Humid air and heavy grey clouds messing up the usually bright blue Tokyo sky – rainy season will have us pretty soon in Tokyo… During this period before the boiling hot summer arrives, people’s moods tend to be just as depressed as these terrible never ending days of constant rain. But wait, there must be a way to enjoy this season to some exhilarating extent! For you, PingMag picked up 7 fun items to get through these dull and wet days.
Written by Ryoko
Translated by Natsumi Yamane
1. Be prepared for every imaginable incident with a stand umbrella including brolly with cover:
At this time of the year, we are forced to carry umbrellas everyday to seek shelter from those damn sudden showers. But how to spontaneously react if a granny trips over in a puddle right in front of you? Oh no! Your hands are full with a bag in your right and an umbrella in your left hand, so that trying to help the granny up might end up poking the person behind instead! Awkward situation, indeed. Enter the Stand Umbrella – a self-supporting umbrella from the design company 100％ that comes in handy! This stylish and lightweight umbrella can stand on its own on any flat surface. How practical, how Japanese.
Also, in Japan, you find plastic umbrella covers at every shop, every building entrance to prevent floors from getting slippery. Unfortunately, they are disposables to be thrown away in no time. Bad! You certainly don’t want to end up flat on the floor – but as a respectable adult, environmental issues shouldn’t be ignored either. Take a closer look then at the Etiquette Jump Umbrella: an umbrella with a telescopic plastic cover by rain expert Lieben! This parasol specialist has been in business for more than 50 years and definitely knows how to handle heavy rain falls. Perhaps, this rather Doctor Nakamatsu-ish invention could soon catch on in Japan!?
How clever: the ”Etiquette Jump Umbrella” with a telescopic cover by rain expert Lieben.
Sophisticated: The cap on the telescopic end can be taken off to pour out the water.
2. Wet in transportation: Better try the umbrella stand for bicycles!
No more wet hair days! ”Dokodemo-Sasube”, meaning ‘open up anywhere,’ keeps your clothes dry – though not all of your jeans and shoes…
Apparently though nothing special in Osaka, the sight of ladies pedaling away on bicycles with brollies fixed on to the handles is still rare in Tokyo – but this clever trend is catching up in Japan’s main city, too. If you are a Tokyoite wondering how that could possibly work, “Dokodemo-Sasube” from Unite Co. Ltd. is the answer. This item can allow you to go out on your bike in the rain and keep your perfect wardrobe intact. However, beware of strong winds! Come on, try one out in this year’s rainy season in Tokyo!
3. Oops, wet clothes – instant drying with the aluminium laundry hanger for walls:
In addition to the humid air, the worst thing during rainy season is not being able to dry the laundry outside. If you don’t have a dryer and are forced to hang your laundries in your room, the limited space situation in Tokyo’s flats makes the process even more awkward…. Moreover, if you hang an ordinary laundry hanger from a wall, it gets lopsided and the washing doesn’t get dry properly. BUT! This fabulous aluminium laundry hanger from MUJI is shaped like the letter D to stay level when hanged from walls or curtain railings. Again, Japanese pragmatism!
4. Fancy wardrobe: rain coats and rain boots!
You might be the kind of person who’s just as happy with rainy days – as long as the outside situation doesn’t affect your style habits and you can dress up still hip enough for your Shibuya hood. First, the standard rain coats and rain boots might be a good start. And as a fashion conscious person, you might have already checked out the popular ones from Emilio Pucci, also Kate Moss’ favourite rain shoes. But if you want to be ahead of the crowds, how about visiting “RAINDROPS,” a select shop in the Tokyo neighbourhood of Daikanyama? The place is filled with all kinds of fashionable products, including a red poncho resembling the one Little Red Riding Hood used to wear and cute rain boots (which the girl in red probably would have liked as well). They can surely brighten up your dull rainy days!
No car will ever run you over in the grey rainy streets with this red poncho.
A stylish pair of rain boots.
5. You saw it coming: dog rain coats!
You are the kind of person who is in possession of a little fury something and you happen to love this canine friend dearly. So, you feel like going out for walk on a wet day but you are worried that this would cause your friend too much trouble as it might drown in a gigantic puddle? Maybe you believe that dogs wouldn’t want to get soaked either… and yes, you may be right – but your four-legged friend might not always agree. What about either this Bat-Wan Rain Coat or its matching version, the Super-Wan Rain Coat, we found at Famille in Shimokitazawa? Check out these special rain coats on the theme of Hollywood heros! Oh my, the doggie Batman! No doubt their dazzling presence will get your neighbours’ attentions!
OMG! The ”Super-Wan Rain Coat.”
Batmaan! ”Bat-Wan Rain Coat.”
6. Mizutori-Zosan – the Dehumidifying Elephant:
Humidity is usually the main culprit for mouldy smelly rooms, so a dehumidifier is an important factor in maintaining people’s lives comfortable. “Mizutori-Zosan”, meaning “Dehumidifying Elephant,” is a clever item that sucks up humidity just like the nose of an elephant would, if we follow this metaphor to its end. Moreover, a surprising fact about this product is that “Mizutori-Zosan’s” distributor is OKAMOTO – which happens to be an internationally renowned condom maker. You must be wondering why a condom maker is selling a dehumidifier… Apparently, the business of “Mizutori-Zosan” was transferred to OKAMOTO by its former manufacturer, Tokuyama Home Products, in 2004. In case you had second thoughts: Don’t worry, it’s not made out of rubber!
7. New trend for the catwalk! Shoe covers!
To keep your Jimmy Choos always dry: the ”Excel-fit (for high-heeled shoes).”
You’ve got a date with your boyfriend, respectively girlfriend (as in Tokyo, boys like to wear purses, dresses, and even stilettos a lot, too!), and the weather forecast says it’s going to rain… But we are sure that you don’t want to miss a single chance to show your beautiful legs to your partner, so don’t worrie! Here is “Excel-Fit (for high-heeled shoes)” we found at the Rakuten online market! This product is a fashion cover that protects your precious shoes from sudden rain and splashes of muddy water. Moreover, think of it as a clear day’s fashion item, too! There is a wide variety of colours, so go ahead and choose your favourite one to go with your dating outfit… We wish you all the best!
Bonus: Teru Teru Bozu to make the sky smile again!
Lastly, no rainy season can’t do without the hand-made Teru Teru Bozu! These lovely Japanese amulet dolls made out of cloth are hanging from the balcony trying to cheer up the clouds to let the sun through again… The more dolls, the better!
Teru Teru Bozu: Start by making the head…
… and cover it with a piece of cloth to shape the body.
A strip of ribbon goes very nicely…
… then draw the face…
Let’s pray that these Teru Teru Bozu will bring as much sunshine as possible in the imminent rainy season!
Special thanks to everyone who helped in making this article!