It is the middle of summer in Tokyo and it is hot, hot, hot as usual!

The annual Akihabara Uchimizukko (Uchimizu) event was held on August 1, 2009 near the JR Akihabara station.

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Uchimizu is a Japanese tradition in which water is sprinkled in gardens and streets.

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During the hot summer, it serves to cool the immediate area, keep down dust and also please neighbors.

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Traditionally, this was done with a bucket and ladle …

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… wearing a yukata, or summer kimono.

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In the otaku world that is Akihabara, meidos, who work in the popular maid cafes in the area, have also been enlisted to perform this cooling ceremony.

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Let’s all Uchimizu to cool down summer heat!

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In Shibuya, they also recently performed this ceremony, text and picture from Japan Today.


Women who work in Shibuya take part in “uchimizu,” the traditional Japanese custom of sprinkling water on the pavement and surrounding areas of one’s home or workplace, to cool down the sizzling summer temperatures. “Uchimizu” was a popular practice among people during the Edo period, and still continues today as a common way to overcome the hot summer heat – lowering temperatures on the ground and surrounding air by 2-3°C.

11 thoughts on “Uchimizu

  1. Do you go to Akihabara often? As for me, I don’t think Akihabara is so fun. I usually only go there if I need to buy some appliance or electronics.

    Anyways, nice photos!

    And uchimizu isn’t only done at events like this.
    Any time of year you can see people (usually older people nowadays) throwing water down on the street to keep the dirt out of their house or store (and in the summer, to lower the temperature).

    • > Do you go to Akihabara often?

      Yes, once in awhile.

      > Anyways, nice photos!

      Thank you. I have been looking for a new telephoto lens for my DSLR recently and that’s why I have been to Akiba a few times.

      > And uchimizu isn’t only done at events like this.

      Yes, that’s true – I have seen this a few times in front of stores and restaurants.

  2. I see it almost every day near where I work on the shopping street. It does make things feel a bit cooler.

    Akihabara is a place I’ve been to only twice. Both times to go to Laox. But then, I live in Kamakura and don’t get up there very often.

    Anyway, nice blog!

    • Thanks for the commenting. For us, Akihabara is a very short subway ride (no transfers either) so it is a very convenient place to go – seems that there is also lots of things happening and where all the otaku hang out.

      I’ve been to Kamakura 3 times so far 🙂

      • I can take a train directly to Akihabara, but it takes about 50 minutes 🙂 Usually, when I go to Tokyo, I go to Shinjuku for Kinokuniya. I like reading a lot, and it has the best English book selection.

  3. Pingback: Year In Review: Other Events « Konnichiwa

  4. Pingback: Photo of the Day: Akihabara Uchimizu | Konnichiwa

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