The OTHER famous spring season

Embracing allergy season, one Japanese nose bra at a time

People strolling by tulips and cherry trees in Showa Kinen Park

Ahhh, spring is here, and in Japan, that means it’s time for The Annual Season!

Cherry blossoms? No, ALLERGIES.

Showa Kinen Park with blooming tulips and cherry trees, with mask-wearing visitors highlighted

And it’s not actually the cherry blossoms that are the big culprits, it’s those dang cedar trees that produce all the fragrant wood used in traditional Japanese buildings.

Fortunately, Japan Inc is ON IT. Forget what your mother told you never to do, and when the cedar boughs do their worst, poke one of these ingenious little devices firmly up each nostril. They’re a lot more comfortable than the Legos you tried that with as a child, plus they claim to catch 99% of the pollen that would otherwise make your life a living hell for three months a year.

Photo of Pit Stopper nostril inserts to stop hay fever
In case it’s not obvious how you use these, I hope you read Japanese, because “Mask inserted in nose of not seeing” may not help you much

And if you prefer a disposable model, try these little dandies. They look like nose bras but claim to be invisible when worn.

Photo of Hana Hana Ippi nostril inserts to prevent pollen allergies
Six allergy-busting C-cups to a pack!

Of course, if you’ve got serious larceny to commit, and those pesky trees insist on blooming, this hay-fever-be-gone solution neatly solves all your sneezing and identity-concealment problems with one stylish solution.

Photo of red plaid allergy scarf used for allergy season
Sadly, the cedar pollen season has been in full swing since February, so this photo was taken before the current virus scare, when ordinary surgical masks were still for sale – they’re, of course, the everyday go-to for allergy sufferers, since they can usually be bought at any convenience store.

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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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