Feb 10, 2014

Souvenir suggestions: disposable toe warmer!

Hi everyone!

I don't know whether disposable body warmer are available anywhere in the world, but I had never found such things in Europe. Do you know what I'm talking about? Often called by a brand name "Hokkairo" (not Hokkaido!) here,  they are small pouches containing iron powder, salt and some water that heat up when exposed to Oxygen in the air.

In Japan these disposable body pads are very popular, almost indispensable items for many women sensitive to cold. I usually don't use them, but last weekend when east Japan was hit by an unexpectedly heavy snowfall, I really thought they are great inventions...

In the Tokyo metropolitan area it snows twice or three times every year, but not much -- normally 5 centimeters at most. But this time, don't be surprised,  27 centimeters of snow accumulated in the center of the capital. In general, densely populated areas like Tokyo are relatively warm; therefore, it does not snow so heavily.

This is the photo I took from my place. I'm living in Yokohama, about 30 min. away by train from Tokyo. My little container garden on the balcony was totally covered with snow. It kept snowing after I took this photo so you can imagine it was like...

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency it was the third heaviest snowfall since World War II. Weather forecasters repeatedly warned people to stay home if possible, but unfortunately I had to go out in the midst of the violent winter storm, as I had bought a theater ticket for that day.

The temperature stayed very low and I was so reluctant to go outside. But I suddenly remembered that I had bought some "disposable toe warmer!" They are a pair of thin adhesive pads you can stick to your socks and keep you warm for 8 hours.

 If you are looking for a nice souvenir for your family or friends from snow countries, I would strongly recommend this toe warmer. You can find them at any drugstores and maybe at convenience stores as well. The one shown in the photo is 500 yen, containing five pairs. Pretty reasonable, isn't it?



東日本 (ひがしにほん) east Japan
珍しく (めずらしく)  rarely
例年 (れいねん) the average year
~程度 (ていど)  about
降る (ふる)  to fall


窓 (まど)  window
撮る (とる) to take (photos)
横浜 (よこはま) Yokohama City
渋谷 (しぶや) Shibuya


気象庁 (きしょうちょう) Japan Meteorological Agency
積雪量 (せきせつりょう)
戦後 (せんご) after the war (normally WWII)
不必要 (ふひつよう) unnecessary
呼びかける (よびかける) to warn
演劇 (えんげき) theatrical play


使い捨てカイロ (つかいすて) disposable body heater
鉄 (てつ) iron
粉 (こな) powder
塩 (しお) salt
少量 (しょうりょう) little
袋 (ふくろ) pouch
酸素 (さんそ) Oxygen
触れる (ふれる) to touch (but in this case "to be exposed")
発熱する (はつねつ) to heat up


つま先 (つまさき) toe
靴下 (くつした) socks
貼る (はる) to stick
温かさ  (あたたかさ) warmness
持続 (じぞく) maintain
お土産 (おみやげ) souvenir


  1. こんにちは、ゆうこさん!

    Wow, that's a lot of snow... It looks pretty in the photo, but I'm sure it's a different story when you're outside! >< It's fortunate that you already had some heat pads! :D

    This is probably obvious, but I've never seen those being sold in Australia. >w< We're more likely to see these in stores:

    Large Eksy containers:

    Gel ice packs:

    It's very hot here, at the moment. Not many people want to go outside. ^^;
    But the good news is that heavy rain is predicted for this week, so we don't have to worry about drought yet. :)

  2. サマンサさん、オーストラリアは今、夏ですね! How hot is it in your town? You already had some rain? Drought must be a worry...

    I hate Japanese summer because the humidity is unbearable, but I heard from my Australia student that Aussie summer is pretty dry and it is cool in the shade. Am I wrong?

    1. はい。It's usually 30 degrees Celsius, throughout the week. Speaking of rain, I can hear a thunderstorm in the distance. ^_^ Thankfully, the rain is still around~~

      Yeah, it tends to be dry over here, so any shady spot is useful! This week, it was somewhat humid though... we keep the windows & curtains shut in the morning, if the day is forecast to be very hot (e.g. 36 degrees C).