May 29, 2013

Rainy season has come in the Kanto area. Oh no! Too early!!

Today the Japan Meteorological Agency announced that the rainy season (it is called tsuyu) has started in the Kanto region, in Tokyo. Unbelievably early! According to the agency, this is the third earliest start in 62 years.

My friends and I were thinking of having a drink at an outdoor beer hall in Shibuya this weekend, but we probably have to change the plan.

Normally tsuyu begins in mid-June and lasts about a month. The weather forecast says that tsuyu of this year will end around July 20 as in other years. Ummm.... this means we'll have at least 10 more rainy days than usual.

If you are planning to visit Japan during the rainy season, don't forget to bring an umbrella! Though I know some of you don't like carrying it around, but if you are walking in the pouring rain without an umbrella, soaked to the skin, people might think you are weird and feel like staying away from you. (Be careful!)

Generally speaking, Japanese hate getting wet even a little bit, and many of them use an umbrella until it stops raining completely. Actually, so do I. When I go out without an umbrella and it suddenly starts to rain, I rush into a convenience store or a supermarket to buy one.

If you don't have an umbrella, why don't you buy a simple transparent plastic umbrella for 100 yen at Daiso or other all 100-yen store chains? You can throw it away or give it to someone before getting on the train.

But I want to strongly recommend women to get a 500-yen folding umbrellas that you can easily find at "all girly things" stores. They are compact, good quality, light-weight and come in a great variety of colors and patterns. They can become good souvenirs for you and your friends. The photo below is the one I got three years ago, and I'm still using it.

By the way, when you bring your wet umbrella into shops or buildings, you are required to pick one of the plastic bags found at the entrance and put the umbrella in it, to prevent the floor from becoming  wet and slippery, and throw it away in a garbage can when you leave.

You might think it is not eco-friendly (I think so too), but it is a kind of etiquette to do so. If it is against your policy, use your own water-proof bag.

Today's useful expression: ねふだを とってください。 Nefuda o totte kudasai.  (Please cut off the price tag.)

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