It's time for Warm Biz...already?!

Good morning everyone,

It was a bit cool yesterday, wasn't it? What's going on with the weather? I swear I was wearing shorts on the ride to work last week and this week, I'm wearing three layers! I'm going to need gloves in a week or so....anyway...it's supposed to be around 17C  and sunny today and most of the week will see sunny skies and highs in the high teens. Overnight lows will be pretty chilly though, overnight lows will drop down to around 8C or 9C...

The Environment Ministry on Tuesday urged workers across Japan to wrap up for winter as the energy-saving Warm Biz campaign got under way.

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However, the weather didn’t cooperate with much of Japan yet to experience cold temperatures. In Tokyo on Tuesday, the temperature rose to 21 degrees, but is expected to reach only 14 degrees on Wednesday before going up again. The Environment Ministry is calling on offices and homes to set heaters and air conditioners no higher than 20 degrees C and keep warm the “old-fashioned way.” (Hmmm...to me, the 'old-fashioned way' means cuddling up with someone under the covers. Is this also part of the governments plan to increase the number of babies being born? Are people encouraged to do this at work? Ha ha!)

Average temperatures in Tokyo fall to around 6-8 degrees C in January and February and the ministry is advising people to wear extra layers of clothes and eat hot meals to keep out the cold. The ministry suggests putting on scarves, gloves, stomach warmers, and leg warmers or two pairs of socks during the day.

For dinner, it recommends a traditional Japanese hotpot. “You can lower the heat if you enjoy ‘nabe’ with your family and friends, making both bodies and the room warm. The temperature will feel higher than it actually is thanks to steam from the pot,” the ministry website says. Eating root vegetables and ginger will help to “warm the body up,” it says, adding that getting off the train a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way to work will boost circulation.

Warm Biz was first introduced in 2005 as a follow-up to the Cool Biz campaign during the summer. But it didn’t really get much attention until 2011 when the government began promoting it heavily due to fears over a potential electricity shortfall following the March 11 disaster.

The Warm Biz campaign runs through next March 31 (and the Cool Biz campaign will start on April 1)...ha ha!

Have a great day and keep warm!

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