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Old 09-01-2008, 11:41 AM
1 posts, read 13,360 times
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I lived in Japan for a year. for the most part i enjoyed my time there with one large exception: the insane humidity. i was a walking sweatbag for more than half the year. (i lived about 60 miles north of tokyo) it gave me heat rashes and a bit of acne. additionally, i worked in a a school and public buildings outside of major urban areas in japan are often completely lacking insulation as well as central heat and air. (they also apparently lack a legal limit on what the temperature cannot exceed indoors.)

i know i can just look up on a weather website the exact percentages of humidity and the averages. but that doesn't really give me a good indication of how it "feels". right now i live in the chicago suburbs and the humidity is a bit higher than usual today, about 70%. but even that just doesn't seem to feel as bad as 70% humidity in japan. (perhaps because in japan i would spend all day inside of a filthy, moldy, uninsulated building that was lacking efficient central air)

1. so for those of you who have experienced humidity extremes at both ends (none and a ton), how does hawaii compare?

2. and do most buildings (office, public, apartments) have efficient central air as a standard, like on the mainland?

3. have any of you come to hawaii and experienced any bad side effects because of the humidity?
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:01 PM
Location: Kauai, HI
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The humidity is no where near as bad as what I had experienced in Tokyo when I lived there. UGH that was horrible, a lot like what I had on the east coast...

While there is humidity in Hawaii, it cannot compare to the humidity of Japan. Usually there are trade winds to counteract the humidity and only when the trades die (which isn't that often....) does the humidity really become an issue. Also, except when it is really rainy, the humidity doesn't seem to be as bad in the winter months.

A lot of places here in Kauai do not have A/C. Many offices, restaurants, and public buildings do have AC, but the majority of houses and apartments do not. There are only a few days a year where I wish I had AC, as usually the trades do a great job cooling off my apt.

If you survived the humidity of Japan you can def handle the humidity of Hawaii.
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:28 PM
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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Humidity is generally really high. At the moment it is over 100% but it is also raining right now. Even when it isn't raining, the humidity is generally pretty high. I've never seen the static electricity like folks get on the mainland, I suspect because of our humidity so that might be an indication of how frequently we have high humidity. However, we do have the tradewinds which keep it comfortable. Things mold and mildew with great frequency especially during rainy season, but as far as for folks, it is comfortable enough.

Very few apartment buildings have A/C. Our electric rates are incredibly high (somewhere over forty cents a kilowatt hour) so folks can't afford to run A/C even if they did have it. Even fewer houses have A/C although some of the bigger commercial buildings have it.

A lot of the buildings here are built for the tropics. Wide eaves, shady lanais, louvered everything, big shady trees. When you get new mainland types of construction, then it can be miserable unless you get mainland A/C along with it. On a personal level, cotton and silk clothing does a lot for staying cool and dry. Nylon and polyester are not comfortable at all.
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:22 AM
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Hotcatz must live in a different area than we do. Here in Kihei you'll see AC units sticking out of nearly every dwelling, perhaps because we are hotter than the rest of Maui. The older buildings may not have been built with it, and of course the poorer areas may or may not have a unit but if they do they won't run it as frequently as other areas.

Can't compare to Japan as we've never been there, but humidity varies on the island. I found Wailuku to be much more humid than Kihei. When I was staying with a friend up there, clothing hung to dry inside the house stayed damp into the next day. Here in Kihei it will dry in a matter of hours.

Humidity, like the temperature, is something you adjust to more & more when you live here. Coming off the plane at the airport, you can see people suffering the change from the icy airplane to the hotter/wetter airport. But after a few years here you might start thinking the days aren't getting so hot - nope, it's you adjusting.

Of course I hardly ever wear jeans, or even long pants. I used to wear guys -shirts to do my yardwork, but wised up and now wear tanks and sunscreen.

Most commercial buildings do have AC. Some places are now turning it down so the buildings aren't as cool as before.
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:38 PM
Location: Kauai, HI
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I don't find it to be humid here as much as I find it to be damp. Honestly, the humidity in Japan (and the east coast for that matter) can be oppressive. Going outside for me was a hassle and just sitting around would make you sticky. Here, there is humidity obviously, but it is wet and damp. Does that make sense?
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:36 PM
Location: Sound Beach
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it is not as humid on Oahu than it is in Tokyo...in general. When the trade winds shut down it can get muggy but that does not last long.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:10 PM
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I'm Japanese, been to Japan several times, and recently moved to Oahu.

The humidity is NO WHERE FREAKING NEAR Japan, and it's in the middle of the summer here in Oahu!

I noticed there's not that much ambient heat, but the sun is very strong and that's what makes it warm. In the shade, and when you get the trade winds on you, it's very cool. Even in the "muggy" windward side, its really not that bad.

Again, nothing like Japan, if you have that expectation and you come over here, you're going to be pleasantly surprised!
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