How to Enjoy Summer Evenings

It is now mid-July and summer is well and truly here, bringing with it the annual bout of oppressive heat. Well, in the same way that we recently gave you ten ways to cheer up the June rainy season, you can find things to help you survive the height of the summer too. But ultimately that’s just “defensive” and it’s useless to do this every year. No, let’s move into offense: Not finding things to help you put up with the summer, but using them to actually enjoy the dog days!

So for summer 2013, PingMag recommends summer evenings (yusuzumi). During the height of the summer it’s certainly foolhardy to face the sweltering sun in the middle of the day. But heading out during the cooler evening is the time to enjoy the mood of the season, so we wanted to try out this traditional way of passing the summer.

Well, perhaps that sounds a bit grand and actually there isn’t one definite form of yusuzumi. In a nutshell, it’s just leaving your home and going outside during evenings in the summer. This might be on a balcony or a veranda if you have one. Hey, if you have neither of those, then just head to your nearest park. Today we’re going to introduce a few examples from past PingMag articles that may prove useful for finding your own summer evening style…

Chairs & Benches

If you’re going to be out and about, you need somewhere to sit down. And with a rattan bench, you certainly look the part. Now you just need a hammock and some beers.

Iced Candy

It might well be the evening but it’s still summer, and that means sweltering temperatures. You can’t get cool just by leaving the house. You need ice cream! There’s nothing better than eating ice cream when it’s hot.

Fans

To cool yourself down both practically and visually, you need a fan. How about this transparent one?

Yukata

And if you’re going to enjoy the summer, you need to dress for the occasion. Yukata are both cool and relaxing to wear — truly super functional summer clothes! If you really want people to notice you, we recommend these Tsukikageya punk yukata.

Tenugui

When you are having fun in the summer, it means having fun in the heat — and this means sweat, lots of it. Well, no problem. With a tenugui you can wipe away you sweat. Much more stylish than the humble handkerchief. Plus you can use it as a mini towel or even a dishcloth.

Windbells

No sounds say summer more than cicadas and windbells, and this is even truer in the evening. If you can then also hear the sounds of a distant matsuri festival then your summer satisfaction levels will already almost be at capacity.

Water Balloons

For readers with kids — or not — how about some fun with water? With these water balloons you can enjoy H2O in the summer without having to visit the pool.

City Plants

And when you’re outside, you want to be surrounded by nature so some greenery is a must. But when you’re in Tokyo and there is a lack of nature, you can create your own guerilla flowerpots.

Wagashi

Ice cream isn’t the only “cool” summer food, you know. Traditional Japanese confectionary (wagashi) can also be made according to the seasons. Even though it’s not cold, the taste will be the perfect snack for your summer nights.

Fireworks

The sun has gone down so now you need a climax to the evening — fireworks! Without fireworks, it just ain’t summer.

While we all know that heading to the beach or the camp site is one way to enjoy the summer heat, it’s often overlooked just how much you can make everyday life fun too. Give yusuzumi a try and you won’t be disappointed.