Apr 23

Surviving in Japan: 15 Ways to Survive Hay Fever Season

Posted by Ashley Thompson (Shizuoka-ken, 2008-2010) of Surviving in Japan: without much Japanese and Lifelines columnist for The Japan Times.

Cherry blossoms are blooming, depending on where you are in Japan, and various other types of trees and flowers are starting to show their spring colors. Graduation ceremonies are being held (or have already happened) all over Japan, as one year ends and another is about to begin.

Then there’s the pollen. Hay fever season in Japan has also arrived. And if you have allergies, it might have already hit you hard (or will…). How do you get through allergy season in Japan? You’ll find some ideas below.

A few words to know:

花粉症  かふんしょう     kafunshou        hay fever
花粉   かふん           kafun                  pollen
アレルギー              arerugii              allergy

Now, a few ideas to help you survive hay fever season in Japan:

1. Wear a mask outside. Even if you didn’t wear one in your home country, “do as the locals do” or “when in Rome…” or something like that. I personally can’t stand wearing them, but I know some people who now like wearing them.

2. Use a mask spray. Apparently if you spray your mask with this stuff it makes the mask more effective at keeping unwanted particles out.

3. Try a “nose mask” – (pictured below) It’s basically something that you attach to the underside of your nose and each side goes in a nostril. It acts as a filter for pollen and other airborne particles.

allergies, hay fever, nose, Japan

4. Refill those allergy medicine prescriptions. It is possible to get Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec and Flonase (フルナーズ) in Japan – consult a doctor about possibilities. You could also try contacting Japan Healthcare Info if you’re not sure where to look or who to ask. Some possible prescription non-drowsy or “mostly” non-drowsy meds in Japan include: Allegra (アレグラ), Claritin (クラリチン), Alesion (アレジオン), エバステル, Talion (タリオン), and Zyrtec (ジルテック). [Source]

You can get some over-the-counter anti-allergy medication, but most, if not all, are drowsy, and probably not as effective as those you can get by prescription. (Let us know, though, if you’ve found something that works well and isn’t too sleep-inducing). Mmmfruit mentioned Zaditen as an option. David and I have both used Stonarhini (ストナリニ), and while David didn’t get too drowsy, I felt like I had just taken a Benadryl (it knocked me out for hours). It claims to use less of the ingredients that make you drowsy, but it may be best to try it on a day you don’t have to go out and do anything, just to see how your body reacts first. — CLICK HERE to read 11 more ways to defeat hay fever this year.

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