As the last of the sakura petals fall, a lush wave of greenery washes over Japan, welcoming the warmer days of spring. However, before summer can truly arrive, the country is met by a month-long rainy season, or tsuyu (梅雨=plum rain). This unpredictable season brings a mixture of heavy rain, extreme humidity, high winds, and unstable temperatures. Here are a few tips and tricks to survive the rainy season of Japan, and to even enjoy it!
The ‘Tsuyu’ Essentials
Going to work during the rainy season can impose many unpleasant hurdles such as commuting in the rain, walking into heavily air-conditioned rooms, and being surrounded by extreme humidity. A few tsuyu season must-haves for any woman on the go in Japan are body wipes, stick hair wax, blotting paper and powder, and a small towel. Many of these items are centered around being convenient, portable, and mess-free and to keep a fresh appearance throughout the day. All of these items (and more!) can easily be stored in the kay me Boxy Pouch, which comes in two sizes, small and large. Keep your items not only neat and organized in your bag, but it also adds extra protection from sudden rainfall with its water-repellant surface!
Dressing for the Office
Workwear can also make a great difference in how comfortable you stay throughout your day and in recent weeks, we have seen more and more interest our Cotton-blend Suit range. A recommendation for all-day comfort is our Gray Stretch I-Line Trousers, which feature a slightly shortened hem which will prevent them from being soaked from sudden rain or unexpected puddles. The cotton blend jersey material used is light, breathable, and quick-drying and after a long day, you can also throw it in the wash, hang it up to dry and have a fresh set for the next day. Pair these trousers with your favorite top and the matching Cotton Blend Jersey jacket for an instantly gorgeous and comfy rainy day outfit!
As a way to subside the humidity, many workplaces keep their air-conditioning on, which can result in a chilly atmosphere, especially coming inside after being dampened by the rain. To avoid the cold workplace, we recommend packing an extra, lightweight layer that can be easily thrown on whenever additional warmth is needed. A suggestion we have is our White Kanazawa Side-Slit Cardigan! This lightweight cardigan provides breathable coverage all the way down to the knees and features the perfect design to pair with any dress or outfit. Simply throw this cardigan over when you feel chilly, or even drape it over your knees when working at your desk. The possibilities of this versatile piece are endless!
Traveling in the Tsuyu season
Many may feel discouraged from traveling on rainy days, but with the right location and attire, it can easily make for a charming adventure. Like the crimson red momiji leaves in the autumn and the blush-colored petals of sakura blossoms in the spring, tsuyu season is most famous for their breathtaking ajisai (hydrangea) blooms. Hydrangeas in Japan range from white, blue, purple, red, and any mixture of these colors. The scenery of an ocean of bloomed ajisai is one that many local Japanese people leave the comfort of their homes for, despite the gloomy weather. During this time, many places partake in ajisai festivals filled with traditional Japanese cuisine, contests, and various entertainments that can be enjoyed by all ages. Temples around areas such as Kamakura and Kyoto are also popular locations to enjoy hydrangea blooms as they are often planted along the entire pathways leading to and around the temples. For a stroll around the temples of Kamakura, we recommend a lightweight cotton dress, like our Khaki Cotton Shirt Dress, which helps wick away moisture for lasting, soft comfort.
As it is likely that you will need to hold an umbrella when exploring Japan during tsuyu, it is highly recommended that you carry a bag that will free up both arms. A perfect travel companion is our 29 Pocket Wallet Bag, which easily fits all of your necessities (and more!) into a compact bag that can be worn three ways; as a clutch, shoulder bag, and crossbody. Wear the 29 Pocket Wallet Bag as a crossbody to free both arms for your umbrella in one hand and your phone in the other to take snapshots of the gorgeous hydrangea in the rain!
Whether experiencing tsuyu at work or on your days off, there are several ways to make the experience much more enjoyable. For example, shopping for a new favorite pair of rain boots, or taking a stroll around your local area in a different light, or rather an overcast. No matter what you do during this season, if you are planning to step out of the house, be sure to grab your trusty umbrella and any other rain gear to avoid any unexpected downpours. Keeping these tips and tricks in mind will surely make this rainy season not only a breeze, but also filled with exciting opportunities to explore Japan!