How Japan is beating the summer heat in 2021: Consumer trends

As Japan’s rainy season draws to a close, shoppers are once again turning to Rakuten Ichiba to outsmart the sweltering heat of summer. As is tradition, the platform has published a collection of innovative ideas to keep cool this summer, diving deep into its search data to predict the hit products of 2021.

Staying cool but eco at home

As much of Japan continues to work from home, many are looking to make their time indoors as comfortable as possible. Mindful of the financial and environmental impact of blasting the AC all day, shoppers are flocking to Rakuten Ichiba for more efficient, eco-friendly and budget-savvy ways to stay cool.

Not your ordinary fan: These high-tech, eco-friendly options are keeping consumers in Japan cool this summer.
Not your ordinary fan: These high-tech, eco-friendly options are keeping consumers in Japan cool this summer.

This year has seen a spike in search interest for products such as the above ‘personal cooler.’ Fill its water tank and this inexpensive device uses evaporation to produce a stream of cool air that you can carry with you wherever you go.

Meanwhile, demand for supersonic mist blowers is also on the rise, while those looking for even more portability are opting for items like this battery-powered neck cooler.

Summer sleep tech

No more sweaty nights: Innovative tricks for a comfortable sleep without AC.
These innovative products available on Rakuten Ichiba offer a comfortable sleep without the AC.

Keeping cool during Japan’s humid summer nights has become a mission for many shoppers, who are snapping up products such as this ‘cool’ body pillow. Not only does the unique design allow for a highly ergonomic night’s sleep; the pillow also makes use of a high-tech material to give you that ‘cool side of the pillow’ feeling all night long.

Don’t want to give up your current pillow? Slap on the ‘Cocomin Head Cooler’ instead ― an actively powered, adjustable pillow pad. In fact, why not take it one step further and climate control your entire bed with this fan-powered mattress pad?

Fashionably cool

Spending all this time at home ― no matter how comfortable ― has many eager to get outside this summer. Shoppers are looking for new ways to keep cool under the harsh sun and high humidity of Japan’s summer months.

But here’s the dilemma: Should you cover up as much as possible to protect your skin from UV rays? Or should you strip out of your sweaty garments and soak up any breeze you can get?

Rakuten Ichiba summer trends: Air conditioned clothing.
Air conditioned clothing: Has the future arrived early?

Clearly not everyone is willing to compromise. High-tech fashion items such as the UV-blocking climate-controlled jacket and the ‘Babyhopper’ air-conditioned baby sling are spiking in demand this year. A high-powered fan paired with a lightweight rechargeable battery pumps air through the garment, keeping the wearer(s) cool, dry and out of the sun. Pop out the fan unit and you can throw it in a regular old washing machine.

Face mask hacks

Of course, one can’t talk fashion in 2021 without addressing the newest addition to everyone’s wardrobes: face masks. The summer of 2020 taught us all about the pleasures of breathing hot sticky air through a sweaty mask, but not everyone has resigned themselves to the experience.

So long sweaty mask-face.
So long, sweaty mask-face!

Much like the climate-controlled jacket, the above USB air-mask features a battery-powered fan that pumps filtered air inside to keep the wearer’s face comfortably cool. With a washable design, replaceable HEPA filter and rechargeable battery, it’s built to keep its wearer cool all summer long.

For a slightly more low-tech solution, the above mask frame promises to keep the mask separated from the wearer’s face, not only increasing airflow but also making it easier to talk without making a mess of one’s makeup.

Frozen fashion for our furry friends

Pet owners are also flocking to Rakuten Ichiba to find new ways to keep their animal friends cool and comfortable this summer.

Cooling your canine with... an extra layer? And other novel ideas.
Cooling your canine with… an extra layer? And other novel ideas.

Adding an extra layer to your overheating pet may seem a little counterintuitive, but rest assured, Japan’s pooch lovers aren’t barking up the wrong tree. The ‘ICE HOLD’ cooling vest contains several removable ice packs: freeze them overnight and slot them into the waterproof vest for a cool, comfortable outdoor romp no matter the conditions.

This aluminum cat bowl, meanwhile, promises to keep your furry friend comfortable through heat conduction.

For a full list of Rakuten Ichiba’s summer trends, click here (Japanese).

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