Things to Do When You Have a Cold in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Things to Do When You Have a Cold in Japan

By Guidable Writers Aug 30, 2016

When you have a cold, how do you get over it? Some people would drink some lemon tea with honey or ginger, chicken soup, or alcohol like a hot wine. There are various ways to get rid of it depending on the country. An unfamiliar climate or air conditioning in Japan might make you catch a cold. The weather in Japan has also been changeable. These days, it is easy to get sick when the season changes. What do Japanese people usually do to recover from a cold? Here are some of ways to get over it.

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<What to eat?>

You have to eat something that are easy to digest.
You should also stay hydrated and get vitamin C.

– Okayu

Most Japanese people eat Okayu, which literally means rice porridge, when they have colds. Okayu is made from rice, water and pinch of salt. Some people might use brown rice instead of white rice. You can also enjoy various tastes by adding some toppings such as umeboshi, eggs, vegetables, ginger or green onions as you like. You can make it by using rice cooker easily and quickly.

You can also get a pouch-packed food on a super market like below.


– Grated Apple

I would say most people remember that they were given grated apple when they had colds in their childhood. Apple regulates intestinal function and also have a lot of mineral, kalium and dietary fiber.


<Medicine and drink>

– Kakkonto

This is a herbal medicine which originally comes from traditional Chinese medicine. Many people take this medicine as home remedy for fevers or headache especially when they are coming down with colds.

– Sport drinks, Energy drinks

Some people drink energy drinks. It helps you get better faster but please have energy drinks that don’t contains caffeine to avoid falling asleep.


<Preventing colds>

– Wash your hands and gargle

Gargling with green tea is better especially for coughs. Because catechin in the green tea is highly effective at killing bacteria and other virus which causes inflammation and pain in your throat. So it works for sore throat and get rid of them and also includes a lot of vitamin C.

– Wearing a Mask 

You might be wondering why Japanese people wear masks when they have colds. Especially for people from western countries, it would seem strange. The reason why they wear masks is that they try to keep their mouth hydrated. They also try to prevent the spread of germs to be considerate of others.

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If you get a high fever of 38 degrees or more for more than 3 days, please go to the hospital quickly. When you catch the flu, you must stay for at least five days to prevent the spread of it and sleep well!