Translated by Sandy Lau
Have Fun In The Rain - Finding The Right Japanese Umbrella For You
Written by MATCHA
Looking for a cheery umbrella to brighten up a rainy day or the rainy season? Want a unique souvenir to remind you of Japan every time you use it? Then head to Waterfront in Jiyugaoka, the umbrella specialty shop with 10,000 umbrellas to choose from!
Known for its sudden rain storms and for the rainy season, Japan is one place where you'll want to have an umbrella on hand, especially during the spring and summer. Rainy season lasts for almost the whole month of June, with rains that may last for days on end, or a series of short showers that happen over and over again.
It rains, then stops, then rains again. Hair gets frizzy and loses its style quickly, shoes get soaked, and worst of all, your mood might suffer because of the gloomy skies around you.
If you want to make it through the rains and enjoy your time in Japan, no matter what season you visit in, then you should head to Jiyugaoka, where you'll find the umbrella of your dreams.
Waterfront in Jiyugaoka
Jiyugaoka Station is a chic, suburban station known for its trendy and slightly luxurious air. Our writer was a little nervous visiting this area for the first time, but a feeling of relief came from seeing the shop in front of her.
The moment you stand at the entrance, your mood immediately changes. The stylish interior is filled with umbrellas, umbrellas, and more umbrellas - the entire store is a showcase.
The first floor has a lineup of collapsible umbrellas that had our writer saying, “I didn't know they had stuff like this!” There are various colors, weights, and sizes of umbrellas, with lineups that suit everyone from children to adults.
There were these lovely panda umbrellas.
And these ultralight collapsible Pocket Flat umbrellas that are just 2-5cm wide and can easily fit inside a handbag. They might even be lighter than a smartphone!
We tried opening this light and slightly elegant multi-use umbrella that is also processed to absorb UV rays. It can be a parasol on sunny days and regular umbrella on rainy days.
We also tested the feel of this wonderfully Japanese patterned umbrella that has many metal ribs to make it strong, hard to break, and durable in the wind.
Our writer opened an umbrella that she thought was nice.
And carefully deliberated in front of various types of umbrellas.
“Rifle and cane umbrellas...?"
Our writer continued to be fascinated by these imaginative umbrellas and she wandered around the shop while deliberating.
While being surrounded by so many umbrellas, our writer came to think of umbrellas as a type of fashion item. No, that’s not right. The umbrellas here are cute to the point it’ll make you think, “I want to make it into a fashion item!”
Without realizing it, our writer was stumped on what to choose. “On a day when I’m wearing my favorite dress, what kind of umbrella would be fitting? Or, on a day when I’m wearing a suit, I’d want to have this kind of vividly colored umbrella.” Our writer commented that somehow even the faces of the people she cherished came to mind despite it not being in her character, “I want to give this kind of umbrella to my Mother or Grandma.”
It may have been the first time in her life that she thought of wanting to gift someone an umbrella. To think that umbrellas were this wonderful.
Our writer chose only one umbrella out of 10,000 umbrellas after consulting with an employee. A red umbrella with a transparent handle and rainbow-colored edges. It appears that this umbrella was made in the image of Spectacles Bridge, also called Nagasaki Rainbow Glass, in Nagasaki.
She also bought a collapsible umbrella and the two umbrellas together came out to 2160 yen. The price was so cheap that she thought there must have been a mistake at first. Despite these umbrellas appearing to be handmade one by one by craftsmen, why are they so cheap? This made her think about what other sorts of umbrellas would match each season, perhaps a refreshing blue umbrella in the summer or an earth-colored one in the autumn.
Is this too flashy? But, if it’s an umbrella, you can try colors and patterns that you wouldn’t choose if they were on clothes.
On a day when it is forecast to rain, why not try adding a funky umbrella to your outfit? By having an umbrella that you love, you’ll begin to slightly look forward to the rainy days. Waterfront is a shop that will make umbrella flowers bloom in the rainy streets. We hope that you visit this shop, especially those that hate the rain. Out of those 10,000 umbrellas, you should be able to find your one favorite umbrella. What floor will your destined umbrella be on?
Address: Tokyo, Meguro, Jiyugaoka 1-9-1
Credit Cards: Available
Nearest Station: Jiyugaoka Station, Tokyu Toyoko Line
Access: 1 minute walk from either the Jiyugaoka Station North or South Exit
Price: 700-5000 yen
Website: http://www.water-front.co.jp/index.html (Japanese)