Obsessed with keeping dry

Ireland is known for its rain; relentless rain. Yet, I doubt if any Irish person spends time thinking about getting quality rain gear. If you walk down an Irish street when it’s raining, you will see lots of people, usually men, walking without an umbrella. In summer, when it can rain a lot, it is easy to identify the tourists. They are the ones with the waterproof capes, wellington boots and each individual with their own individual umbrella. And all of this rain gear is usually in the colour green; especially if they are from the U.S.

What struck me when I was in Japan last year was that everyone, men and women alike carried an umbrella, and when the rain came (and it did – every day I was there) they shot up. I had never been in a place so populated, and so populated with umbrellas. I just had to get one too. Japan is the land where the concept of convenience is super-accentuated. When a shower of rain starts, big buckets of cheap umbrellas are placed outside convenience stores and for 500 yen (about €5) you can get an umbrella. Another great thing they have for umbrellas is that when you step in to a store from a shower, you can dip your wet umbrella into what I originally thought was a bin until I saw the withdrawn umbrella sheeted in a transparent plastic. This prevents the raindrops dripping off  your wet umbrella when you are walking around the store. Very cool!

For me the best thing about the umbrella I bought was that it was transparent. This transparency, with bubbly raindrops, provided a beautiful filter for me to shoot photographs. Last week, when I was selecting my personal favourites I overlooked these shots. So, to put this right I am posting three of those shots, three which I have framed and hanging in my home. Hope you like them. Full size is on my Flickr account. Just click on the image below.

Tokyo in the rain
Keeping dry in Tokyo
Tokyo life through a transparent 500 Yen umbrella