Fall chill

Fall chill

It’s been cold this week as fall deepens. We’ve turned on our new gas heater, made plans to put up curtains to better insulate the apartment, and bundle up when going outside. It’s hat, gloves and scarf weather.

This being Tokyo, it’s also a wonderful opportunity to wear my favorite passive-aggressive “health” product, the face mask. It can be seen as a sign of courtesy since you don’t want others to catch your cold or flu. It can also be a way to ward off others’ contagions. Wearing it requires some adjustment, especially on a bike, when the mask tends to fog up your glasses.

The other strange cold weather accessory is the kairo (カイロ), an often disposable heat pack you put in your coat. My baby friend Akachan at the ceramics studio has a cute woven cozy, shaped like a turtle, for his plastic warmer. I will have to try this out soon.

Kairo カイ


  1. I love how you made the mask sound like this season’s must-have fashion item!! I think I tend to unconsciously inch away from people wearing them but I’ve often wondered how Japanese consumers choose the right mask. Granted most of them are some shade of white, but have you seen how they range from very basic gauze rectangles to being beak-shaped in order to mold around your nose and with accompanying “breathable” panels? It’s beyond me…

  2. Yes, it’s very hard to choose just the right mask. Green-eyed geisha, you’re also right that another benefit of mask-wearing is a few more millimeters of personal space, as others try to avoid contagion. Maybe I should wear it every day? Have you tried it?

  3. has anyone thought about putting art or messages on the masks? Rolling Stones tongue? “I’m not sick, just a hypochondriac?”

  4. I have never succumbed to the mask unfortunately, so I can’t speak from experience. But if I was to succumb, I might go for one of the LV or Burberry masks…if I’m going native I might as well go the whole way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s