Japan's severe heatwave hits 40°C, disrupting travel and posing health risks. Authorities urge caution, advising residents and tourists to stay indoors and hydrated.

Japan Hits 40°C as Severe Heatwave Threatens Health, Travel

(Photo : Julie Fader/Unsplash)

Heatwave Impacts Travel Across Japan

Tourism in Japan and domestic travel are trudging through a scorching summer this year with a harsh heat wave, hitting record temperatures in many places. The temperature hit 40 degrees Celsius, the highest this summer, in Shizuoka this afternoon on this very hot Sunday.

This extreme heat has affected various regions, particularly central Japan, where several cities experienced temperatures close to this high mark.

The heatwave, worsened by a persistent high-pressure system, has caused the number of travel disruptions to skyrocket. Trains and buses are delayed, while local events have been canceled for the sake of public health. 

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued strong advice to avoid any outdoor activities and to stay indoors during the peak hours of the day, especially targeting tourists and locals in planning their travel.

The authorities are also emphasizing the importance of keeping the body well-hydrated and the continuous use of air-conditioning, with the possibility of heat-related illnesses having surged. 

Travel and Tour World reports that cases of heatstroke are surging in hospitals, prompting urgent appeals for public awareness.

The impact on tourism is noticeable. Tourists are warned to continue monitoring local weather forecasts and to plan indoor activities whenever possible. This travel behavior emphasizes the greater implications of such extreme weather conditions, which are expected to increase as climate patterns change.

As this was an unprecedented heat wave, with Japan still firmly in its grip, much attention was focused on methods of safeguarding public health and adapting travel plans to meet the challenging conditions.

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Record Highs Sweep the Nation

On Monday, western and eastern areas of Japan experienced near-record temperatures due to a strong high-pressure system that gave clear skies and intense heat. 

According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, in Shingu City of Wakayama Prefecture, it surged to 39.6 degrees Celsius. In the Fuchu City of Tokyo, it reached 39.2 degrees-the highest on record from this time of year.

Other locations also reeled under the intense heat, with cities like Kuwana of Mie Prefecture and Saitama City in the vicinity of Tokyo climbing to 38.9 and 38.6 degrees Celsius, respectively, while cities in central Japan, like Shizuoka, logged 37.4 degrees. 

Kyoto was burning at 36.7 degrees. Down in the country's southwest, the city of Oita climbed to 36.6 degrees, and even central Tokyo reached 36 degrees.

With temperatures expected to stay above 25 degrees into the night, residents are advised to keep their air conditioners running throughout the night and remain well-hydrated. 

The heat is expected to continue on Tuesday, where Saitama City and Owase City in Mie Prefecture will reach 37 degrees.

The Environment Ministry issued warnings for heatstroke to 11 prefectures that stretched from Kanto to Okinawa. 

It urged everybody to stay inside, stay cool, and keep hydrated, particularly among the elderly and young children vulnerable to the serious dangers of heat-related illnesses during this intense heat.

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