The end of July has brought soaring temperatures of over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) to certain parts of Japan. As we saw this past weekend, the oppressive heat was even enough to make Tokyo Disneyland look almost deserted, an unheard-of feat.

While your first temptation may be to cool off at the beach, remember to take precautionary safety measures anytime you’re under the sun–last week also saw the highest number of cases of heatstroke in Japan this year-to-date.  

On Tuesday, Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (総務省消防庁) announced that the week-long stretch between July 21 and 27 saw 8,580 cases of people receiving emergency medial treatment due to heatstroke, known as necchūshō (熱中症) in Japanese. That number was the highest it’s been all year, beating the previous week span of July 14-20 by approximately 2.6 times (3,309 cases). The prefectures with the highest number of medical emergencies included Tokyo (620), Saitama (612), and Aichi (574). In addition, 193 people have stayed hospitalized for three weeks or more.

The announcement also suggested that the large increase in cases of heatstroke may be connected to the fact that last week saw the end of the rainy season in several areas of Japan, which drove the sun back out and caused temperatures to rise. We suspect that the high levels of heat will continue to stick around as we head into August.

▼Please refer to this map of Japan’s 47 prefectures:


That’s not even the worst of it, because 15 deaths have been attributed to heatstroke so far this year. The casualties have occurred in locations all across Japan, proving that nowhere is safe from the heat. Deaths have occurred in the Kagawa (3), Ehime (2), Yamagata (2), Saitama (1), Chiba (1), Toyama (1), Shiga (1), Hyogo (1), Okuyama (1), Hiroshima (1), and Saga (1) prefectures.

All of us at RocketNews24 have experienced the terrible, humid atrocity that is known as the Japanese summer, and even after several years of it we still can’t help dissolving into listless puddles around this time of the year. That being said, we’ve also come up with some strategies to at least deal with the heat, if not beat it entirely–be sure to check out our list of 10 tips to help you survive the Japanese summer from last year. You might find some applicable ideas, even if you don’t reside in Japan! If you do live in Japan, you can also try cooling down by eating one of these gorgeously crafted traditional Japanese sweets. Please, no getting heatstroke on our watch, people!

Source: Yahoo! Japan News
Images: Ameblo – Debu Neko no Michie, Nihon IchibanWikipedia – Tokyoship