Rainy season officially hit Tokyo last week, turning the bright, modern, clean city into a fetid stew of steaming heat. This year has seen temperatures soar above 30 degrees and humidity levels of over 80 percent, making for a decidedly muggy atmosphere. As we do battle with mold, bad hair and body odor, Japan Pulse takes a look at some ingenious products that can help us get through tsuyu (rainy season).
First up is the Eco Spray, which was released on the market this month. When you start to feel the heat, simply squirt yourself with this “magical” spray to cool down. It’s eco friendly because you can simply refill it with water… Er, so what makes this different from a spray you can buy in the 100 yen store? Well, the magical part is that the water is always kept cool. While this spray might provide quick relief, in the long run, it’s only going to add to your personal pong, as anyone who’s been stuck on the Yamanote line recently will attest: Damp sweaty clothes give off a rather unpleasant stench. This is where aroma sprays come in handy. Designed to mask sweaty stench, you can quite literally come up smelling of roses.
How about not getting wet in the first place? While raincoats are a popular option, even for dogs, they can get hot and sticky inside. Fashionable rain ponchos are a more breathable option and we’re loving these rain stoles from Corazon that come printed in super-cute designs.
The humble umbrella is still a firm favorite during the rainy season and a few twists on the conventional design have come out on the market recently. We like the Samurai umbrella, whose handle resembles the hilt of a noble warrior’s sword and the asymmetric design (made for withstanding high winds) of Senz umbrellas from the Netherlands. The Senz brollies are even available to rent for free at Shibuya Parco from this month as part of the Shibukasa campaign. Aimed at decreasing the amount of brollies that get needlessly discarded every year, Shibukasa is a project allowing customers at Shibuya stores to borrow umbrellas for free when there’s a sudden downpour. When you return an umbrella at a participating store you get a ¥50 discount voucher for your honesty. Nice.
Stylish and pricey rainwear abounds, but we really dig the rain boots from Cream Puff Wars, which are a far cry from dorky galoshes. They come in purple, green, polka-dots and your basic black. And you can’t beat the price: ¥2,900.
If you’re still suffering and want to escape the soupy air of Tokyo, try heading north to the cooler climate in Hokkaido. From the start of July JR Hokkaido are offering a seven-day rail pass for only ¥10,000. Hokkaido is the only area of Japan that escapes the rainy season altogether making it my favorite antidote to tsuyu.