Life in Fukuoka "English" Vo.42

2021.01.18[Mon] 09:00


【Dai Kan-the Big Cold, or the coldest season of the year】

Well, I'm sure we've been feeling it as it is winter...that's the cold. And did you know that around the 20th of this month, there is a day called Dai Kan, literally translated as the Big Cold to mark the coldest season of the year?

It's around this time of year that the lowest temperature of the year is observed in various places around Japan. It's also the time in which Kangeiko or Mid-winter exercises are done by those practicing martial arts. The TV news often shows children in their white practice uniforms around the beach training to steel their minds and bodies against the cold.

This cold season is also when things like Nihonshu or sake and Miso are made, which actually takes advantage of the cold. And when we get through Dai Kan, it means that spring is on it's way. So, take care of yourself, try not to get sick, avoid injuries and make your way through this season. In Michigan, winter is just cold through and through and we don't typically expect to thaw out til late March so the only thing to do is to enjoy the winter as best as you can! For me, that always meant sledding on a hill not too far from my house with my dad and sister and drinking lots of hot chocolate after. There aren't really any sledding hills here in Fukuoka but I can still drink hot chocolate to get through the cold days!


【Tips on how to conserve energy in the winter】

So, in this cold, we naturally want to stay warm, but that can get expensive and it's not great  for the environment to be using electricity all the time or burning through gas. So, Fukuoka City has some information  and tips for you to help you out this winter. The city is in fact aiming for a carbon free society in light of global warming. They are working on it but it's also up to each of us to save energy as well. And with some ideas and tricks we can save some money on our electric bills as well.

First, let's talk about conserving heat. These are some pretty simple things that we can all do. Wearing layers of good heat retaining clothing is step one. Setting your heater or unit at 20 degrees Celsius is a fair number to keep it at. We all know that hot air rises, which means that all that lovely warm air from our units goes straight up to the ceiling. To bring it back down again and warm up the whole room, a house fan or circulator pointed up will help to distribute the heat. It seems that a dusty filter on your unit wastes energy so to get the most efficiency out of it, make sure you keep it free of dust with a quick vacuum. Also, be sure to keep the area around the outdoor unit clear of things.

Actually, kotatsu heated tables and electric blankets, compared to air conditioning units, can be used quite cheaply to keep things warm. And when you sleep, you don't even need to use the heat, just stick a hot water bottle in with you at night to stay toasty. This is my go to trick!

That and a fleecy mattress topper or cozy sheets will keep you warm and save you tons on electricity.

Looking at other places in the house, if you set your fridge from the strong setting to the middle setting you can save around 1500 yen a  year. In the winter, setting the fridge to weak or low is enough to keep things cold, so with all of the other tips I mentioned before, it's something you can try to save electricity.

Heated toilets seats are a wonderful thing in Japan and you can very simply save about 1000 yen a year by shutting the lid on them to keep the heat from escaping.

Just little things that we don't normally think about can result in big saving in terms of energy and money. So, as long as you can stay healthy and live comfortably, why not try a few of these tips?


【Prevention of the spread of Covid-19】

Finally, I'd like to just remind you to take care to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Recently, because measures to prevent the spread are being taken, more and more people are getting out. So, wear a mask, wash your hands and gargle and also practice the 3 C's. That means you should avoid closed rooms with poor ventilation try not to be in crowded places and avoid close contact conversations. It's up to each of us to help prevent the spread!


  • Colleen
  • Colleen
  • 誕生日:11月11日
    出身地:USA Detroit, MI
    興味のある事:I'm studying patisserie and languages