Air Circulation

The other day, I opened my shoe cabinet to get my rain boots. And what do I see – green mould everywhere. I got quite the shock when I found it on all my leather shoes. Great. But even more so: I found mould inside a kitchen cabinet. The rest of the day was filled with an unexpected emergency cleaning with lots of vinegar.

In all my years in Japan, that’s the first time that has happened to me. Generally, it’s not unheard of, especially during the humid summer months, but so far, at least in the old apartment, plastic-wrapped toast and some fruit I left outside were the only things to get mouldy.

The problem seems to be that there is not enough air circulation downstairs, even though it’s several degrees cooler than upstairs. At night, I keep the kitchen closed because I don’t want Pumpkin to jump up the gas stove and turn it on accidentally. The front door doesn’t have a fly screen, and since Pumpkin isn’t allowed outside (except for his morning excursions into the garden on a leash), it needs to stay closed at all times as well. And although my office window is open all day at the moment, it’s obviously not sufficient to get fresh air into the genkan.

The genkan seems to be quite humid to begin with, and I’m not sure why. Especially on rainy days, the floor is moist; it seems as if the moisture is coming up from the ground underneath it, probably because of insufficient waterproofing. Fixing this will probably involve digging up the whole entrance area, so it’s out of budget at the moment.

For the time being, I’ll probably have to buy dehumidifiers for the shoe cabinets at least: little boxes with salts inside that turn to jelly as they absorb moisture. I hope these are not just available in Hong Kong.

One thought on “Air Circulation”

  1. Wow, I know Japan is humid in summer. But this level of humidity is bonkers. Most Austrians already hate how humid our summers get – they have seen nothing yet. 🤣 The one time I was in Japan during summer was enough for a lifetime.
    (On a side note: I am pretty sure I’ve seen those de-humidifier thingies in 100 yen shops. )

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