June 13, 2013

Rainy Day Cyclists in Tokyo

When your primary mode of transport is the bicycle, like it is for many in Japan, you have to be prepared for nasty weather.

Over the past few days a slow moving typhoon has bought unending rain to Tokyo, but most cyclists are prepared as June is traditionally the rainy season in Japan. In the weeks leading up to today stores around the country have been pushing wet weather goods in anticipation of the wet season.

Japanese cyclists use many methods to keep dry including rain ponchos or waterproof jackets and pants.  The dangerous (and technically illegal) practise of cycling one handed while holding an umbrella remains ever popular, with Japanese police doing little to stamp out the practise.

Cyclists battling the elements in Tokyo.
Cyclists battling the elements in Tokyo.
A page from a department store catalogue advertising rain wear for cyclists.
A page from a department store catalogue advertising rain wear for cyclists.
Cyclist in Tokyo wait patiently in the rain for a commuter train to pass.
Cyclist wait patiently in the rain for a commuter train to pass.
Cycling while holding an umbrella in Tokyo
Cycling while holding an umbrella is punishable by a Y50,000 fine. Police rarely enforce this and cycling with an umbrella is widely practised all around Japan.
Cycling in ponchos in Tokyo
Ponchos! Another popular way to stay dry while cycling in the Japanese rainy season.
Cycling in wet weather clothing in Tokyo
Waterproof jacket and pants. The ultimate way to stay dry in the bicycle but with the high humidity inside is like a sauna.
Personally I use, and highly recommend, a Cleverhood cloak in the rain.  What are your tips for staying dry on the bike?

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