Depending on the time of coming to Japan, you may be surprised by the number of people who are wearing masks. Those who come to sightseeing from countries that do not have the habit of wearing masks may become worried that some terrible infectious diseases may be spreading, but in reality the mask is a very familiar health management product for Japanese people. Evidently, many types of masks are sold on a daily basis when entering convenience stores and drugstores that fill towns.
There are three main reasons why Japanese wear masks.
①To relieve symptoms of hay fever.
②To prevent spreading of virus around you by coughing, etc. when you have caught a cold.
③To protect the throat from drying and dust.
The peak of hay fever in Japan is February through May. This is because it is during this time that pollen of Cryptomeria and Hinoki mostly spreads, that many hay fever patients suffer. Many Japanese people are bothered by hay fever, which is a type of allergy, and the symptoms are itchy eyes and itchy throat. Although these symptoms are not serious, they are very troublesome when working. In order to suppress these symptoms as much as possible, it is best not to inhale pollen that is scattered in the air even in the city center. In other words, when you see someone who is wearing a mask at this time, it is natural to think that "he is wearing mask to prevent inhaling excessive pollen."
On the other hand, the case of wearing masks in the winter season is considered to be infection control to the surroundings. In a public space, coughing without covering the mouth with one’s hand, or without wearing a mask, etc. can be considered very annoying. Because nobody wants to be infected from viruses from coughing of others, consideration for each other is considered necessary.
Depending on your country, wearing a mask may feel strange at first, but it also has beneficial effects on retaining throat moisture. Since it is sold at a cheap price as low as a few hundred yen at a drugstore or a convenience store, how about trying it if you are interested?