Turn heads everywhere you go this hanami season.

With the sakura trees due to begin blossoming shortly, it’s time to gather up all our cherry blossom-related regalia ahead of this year’s flower-viewing season. And while previous years have seen us reach for our sakura mochi berets and sakura yukatas, this year we’re scrambling to get our hands on another gorgeous spring accessory: The Sakura Casa.

The Sakura Casa (“kasa” is the Japanese word for umbrella) is actually a parasol designed to give the user protection from the sun in fine weather. With its unique cherry blossom shape, the parasol will also give you some shelter from the falling cherry blossoms during your hanami flower-viewing strolls, and attract attention from everyone who passes by.

Not only is the design unique, but the team behind the new product is pretty special too, as it comes to us from Gifu’s Handcraft Artisan House Casa. This company helps to promote local artisans and traditional crafts while preserving centuries-old traditions, which include the art of making Japanese-style parasols.

Each parasol is made by hand, taking months to complete as traditional Japanese paper is carefully stretched around a bamboo frame, with constant adjustments being made to achieve just the right amount of tension so that the parasol opens and closes smoothly.

The parasol also uses only Mino washi, a type of Japanese paper created in Gifu Prefecture, which was designated a Traditional Craft by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1985. Each parasol is made using three different papers, with different levels of thickness, to create the unique design.

Given the length of time it takes to make each parasol by hand, using only the finest materials, these parasols don’t come cheap. In fact, the makers of the Sakura Casa ask that customers who are interested in the product contact them in person or by phone to discuss prices and purchase details.

On sale from 1 April, the sakura version of their umbrella is even more unique than their usual versions, which come with price tags of 19,440-34,560 yen (US$174.18-$309.73). It’ll take us a while to save up enough yen to buy one of these luxury items, so until then we’ll have to make do with our Ghibli umbrellas, which change pattern in the rain.

Store Information

Wagasa Casa / 和傘CASA
Address: Gifu-ken, Gifu-shi, Minatomachi 29
Hours: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

Source, images: Teshigoto Casa
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