Like the carts that went around plague-stricken Europe in the dark ages, this truck was parked in front of Takadanobaba station today, carting away all the blown-out, abandoned umbrellas left behind after last week’s rainstorm.
Why so many? you may ask. Notice that almost all of them are the telltale clear ¥500 variety bought by hapless individuals who forgot to check the weather report and got caught far from home without a bumbershoot. These umbrellas are worth every yen you pay for them, which is to say that they fall apart after only a few uses. But how to get rid of a broken umbrella? The garbage police are so strict, they certainly won’t cart away a defunct umbrella if you put it out at the curb on non-burnable garbage day, because it’s longer than 30 cm. So the most common solution is to stick the broken one in the wet umbrella rack outside a convenience store, go in and buy a new one, and “forget” to take the old one home with you.
Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo…
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!