The Japanese are a very conscientious bunch. They have the good of the nation to keep in mind. For example, when they feel a cold coming on, they wear face masks to keep their germs to themselves. It follows that they do not want to inconvenience other people with their soggy umbrellas.
Umbrella Condoms: The thing that first caught my eye, was what Brent referrs to as ‘Umbrella Condoms’. There are machines outside of stores to slide your umbrella in the top and pull it out the side with a plastic bag on it.
Umbrella Lockers: In this scenario, you lock your umbrella up outside the store.
Umbrella Shaking Area: This handy device was spotted outside City Hall and has a tray under it to catch the water that falls off your umbrella when you shake it back and forth.
As much as the Japanese love umbrellas, they seem to lack an American appreciation for SOAP. Yes, handsoap. They do not provide it in the bathrooms! The Japanese ladies I’ve seen quickly rinse their hands and head out. No soap, no paper towels… its pretty amazing that I haven’t gotten sick yet.