Stay dry if not necessarily stylish, even as rainy season does its worst with a giant umbrella hat.

While most Olympic medals for cycling go to other countries, the true kings and queens of cycling are the Japanese. Phone in one hand, umbrella in the other, people here can reach breakneck speeds while dodging pedestrians left, right and centre on a single gear bike. That’s not even counting the ones who do the exact same thing but with a small child seated fore and aft. Most of us though have to give up a hand in order to hold an umbrella when cycling or even just walking, or at least we had to for now there’s a hands-free rain-proofing solution in the form of an umbrella hat actually large enough to keep you dry.

While the lady in the picture above isn’t trying to cycle, she is trying to carry her heavy shopping bags home on a rainy day. In the before photo she laments having to give up a hand to lug around an umbrella when she needs them both to manage her groceries. In the after image, her hands are free to carry her stuff or even to get her car keys out without getting soaked or having to resort to trying to balance the umbrella under her chin. It’s truly mind-boggling that we don’t all already own and wear these magical devices on a daily basis.

With a diameter of about 95 centimetres (a little over 3 feet), the head-worn umbrella will keep more than just your head dry. The raindrop pattern on the exterior means your umbrella will look just as good, or bad, whatever the weather.

Think of what you’d be able to do with both your hands freed up! While the advertising above suggests gardening, fishing and photography, the possibilities are near-endless. You could read manga, juggle, or use both knife and fork while keeping dry. Perfect for British-style rained-out barbecues.

Even on a sunny day the atamabrella, a portmanteau of atama, the Japanese word for head, and umbrella, comes in handy acting as a parasol whether you’re out and about or just paying homage to a classic album cover.

The atamabrellas are available through the Thanko ‘Rare items’ online shop (the same people who have previously opened our eyes to the wonders of nose-trimming smartphone attachments and clip-on armpit fans) for 1,280 yen (US$11.65) including tax. If you haven’t been sold on the concept, just remember that in the umbrella crime-ridden country of Japan, it’s pretty difficult to have your umbrella stolen when it’s physically attached to your head. And if the atamabrella is far too conventional for your tastes, Japan also has samurai sword or cabbage-shaped umbrellas for you to choose from to stop you from getting wet.

Source, images: Thanko
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