bath salts

Daily Life: ♫☼♪Winter is Upon Us♫☼♪

12:20 AM

It's finally here. I can see the puffs of smoke every time I exhale and I gotta say... it's scary. Now onward to mornings where I struggle just to get out of bed and weep at the thought of going out of doors for work (I suppose it isn't QUITE that bad but I need somewhere to angst a bit.)

Thankfully this won't solely be about me angst-ing (I think) on about winter. Instead, I'd rather impart a few tidbits of information to you on surviving the winter season here in Kansai. While it is rife with year-end sales, bonenkai and drunken company staffers, the atmosphere is heavy with moisture and cold, striking fear into the hearts of any who have a decent shoe or clothing collection.

And since I don't want to get too wordy here, I've opted for the video format. Obviously, video format has more words however, it's probably much easier to listen and take notes (haha!) or something to that affect.'


Things to take away from this:

1. Winter is a DANGEROUS time for the 'kabi' or mold. Especially on furniture near windows, where a lot of the cold air comes in from, and on the floors near these windows as well. TRUST ME, you want to take preventative steps. Having to toss out furniture because of the mold is bittersweet to say the least (and absolutely frustrating to say the most..?). I've also heard that tatami mats are prone to grow mold as well, so be careful if you have a couple of those lying around your house.

Here are the examples of a few things you can buy to protect your apartment and the lovely things inside:
→Mizutorizousan (to get rid of moisture in the air)
→Dorai&dorai furo-raru dorai hikidashi ishou ke-su you (dehumidification packet, i.e. silica gel, for your dresser drawers)
→Okudake take sumi (bamboo charcoal that can be used to get rid of moisture and fight against dani. you just place it down and leave it until it shrinks. it's also cheaper than silica gel products)

I'll usually pick up silica gel for things like dressers and coat closets, while I'll use the charcoal in the shoe box or in the cabinets in the kitchen. Try out a few of them and see what works for your place and budget.

Another idea is airing out your apartment every few days by opening the windows, but seeing as it is quite cold now, I bet few are inclined to take that route.

2. Layering. It really is a love hate dynamic, but something worth mastering. It's really better to be able to peel the layers off as you wander through the saunas-- I mean, department stores. Though, 3 or more layers may be a bit much (I am very 寒がり or ..a person who is weak against cold weather..), I think investing in a couple of heat-tech like things is a nice idea.

→Uniqlo's Heat Teach
→TopValu (AEON)'s Heat Fact
→Ito-Yokado's Body Heater

Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to tell you which one is warmer (Uniqlo definitely has the more expensive PR campaign), but I think the only thing that changes really is the price.

3. GET DAT KETTLE. That hot water, don't take it for granted. For it is PRECIOUS. Preeeeecious~~ (no, I haven't seen The Hobbit BUT Legolas :> ). A hot cup of tea or coffee (instant is how most people do it at home in Japan) does wonders when fighting the chill of the home.

→Electric Kettle by TFAL
→Instant Coffee

4. Enjoy that hot bath. You totally deserve it for not heading back to your home country after realizing what a trial it is to go through winter in Japan. And I mean that. Gold star.
If you're looking to make your bath more luxurious, bath salts..! They come in more relaxing scents, while some are made to help diets and other for skin care. Bathing powders (or salts) in Japanese is 入浴剤 (nyuu yoku zai).

→(mentioned in the video) the bath powder made to mimic famous hot springs in Japan
→BABU (which isn't actually powder, but a.. stone-thingy that dissolves in the water, The scents were nice though!)
→A well-known dieting powder that helps you sweat the weight away in the bath (I've never tried this one)

ALSO, I should've stated this more clearly in the video, but, while it is common for people to stay in the hot bath as long as they can to make their bodies feel warm by the time they step out, be careful not to pass out in the bath. It is quite dangerous and there's probably no lifeguard on hand to scoop you out, so if you start feeling light-headed, step out (SLOWLY, I usually get a head rush coming out of the bath tub), rinse yourself down with some cool water and take a breather for a minute.

UGH, this proved wordier than I imagined, but I hoped the links and information help make your winter season a bit more tolerable! :)


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