There are so many things to love about Japan: the culture, fashion, trends, and trustworthy people. Many even claim that you could leave your things unattended for hours, even days, and you can come back to find they’re exactly where you left them.
With that said, Tokyo launched an umbrella-sharing service called iKasa (kasa being the Japanese word for umbrella) that put a lot of trust in people. With the weather being so unpredictable, umbrellas are a must-have item before leaving the house. However, people sometimes forget to bring one, and that’s when iKasa come in handy.
The umbrella-sharing service is available at several locations in Tokyo, including the Shibuya area.
Here’s how it works:
- Add iKasa account as a friend on LINE
- Press the “Rent an Umbrella” button
- Click on a spot that’s close to your current location. Check if the place is open and if there are any available umbrellas
- Proceed to the spot, scan the QR code on the handle and the umbrella is yours for the day
- Once you’re done using it, scan the QR code at the return stand
The rental umbrellas come at a very reasonable ¥70 (approx. USD 0.63) per day, paid via a registered credit card. For that fee, users can check out and return umbrellas as many times as they want in the day. The umbrellas are returned by scanning the QR code at a return stand.
If you forget to return your umbrella, you’ll be charged for extra days, but only up to ¥420 (approx. USD 3.78) at which point the umbrella’s basically yours to keep since they will not be charged beyond that amount.
This system has been running for a few months now, and the management is happy to report that the return rate for the umbrellas is at 100 percent. Other countries like China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia also did similar initiatives before but the results were pretty embarrassing.
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