Fun Japan Fact: UmbrellasChristopher | June 20, 2009
According to my highly scientific methods of calculation, there appears to be seven umbrellas for every person in Tokyo.
Let’s start with the rain itself. During the rainy season, also known as tsuyu (梅雨), it probably will rain every day. My limited experience with tsuyu tells me that it won’t rain all day, every day. The rain comes in the morning or the evening for a couple hours.
Chances are that you’ll forget your umbrella at home if it’s sunny in the morning and you’ll need to buy a new one. I did this a couple times during my two week stay. Fortunately you can get a cheap clear umbrella at any convenience store for 1-200 yen. You can get a decent umbrella for 5-700 yen. A deluxe umbrella with a nice pattern on quality fabric at a outdoor shop or department store shouldn’t cost you more than 2000 yen.
Chances are that you’ll forget your umbrella on the train. Every time we rode the train to the end of a line, conductors would sweep through and gather up an arm full of umbrellas left throughout the cars. Your chances to forget your umbrella increase five times when you hang it on a hand rail. They go up twenty times if your mind is occupied with thoughts of a pretty girl or negotiating multimillion dollar import/export deals.
Chances are that you’ll forget your umbrella at some place of business. Most shops, restaurants, and other places of business have racks outside for you to place your umbrella so you don’t track water all over their floor like some kind of heathen. Your chances to forget your umbrella increases about three hundred times when it stops raining while you spend a few hours relaxing at the onsen.
As you might imagine, all these factors lead to you losing your umbrella once or twice. And if you’re a social person who entertains guests from time to time, someone will probably leave a couple umbrellas at your place as well.