Jun 1, 2016

Surviving Rainy Season (Without a Car)

For those of us in the south, rainy season has already started (though we do seem to be enjoying a brief respite).  Rainy season can be difficult to get through if you are not properly prepared and equipped.  If you have a car, you can escape the weather a bit by ducking into the delightfully climate-controlled vehicle, but if not, you are stuck with the problem of needing a rain-suit or an extra large umbrella for your daily commute.  After three years of extensive research and analysis, I am here to present my findings.

If you are like me, you have two choices when it comes to your commute.  You can either bike (the quicker but often wetter choice) or you can walk (slower, but your head will stay drier).  Either way, you have to be willing to sacrifice some part of your body to the rain.  For me, the choice normally comes down to one factor: which way is it raining?  Is it raining straight down?  Or is it raining diagonally and seemingly completely horizontally?  If it is raining straight down, I normally opt for the umbrella route.  For that, you will need:

    1. A change of socks  (this is always good to have on hand, because you never know)
    2. Waterproof shoes: I had a really hard time finding rainboots that a) fit my calves and b) fit my feet.  In the end, I realized that in the past I had just coated my hiking boots with a hydrophobic spray and used those.  It took a little searching, but I was eventually able to find a waterproofing spray that works really well.  I was even able to make my canvas slip-ons waterproof.  The spray I used was:  万能防水スプレー 
    3.    Quick drying pants: If you are wearing pants and not a skit, they are probably going to get a bit wet at the bottom.  Either from just walking or the occasional car passing you without concern for spraying you.
    4. An umbrella, obviously
    5. A small towel

If it is raining any other direction (diagonally, horizontally, whirlwind-ly), then I bike because I’m going to get wet either way, so I might as well have a shorter commute. This does require more prep, though:

    1. Running tights or shorts
    2. Wicking/quick drying shirt
    3. Glasses case
    4. Work shirt
    5. Work pants
    6. Towel
    7. Rain pants
    8. Raincoat
    9. Waterproof hiking boots
    10. Helmet
    11. Waterproof backpack cover (sometimes, normally my backpack is waterproof enough)

At work I also have all the needed things for a sink-shower in a locker in the ladies' changing room.  I get to work a little early, change into my work clothes there, and hang everything to dry in the locker.  With a moisture-absorbing pack in the locker, my things are almost completely dry and ready to go by the end of the day.   With all of these preparations done, rainy season is already looking easier and more manageable



An American woman living in southern Japan.
Check out my main blog at: journeyingjodi.wordpress.com/

1 Comment

  • KevinC

    on Jun 2

    Let me add one more item to the list, a mini USB fan to dry your shoes and socks. Warning: Your coworker may hate you for doing this! If you do it immediately after arrived in your office it should be fine.