The danger of heatstroke in Japan

With the one year mark now reached, Japan is in the midst of Olympic fever. Those who are planning to visit in the summer of 2020 may be focused on enjoying the Olympic Games, but they should also be equally concerned with the weather. Travelers from other countries are often unaware of how easily heatstroke occurs in Japan, so they are particularly at risk.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency reported 30,410 people were taken to the hospital due to heat stroke in August of 2018 alone, a 76 percent increase from the previous year. And if this year is any indication, those numbers may be on the rise. As we've reported before, there have already been an alarming number of heat-related injuries, with over 5,000 hospitalized and 11 dead in just the first week of the month. As reported in the Japan Times, even the Tokyo Olympics construction site has been hit, with a worker dying from a suspected heatstroke on August 8th.

This is why prevention is extremely important. There are several things you can do to avoid the risk of heatstroke. You can wear light clothing, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, stay in air-conditioned environments when possible, get plenty of sleep, and replenish water and electrolytes lost in sweat with a drink such as Pocari Sweat.

Anyone whose body temperature reaches 104°F is vulnerable to heatstroke. However, merely carrying around an medical thermometer isn't good enough because it doesn't take into account other factors such as humidity and UV levels, all of which conspire to elevate the risk of heatstroke.

Fortunately, now there's a convenient, compact tool which fits in your pocket, specialized in analyzing those factors and alerting you (audibly) when heatstroke risk is high. (Indidentally, it also doubles as a "flu sensor" in the colder months, alerting you when the heat and humidity levels of your room or workplace reach a condition in which the flu virus thrives).

Portable Digital Thermohygrometer (with alarm) CHE-TPHU6

Offered by Sanwa Supply, Inc., the CHE-TPHU6 accurately measures the temperature, humidity, and UV level to provide important information to ensure your safety. It can also display absolute humidity and an approximation of the WetBulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), a measure of the heat stress in direct sunlight which differs from the heat index, which is calculated for shady areas. Military agencies, OSHA and many nations use the WBGT as a guide to managing workload in direct sunlight.

Let's take a look at the features and display in more detail:

It also has a handy carrying strap.

An LED flashlight is also included for your convenience at night.

Product Details

  • Name (JP): 「手持ち用デジタル温湿度計(警告ブザー設定機能付き)」
  • Name (EN): Portable Digital Thermohygrometer (with alarm)
  • Product Number: CHE-TPHU6
  • Dimensions: W 38.6 mm (1.52") x D 11.6 mm (0.46") x H 79.5 mm (3.13")
  • Weight: 23 g (0.81 oz), including battery
  • Materials: ABS plastic, acrylic resin (housing)
  • Battery (included): CR2032 (1)
  • Includes: Battery, carrying strap, manual
  • Price: 4,500 JPY (excl. tax)

You can buy the CHE-TPHU6 at the Sanwa Supply Direct Shop or at other online retailers.

By - Ben K.