Imagine for a moment you are on a plane. It’s August. For the past 2 hours you have been in your seat waiting anxiously to pull into your terminal at Naha International Airport. Finally you have arrived, gather your carryon luggage and move towards the door where you step out of your air conditioned capsule. Immediately you find yourself hot. . . . it’s humid and the fact that you have been traveling for what is most likely longer than the 2 hour flight from Tokyo or Osaka and carrying your bags isn’t helping. Finally you reach the actual building moments later and feel that relief of air conditioning again which quickly fades as everyone moves towards the luggage pickup area. You get your stuff and you walk towards the doors and you realize that you’re hot. . . it’s MORE humid than before and you’ve not going back now because you’re already walking towards the vehicle which will be taking you into the city. Welcome to Okinawa!
Ok. . . Ok. . . .So yes above is a bit of a dramatization but the fact of the matter is that this is basically what I experienced on my way here. This being said I am from Boston and I traveled here in July which for me was hot when I left Boston and when I got here I experienced more heat and humidity than I have ever experienced. In fact to some I say I had not grown my gills yet and so I was unable to handle the humidity. I also give this as a comical explanation for why I passed out 3 times that summer.
This post is fueled by a comment left on our Facebook page which asked about traveling here during the summer months.
The fact of the matter is that there really isn’t anything to be worried about when traveling to Okinawa in the summertime if you are prepared. The good news is that because you are reading this post and watching my videos you have the upper hand right there. According to The Weather Channel the average temperature in August is a high of 87 and a low of 78 but the fact of the matter is that these numbers really do not do the weather here justice. During the summer it is hot but the main problem that people have with Okinawa is the humidity. This is something that you will need to get used to. Although (depending on where you are coming from) the first few summer months will seem unbearable over time you will find yourself more and more likely to not feel as if you are in an oven. There are some other people who do not feel this way because they come from a place with hot climate or grew up in the south. For me this was not the case and so my experience was different. What does this all mean? Basically what to expect here in Okinawa during the summer is relative to your past experience so to talk too much about it would be almost a waste of time.
Now that you understand a little bit more about the weather let’s talk about a few things you can do to make your summer a more pleasant experience.
1) Spread on the sunscreen – Although you might only be going out for a little while you want to do what you can to prevent yourself from getting burnt. Many people say that over here in Okinawa we are “closer to the sun” and although I do not know the exact information on the science of it all I can tell you that the sun is much hotter. For someone who has never really burned until I got here I can tell you from experience that it is important to try and keep yourself covered.
2) Sports Drinks, Even Without The Sports – You might not be the type of person to like sports drinks but there are times when you will find yourself sweating just to get to your car so make sure that you are rehydrating not only with water but also sports drinks.
3) Don’t go straight into physical activity until you have been acclimated to the location. Some people will say that it takes about 3 or 4 weeks to get to the point where you are acclimated to Okinawa’s weather. Although different people will adjust differently there are times when it might be better to sit back and ensure you are ready to be outside for long periods of time before going for a run.
With this information I am going to close this post. I am hoping that this has offered enough information for you to have an idea of what it is to scratch the surface of coming to Okinawa in the summer time. If you have any further questions make a commend and let me know. Maybe you have had a different experience coming to Okinawa? Let me know about it and I will ensure to share it with those who might be interested.