Two days after making my last blog entry, I did receive conformation that it does rain in Central Japan, at least some of the time. Smaller stores usually feature umbrella racks outside the stores. Larger stores, where too many umbrellas would accumulate outside the store, have umbrella wrapping machines that wrap the umbrella in plastic covers.
Ironically, it turns out that the song "It Never Rains in Southern California" was actually written before the two co-authors ever came here. Unlike the two writers of "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (which was written in Maryland), the co-authors of the rain song were anticipating their trip to Los Angeles. The story is based on the experiences of Albert Hammond of severe cash flow problems in Spain. Some interesting details are at http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3137 . Somehow, no allusions to snails made it into the song's lyrics.
By the way, if any of you are looking for Julio Iglesias' version, there is actually independent song. It is part of the song "Moonlight Lady."