The Magic Pattern-Changing Umbrella

File this one under “Objects that I need immediately despite not knowing that they existed until yesterday.”

So, the rainy season is upon us here in Japan, and as the raindrops fall gently outside my window (Is there any more relaxing sound?) my mind wanders to my umbrella. Heaven forbid you should get caught in a downpour without an umbrella–as soon as the clouds start to open all the combinis and departments stores instantly wheel out their portable brolly displays, full of products raining from ¥100 to ¥10,000 and more.

I tend to lose my umbrellas (I consider them donations to the great karmic cycle of umbrellas–sometimes they enter your life, sometimes they leave your life) so I usually go for the cheaper end of the scale. Sean prefers the fancier stock, carbon fiber this and wind-proof that, saying that it will last longer and provide better coverage. He would prefer to buy 1 nice umbrella rather than 10 cheap ones, whereas I’d prefer to buy 10 cheap ones rather than lose 10 nice ones.

This umbrella, however, might just change my mind. It’s a pretty simple idea, but just plain nifty. When it gets wet, a pretty pattern magically appears. Using a combination of water repellent and water absorbent areas, the pattern only appears with the application of water (something that umbrellas tend to see a lot of, of course.)  How cool is that? Isn’t it pretty?

Simple, elegant, and lovely. They aren’t even that expensive, either–one on Rakuten will only set you back about ¥3000 or a bit over $30. That’s less expensive than half of the umbrellas in this house!

The magic in action:

Cheers to TokyoBounce for pointing out yet another product that I must have!

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About superhappyawesome

Living in Japan!
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8 Responses to The Magic Pattern-Changing Umbrella

  1. NTG says:

    They are really super nice. I got one in Kamakura, as well as a non-changing one that doubles as a UV-protection parasol.

  2. So cute! I have a collection of cheap umbrellas that I take to work when it’s raining in the morning… sometimes the rain stops by the time I leave, and I don’t want to carry the stupid thing home with me. So I don’t feel bad about leaving it behind. I have a super amazing purse umbrella that is like… spring loaded and impossible to close, and a red one that I keep borrowing from Sarah (like… 3 times now) and then my ~fancy~ one that is blue and green checked pattern. But lord knows how many clear plastic ones I’ve lost. Or left behind. Or “forgotten”. This one is pretty though. I want it just because of that.

    • Yeah, I think that’s the best, to just keep a range for different situations. I loooove the cheapy plastic ones (and don’t feel bad when I abandon them!) but there is something nice about a REAL umbrella, especially if it’s pretty!

  3. Kaori says:

    I like the small foldy umbrellas since the rain here is so random and I really hate carrying around an umbrella. But this one is really cute…I might actually WANT it to rain! 😀

  4. allie says:

    Even though I’ve only been in Japan a few times I’ve probably gone through 10 or so of the clear plastic umbrellas you can get at the 100 yen shop ^_^;. Like Caroline said, if it becomes sunny out you don’t feel bad about not carrying it home (or to a hotel, in my case).

    By the way, I just got the melon Kit Kats the other day! I’ll be doing a blog on them soon. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! ❤

  5. amblerangel says:

    SO many things to love about the rainy season- just sayin’

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