From time immemorial, Japanese people have devised inventive and ingenious ways of making life pleasant during the hot, humid summers. Today, that ancestral wisdom continues to create refreshing summer moments and soothing scenes.
The “heat of vaporization” effect, in which water absorbs heat energy from the atmosphere as it evaporates, has recently drawn attention as a way to lower air temperature. The custom of sprinkling water (uchimizu) on streets, which has been passed down by Japanese households from ancient times, is a form of inherited of wisdom that also takes advantage of that effect. The tradition has been enthusiastically embraced as a method to cope with modern urban heat, with attempts to bring coolness to entire cities being carried out nationwide.