camping and skiing.

Uniqlo is very well known for being the pioneer to functional clothing in Japan.

Because they have stores at least one in every major station, it's really easy to get hold of these clothes if you find yourself needing them.

For summer, they sell undergarments known as "Air Rhythm" that dry your sweat in the warm weather.

These are also made from a material that dries super quickly, which is great when you need them so soon after you've washed them while traveling.

For the winter, they stock undergarments known as "Heat Tech," which keep you warm.

These garments are made of thin material, so you can keep warm and are still able to move easily without the usual bulk of extra winter layers.

Functional clothing can still be useful back home in your country

These functional clothing are so "functional" and comes at a really good price for the quality, I know many international friends that buys a stack of it for themselves to wear back home, and even for souvenirs to their friens and families.

A small tip to share is while Uniqlo has been pioneering this kind of clothing, other companies in Japan have also been developing their own functional garments, which has introduced some competition in pricing.

For example, you can buy Aeon's functional clothing "Peace Fit," which is made of soft, comfortable material and retains heat, for under ¥1,000.

Outdoor brand Montbell also uses special fibers that prevent chilliness and suppress smells caused by sweat to provide comfortable clothing that retains heat.

They're an international outdoor brand that is based in Osaka, and while their prices may be higher than those of Uniqlo or Aeon, the quality of their items in nothing to be sniffed at.

The above garments may be light and thin, but they provide a strong barrier against the weather, so they're still going to be useful once you return home!

If you want to try out any of these clothes, but don't know where to go, you can always ask us at Helping Dragon. We'll point you in the right direction and can also recommend you some great spots to enjoy some outdoor sports too!

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Thanks for reading! Helping Dragon is a travel start-up run by the international team. We are deeply passionate about Japan and we want you to have a pleasant time in the Cherry Blossom Country. Researching cultural phenomena, regular publishing and maintaining a great online presence require quite a lot of effort. If you enjoy this article please consider giving a tip to our team.

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Looking for a catered travel information on your travel to Japan? In 1 business day, our team will reply to your email. The conversation is continued until the solution you are looking for is met.

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