Allergies in Japan

Top 10 Ways to Survive Hay Fever (kafunsho) Season in Japan

If you’re suffering from excessive sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, or a scratchy throat you might be experiencing an allergy from Japanese cedar pollen, or sugi tree – known as kafunsho (花粉症)/hay fever.  Here are our recommended Top 10 Ways to Survive Hay Fever (kafunsho) Season in Japan.  Kafunsho is hard on adults but even tougher on kids in Japan. To help deal with the pollen this season we listed a few ideas from to help you and your loved ones survive hay fever season in Japan. The season runs from February to April and peaks in March. Take care!

Sneezing and watery eyes in Japan? You might have Hay Fever! Learn how to survive Kafunsho season in Japan.

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Unicharm Face Mask for hay feverhay fever Unicharm Mask for kids1. Wear a mask particularly the Unicharm face mask (798 yen) to help prevent the inhalation of pollen. Their masks are popular as they fit closer to the face, with fewer gaps, yet provide a space between the mask and the mouth that makes it easier to breathe. Here are smaller masks for kids (498 yen).

Face Spray can be used for hay fever2. If a mask isn`t for you or your little ones, try a face spray (1040 yen). Close your eyes then spray your entire face. The Cationic Polymer (positive ions) will help prevent fine particles from entering your nose and eyes (do not spray into your eyes).

hay fever Nasal Spray3. Use the Aibon Eye Wash (980 yen) to rinse the pollen and dirt particles from your eyes. Fill the cup to the line, place it over your eye, blink a few times then dry. You can use this up to 3 times a day. I use it at night after a heavy pollen day. Remember to remove makeup and contacts before use.

4. Use a nasal spray (tenbi-yaku 点鼻薬) 1804 yen. This can be used up to three times a day depending on the type and dosage. Please consult your ENT for the best method of treatment for you.

– How to reduce Kafunsho in Japan

Allegra for hay fever5. Take antihistamines. It`s possible to get Allegra (アレグラ), Claritin (クラリチン), Alesion (アレジオン), and Zyrtec (ジルテック) in your local pharmacy. Consult your ENT for the best method of treatment for you.

To reduce the overall amount of contact you have with pollen indoors try the following:

6. Invest in a good air filter. We use the Sharp Plasmacluster Humidifier and Air Cleaner – about 22,800 JPY – If you have a larger room (up to 23 tatamis) this is a great humidifier and air cleaner. Great for adding moisture, but also removing dust, pollen, and smells. Comes with a HEPA filter. The size is quite compact at 66 x 44 x 26.8 cm, and only 8.1kg. Can work up to rooms in size of 23 tatamis.

 Kleenex Aqua Veil Tissue Paper (water lotion infused) three-pack – about 500 JPY –  Never be short of tissue paper. This is not the normal type of paper which is harsh on runny noses it has special water lotion what makes it really soft. It is not wet tissue but instead infused with a water-like lotion which is dry to the touch but ultra-soft.  No more lugging paper home!

8. Boost your immune system by taking probiotics – they can make an impact on your recovery. Probiotics in Japan can be found in Yogurt, Yakult drinks, Natto, and Miso.

9. Wipe your floors with a damp mop — a vacuum cleaner will spread the pollen. Scotch Bright (about 1600 JPY) makes a light and easy to clean and store Swiffer type mop.

10. Shower/Bathe before bed to remove pollen from your hair and skin.

11. Check the pollen forecast below. If the pollen counts are high keep your windows closed and dry your laundry indoors.

Tokyo Pollen Forecast

Click here for a week-long outlook of our local hay fever/pollen levels. Note: The site is in Japanese. Here`s a brief explanation of how to read the forecast. A chart, similar to the one to the one below, will display the pollen counts for Tokyo Chiyoda-ku (千代田区). The first entry 20日(木) has a pine tree with two balls beneath it. One green ball ( 少ない) means low pollen count. Four red pollen balls mean it`s extreme (非常に多い). Please find the Pollen Scale and translation below. Click on the graphic to see a real-time Tokyo pollen tracker.

Click here for the Weather Channel’s Allergy Tracker.

Tokyo Pollen Tracker

Pollen Range:
1) 開始前:kaishimae: Pollen hasn`t been released yet.
2) 少ない: sukunai: A little
3) やや多い: yaya ooi: A good amount
4) 多い: ooi: A lot
5) 非常に多い:hijyouni ooi: Extreme
6) ほぼ終了:hobo shuryo: Pollen season is almost over.

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 Top 10 Ways to Survive Hay Fever Season in Japan



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