5 Popular Umbrella Sky Spots in Japan - A New Way to Enjoy Rainy Season

Nationwide Entertainment Tsuyu 2020.06.27
A magical experience, and a great place to take a new profile pic, here are five cool rainy season destinations in Japan that put umbrellas to use!
Rainy season in Japan might bring quite a few downpours, but with the rain comes some beautiful scenery, like fresh green vistas, pale purple hydrangeas, and some great umbrella accessorization. So, as a country that loves its seasonal traditions, it's no surprise that Japan welcomes the addition of new rainy season fun! Originally an installation created as part of an art festival in Agueda, Portugal, the colorful and extremely photogenic roof of umbrellas has spread throughout the world, and similar events are growing in popularity around Japan. Here are five of the most popular renditions held in recent years:

① Shiga ・ The Kusatsu A Square Umbrella Patio

For the past few years, Kusatsu Station shopping facility A Square has been protecting shoppers and diners from the rainy season rain in an especially charming way, hanging rows of brightly colored umbrellas high above the pavement of their SARA courtyard. While COVID-19 has meant the cancelation of numerous events and celebrations across Japan this summer, but A Square is going in the other direction, upping the number of floating umbrellas to 230 in this open-air area. The sun shines through the semi-transparent umbrellas leaving colorful shadows on the ground through the afternoon, and romantic lighting creates atmosphere after sunset.

Dates: June ~ early July, 2020
Official Website (jp)

② Nagasaki ・ Huis Ten Bosch Umbrella Street

Theme park and entertainment destination Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki, built like a little Dutch town, is full of European architecture and tulips (and even more impressive than the Tokyo German Village). During rainy season, umbrellas also make an appearance, hanging over the streets to protect park-goers from inclement weather. Approximately 1,000 umbrellas are hung in the air, forming a makeshift roof that covers 130 meters (427ft) of pathway. The dreamy view of rain rolling off the sides of the umbrellas and LED lights making them glow from below makes it a popular photo spot, but the daytime view of endless colorful umbrellas is lovely too. Get a better look in their official video for the event.

Dates: June ~ July (undetermined)
Official Website (jp)

③ Saitama ・ Moominvalley Park Metsa Umbrella Sky Design Project 2020

Moominvalley Park, in Saitama and an hour or so outside of Tokyo, has only been open for a little over a year now, but they're already putting on some great events. Last year, attached shopping and dining area Metsa hosted an umbrella sky exhibition among the Northern-European style facilities. This year, the exhibition area will be expanded to include spaces inside the Moomin-focused theme park itself. A special rainy season menu will also be available at park eateries, and umbrella-making workshops will be available throughout the event period. Unlike many umbrella festivities, the umbrellas at Moominvalley Parked will be tucked away in forested corners and tree-lined paths, making for a unique experience.

Dates: Moominvalley Park - June 4 ~ August 30, 2020 / Metsa Village - May 22 ~ July 26, 2020
Official Website (jp)

④ Aomori ・ Hachinohe Machiniwa Umbrella Sky

Northern Japan's city of Hachinohe is home to Machiniwa, a building dubbed a "public city square," meant to be a gathering place for the city's residents and visitors. For just the month of June, the wide-open spaces of Machiniwa and the tall roof will be decorated with pale pastel umbrellas that perfectly accompany the space's permanent sculptural installation. The addition lends the "city square" a somewhat futuristic, but surprisingly dreamy quality.

Dates: May 29 ~ June 30
Official Website (jp)

⑤ Nagano ・ Karuizawa Hoshino Resort Umbrella Sky

While the previous four umbrella sky events are great options for 2020 outdoor activities, the 2020 Umbrella Sky at Karuizawa's Hoshino Resort has been canceled. But the quality of their umbrella decorations are too lovely not to share, so we're including them on this list anyway. (Hopefully we can all visit in coming years!) Thanks to the picturesque greenery of Karuizawa, and Nagano Prefecture at large, Hoshino Resort is able to combine the urban and natural qualities seen in other displays, bringing the colorful umbrellas to leisure spaces around the resort. In past years, they've even put together umbrellas and hydrangeas together for decorations that just scream "early summer in Japan"!

2019 Official Website (jp)
Starting with one small festival in Portugal, this unique way of celebrating the rainy summer has become a big hit in Japan. What better way to spend some time outside when there are no sunny days in sight? Each of these "umbrella skies" lets visitors enjoy the rain instead of dreading it, something we can all appreciate!
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