Disposable heating patches on sale in a plethora of sizes.
This was a hard post to title, but it comes about because of my increasing decrepitude as my age advances and the fact that there are some things which are easy to get back home which are damn near impossible to locate in Japan. For reasons I do not understand, getting a hot water bottle or heating pad is difficult here. A sort of heating pad is sold, but it is not designed to be placed against the body but rather as a bed warmer. It becomes too hot when placed next to the skin and isn't designed for that purpose. The lack of a hot water bottle, surely an ecologically sound and useful item for everything from stomachaches to sore muscles to bed warming is puzzling. This is a country which prides itself on having a culture based on not wasting things as part of its older customs (like using a furoshiki instead of a bag to carry lunch), yet they rely on various disposable chemical patches (hokkairo) to deal with aches and to dispense heat. They're not only a waste of money, but a waste of resources.
I won't miss the fact that I have to have people from America send over some rather basic and useful items personal items like heating pads and hot water bottles.