Yosei Ninomiya prepares for the arrival of spring much earlier than most people each year, beginning as soon as the new year holiday season comes to a close.

By mid-January, the employee in the sales promotion division at Tokyu Hands' Shinjuku branch is busy putting the finishing touches on a section dedicated to hay fever products. For its 2014 collection, the retailer has assembled more than 100 types of masks, 100 types of glasses and a total of 300 products related to pollen.

Some of the products, like Kowa Co.'s Sanjigen Ko-micchaku Masuku (three-dimensional high-adherent masks), utilize the latest technology to help protect users from hay fever. They are able to prevent users from breathing in particles as small as 0.1 of a micrometer while also keeping their throats hydrated. They come in three different sizes, Ninomiya explains. What's more, Kowa has a selection of masks that exude rose, jasmine, lavender, chamomile and bergamot scents.