You made sure to avoid Tokyo's rainy season in June-July and typhoon season in September. Yet somehow, instead of landing in the Land of the Rising Sun, you’ve landed in the Land of Gloomy Skies. What to do?
Don’t worry! Here are ten ways to enjoy a rainy day in Tokyo without any regrets.
1. Step One: Gear Up!
Even if you didn't bring rain gear, there’s no need to despair. First, check with the receptionist at your hotel or the host of your accommodation to see if they have umbrellas, rain boots on hand.
Or, you can simply head to your nearest 100 yen shop, which are typically found near large train stations like Ueno and Harajuku.
If you’re unable to find a 100 yen shop, head to a convenience store or drugstore. They will often have a section of rain gear - including umbrellas and ponchos - conveniently located near the entrance so you can just grab an umbrella and go!
2. Be A Kid Again
If you’re in Odaiba on a rainy day in Tokyo, you’re in luck! Tokyo Joypolis is one of Japan’s largest theme parks. It’s a unique place where you can experience the fusion of the digital and real.
If you had plans to visit Tokyo DisneyLand or Tokyo DisneySea, there's no need to cancel just because of a few raindrops!
With the exception of visitors coming on pre-arranged tours outside of the Kanto region, many park goers will likely to reschedule their trip. This means shorter lines for you on all the attractions, food stalls, and photo time with characters.
Plus, a rainy day in Tokyo will never ruin the parades at Tokyo Disney Resorts, so put on a raincoat and head straight to the front so you’ll be in the center of all the action.
3. Enrich Your Mind
Japan is a nation with an impressive history. Take advantage of a rainy day in Tokyo and take a look at the numerous art and culture museums that Tokyo has to offer. Immerse yourself with the 400-year old history of Tokyo, or Edo as it was once known in the days of the samurai, at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Art lovers will appreciate the opportunity to become acquainted with works of art by domestic and western greats at the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo National Museum and The National Art Center.
If you find art and cultural a bit too stuffy for you, check out some of Tokyo’s more under-appreciated museums like the Tobacco and Salt Museum in Sumida or the Meguro Parasitological Museum.
Ueno Park 7-7, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
Ueno Station （Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line）
1 minute on foot
- Phone Number 03-5777-8600
- Address Ueno Park 7-7, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
4. Shop ‘Til You Drop!
What better way to brighten up a rainy day in Tokyo than through retail therapy? Tokyo is one of Asia’s hub for fashion and trends, and you’ll find shops and boutiques lined up one after another.
The epicenter of young women’s fashion is the iconic Shibuya 109 building. Another spot to visit is Tokyu Plaza, between luxury Omotesando and quirky Harajuku is one of Tokyo’s most Instagrammable spots thanks to its mirrored entrance.
Other shopping plazas to visit are Lalaport in Toyosu, Tokyo Solamachi shopping complex adjacent to Tokyo Skytree and Sunshine City in Ikebukuro.
2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043
Shibuya Station （JR Shonan Shinjuku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Saikyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line / Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line / Tokyu Toyoko Line / Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line / Keio Inokashira Line）
0 minute on foot
- Phone Number 03-3477-5111
- Address 2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043
5. Ready Player One?
Japan is the birthplace of iconic game characters like Pikachu, Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario. So on a rainy day in Tokyo, why not head to an arcade or game center like Club Sega in Akihabara to have a little fun?
Game centers have much more than just arcade play. If you’re at the end of your Japan trip, make use of your final coins at the capsule toy machines or claw machines. If you’re traveling in a group, commemorate your Tokyo visit with a kawaii photo taken inside a purikura photo booth.
You may also want to visit a Pokemon Center to see your favorite Pokemon up close and to purchase one-of-a-kind merchandise.
SEGA Akihabara 2ndセガ 秋葉原2号館
1-15-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0021
Akihabara Station （JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line / Tsukuba Express / JR Sobu Line）
2 minutes on foot
- Phone Number 03-3252-7528
- Address 1-15-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0021
6. Cruise Along
No one wants to ride a packed train on a rainy day in Tokyo, so hop on the Tokyo Water Bus to get to your next destination. In addition to serving as transportation, these boats also are a wonderful option to explore Tokyo’s waterways, day or night.
If your rainy dates fall between July and October, you may want to board the Nouryousen Tokyo Bay cruise. Don a yukata and enjoy an-all you can drink menu of alcohol and other refreshments.
7. Reach Your Inner Zen
The last place you’d rather be on a rainy day in Tokyo is outside, but once you’ve seen a Japanese garden decorated in glistening raindrops, you’ll surely change your mind.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a sprawling oasis of tranquil greenery in one of Tokyo’s busiest districts. Listen to the raindrops as you explore its spacious lawns. Hamarikyu Gardens and Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden can be enjoyed year-round thanks to the hundreds of species of plants and flowers on its premises. Both gardens hold the unique distinction of being designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and as a National Special Historic Site.
8. Experience Japanese Culture
While you’re in Japan, why not immerse yourself in Japanese culture by attending a workshop or class?
A rainy day in Tokyo may dampen your plans to walk through Asakusa in a kimono and visit the famous temple, Senso-ji, dress up as a samurai, oiran, or geisha at Yumenoya and have your very own private photoshoot.
Another rainy day activity to consider in Asakusa is attending a tea ceremony or taking calligraphy classes at Shizukokoro. Choose between a 15 minute matcha tea experience or opt to participate in the full 90 minute tea ceremony.
9. Get Front Row Tickets At A Concert Or Show
You don’t need to be at an outdoor festival to groove to the beat. Have a luxurious evening jamming along with world-renowned jazz musicians at Blue Note Tokyo, on Minami-Aoyama Antique Street.
For an unforgettable, “only in Japan” experience, the Noh Laboratory Theater has regular performances of Japan’s traditional art of storytelling.
Kick things up a notch at Spice Tokyo in Roppongi for a geisha cabaret dinner show. or, better yet, head to Tokyo’s infamous red light district of Kabukicho in Shinjuku for a mesmerizing electronic dinner show at the Robot Restaurant.
Shinjuku robot building B2,1-7-7, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0021
Seibu-Shinjuku Station （Seibu Shinjuku Line）
- Address Shinjuku robot building B2,1-7-7, Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0021
10. Soak Away Your Troubles
When all else fails, on a rainy day in Tokyo simply call it a day and head to a public bath (sento) or hot spring (onsen). While onsens are typically associated with mountainous regions of Japan, urban Tokyo has several well-known hot springs and public baths.
In fact, right in the heart of the shopping and entertainment district of Odaiba is the onsen “theme park” Tokyo Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari. Decked out with reclining chairs that have their own TV monitors, several restaurants, and arcade games, you’ll have plenty of ways to spend time as you wait for showers to subside.
There you have it, ten ways to enjoy Tokyo even on the wettest days of the year. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your umbrella and go explore the city!
Photo credit (main image): Mahathir Mohd Yasin / Shutterstock.com
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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