lifestyle

Tokyo’s new rental umbrella service is perfect for sudden showers, staying dry on the cheap

6 Comments
By Evie Nyan, SoraNews24

Ah, June in Japan. The season of warm weather, early sunrises, and sudden guerrilla storms that come out of nowhere, soak you right down to the underpants, and then leave you steaming in your soggy drawers for the rest of the inexplicably bright day.

Naturally, in ultra-prepared Japan, it’s easy to pick up a plethora of rainy day goods like rubber shoes, foldable ponchos, and hands-free umbrella hats. But with such unpredictable skies, it’s honestly a huge pain in the butt to have to schlep around a crowded city carrying a bunch of bulky rubber and plastic accessories.

Enter Tokyo’s new, state of the art umbrella-sharing service! It’s a step up from last summer’s honor-system secondhand umbrella vending machines because you don’t get stuck with a soggy, moldy old umbrella when you can’t find another vending machine to return it to. Instead, you can pick up a brolly when rain threatens, and then use your phone’s GPS to return it at another location in the city as soon as the skies clear.

The so-named “iKasa” service actually began in December of last year, and for for a mere 70 yen a day you can rent an umbrella at one of the pickup/drop-off stations across Tokyo, and also in Fukuoka prefecture down south.

To use the service, you’ll need to add the “iKasa” account to your friends on the Line messaging app, and then link your credit card or Line Pay account. That done, simply use your phone’s GPS with the app to locate one of the umbrella stations, or “Spots”, and scan the QR code on the handle of the umbrella to access a three digit code, which can be used to unlock the umbrella from the stand.

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You can technically keep the umbrella as long as you want, but you’ll keep being billed for it until you return it to another “Spot” and scan the QR code located on the stand to confirm that you’ve returned the umbrella.

ll of this might seem like a little bit of a hassle, but it’s better than carrying a bulky umbrella around all day or having to shell out 500 yen a pop for an umbrella from the convenience store if you happen to get caught in some of Japan’s pelting rainstorms this rainy season.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese drinks company attaches free “rental umbrellas” to its vending machines in Osaka

-- How to protect your umbrella from rampant umbrella thieves in Japan

-- Japanese company’s hands-free umbrella looks like a giant condom for your head【Photos】

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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What a ridiculous idea.

Just invest in a good umbrella and make sure you don't leave it on the train or infront of some conbini or Izakaya whilst drunk .

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sounds like a winner for people easily wowed by tech and a bit weak at the ol' arithmetic.

A trope on Japanese tv is to show people struggling with umbrellas in typhoons. For 70 yen, you could borrow one of these and save your own from damage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

i am pretty sure its easier to get a 100Y one and it will be all yours for just 38 yen more.... you could even leave it where the hell you want and not worry about extra payment...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What a ridiculous idea.

Just invest in a good umbrella and make sure you don't leave it on the train or infront of some conbini or Izakaya whilst drunk .

Easy, don't cry.. it's a good idea..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

l always have a a folding umbrella with me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Shoot, I'd forget me old haid if it wasn't halfway attached. I like the ¥70 umbrella rental system. Will probably using it soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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