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18 Rainy-Day Activities in Tokyo: Unique Japanese Experiences and Indoor Adventures

18 Rainy-Day Activities in Tokyo: Unique Japanese Experiences and Indoor Adventures

Last updated: 30 November 2023

While you may be eagerly anticipating your trip to Tokyo, you may also be worried about inconvenient conditions like rain or inclement weather putting a damper on things. Japan’s rainy season spans from June to July, primarily affecting the Honshu region, with typhoons occurring frequently between summer and fall. So it’s safe to say that bad weather is pretty common throughout the year.

That’s why today, in order to ensure your Tokyo visit will be fun no matter the weather, we've compiled a list of 18 recommended activities to make the most out of your time in the city, even on rainy days!

Top image: PIXTA

1. Enrich Your Mind at Museums and Galleries

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

Museums and galleries are fantastic places to explore on rainy days. The tranquility of a rainy day may even enhance the depth of artistic appreciation. At popular museums like the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno and the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi, an eclectic range of exhibits awaits, from traditional Japanese art to captivating contemporary works.

Beyond art, Tokyo is also home to a variety of other exhibition venues. Nissan Crossing in Ginza showcases Nissan automobiles, and is a an absolute treat for car enthusiasts, where you can marvel at historic masterpieces and cutting-edge automotive technology. There’s also an attached cafe where you can unwind with a fancy macchiato and enjoy the rainy day.

So make the most of the weather, and indulge in the fascinating blend of art and technology.

2. Stimulate Your Curiosity at Tokyo's Themed Cafes

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

Another fun way to enjoy a gloomy day is to visit a themed cafe. Themed cafes have practically become ingrained into Japanese culture, and animal cafes offer a cure for the rainy day blues by surrounding you with cats, hedgehogs, owls, and all kinds of other cute critters!

There are also anime-themed cafes, where you immerse yourself in the world of anime and manga, where you’ll enjoy anime-themed dishes while surrounded by your favorite characters.

Tokyo is full of a number of other cafes that will pique your curiosity, including maid cafes, and cafes themed on idols and ninjas. So turn your rainy afternoon into an exciting experience by visiting one of these unique establishments!

3. Go On A Shopping Spree in Central Tokyo

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

Even on rainy days, Tokyo's malls and shopping areas and are bustling with activity, especially in famous spots like the famous Ginza, Shibuya, Harajuku, and Omotesando, which are home to a number of trendy, brand-name stores and commercial facilities sought out by many. So why not take the opportunity to indulge in a little shopping?

These areas offer not just fashion, but also an extensive range of sundries, traditional crafts, delicious food, and electronics, all of which also make great Japanese souvenirs! In addition to shopping, these huge malls also house a variety of restaurants and cafes where you can sit down and enjoy a meal. Exploring these areas, regardless of the weather, practically guarantees novel discoveries and memorable experiences!

4. Warm Up in the Hot Springs and Public Baths

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

On wet, chilly days, warming up in a hot spring can feel like a pure luxury. In and around Tokyo, you'll find numerous "super sento" (public bathhouses) and spas with natural hot spring baths and comprehensive facilities. So for a relaxing retreat, consider places like Tokyo Ogikubo Natural Hot Spring Nagomi-no-Yu, Spa LaQua, or Tenku no Ajito. Larger facilities offer a wide array of services, including saunas, bedrock baths, and massages, ensuring a satisfying experience for a full day of relaxation.

So make the most of the weather by escaping the hustle and bustle for a soak in a rejuvenating hot spring to refresh yourself, body and soul. The view from an outdoor bath on a rainy day is also exceptional, offering a serene atmosphere complemented by the soothing sound of raindrops and the therapeutic effects of the springs.

5. Enjoy A Fantastic View on a Tokyo Bay Rainy Night Cruise

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

Rainy evenings present a wonderful opportunity for nighttime cruise on Tokyo Bay. The view of the bay from the boat at night takes on a fantastic and mysterious ambiance in the rain. The illuminated Rainbow Bridge and nighttime Odaiba scenery exude a different kind of beauty compared to what we normally see on a clear day, making a luxury cruise a great way to spend a rainy evening!

Among the options available is the Symphony, a Tokyo Bay cruise ship offering dinner cruises and panoramic views of Tokyo Bay's area, including Odaiba, Rainbow Bridge, Gate Bridge, Haneda Airport, and Oi Futo. Indulging in a delicious meal while aboard this ship will undoubtedly become a wonderful memory of your time in Tokyo.

6. Learn Japanese Culture Through Workshops

Sokichi Kiriko Experience (Source: https://livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo/in-pref-tokyo/in-asakusa/article-a0003465/
Sokichi Kiriko Experience (Source: https://livejapan.com/en/in-tokyo/in-pref-tokyo/in-asakusa/article-a0003465/

Participating in an indoor workshop is another great idea for enjoying a bad weather day. Tokyo is full of workshops where you can learn about traditional Japanese culture, such as kintsugi (repairing broken pottery with gold lacquer), calligraphy, sushi making, Japanese sweets making, and origami.

One especially popular activity is the Sokichi Kiriko Workshop near Asakusa Station, a glass-cutting workshop that uses the traditional Edo faceting technique. There’s a wide variety of glass types, colors, and patterns to choose from to create your own unique glass piece. Visitors have the pleasure of learning from real skilled artisans while crafting their own items. They also make perfect souvenirs from Japan! So take advantage of the next rainy day, and delve into some of Japan’s traditions!

  • Sokichi
    • Address 2-1-14 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0034
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Toei Asakusa Line / Tobu Isesaki Line (Tobu Sky Tree Line) / Tsukuba Express)
      1 minute on foot
    • Phone Number 03-6802-8948

7. Enjoy Indoor Entertainment to the Max

teamLab Planets TOKYO (Photo: from https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0004999/)
teamLab Planets TOKYO (Photo: from https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0004999/)

Tokyo also offers a wealth of indoor entertainment options to keep you entertained, even in gloomy weather. From expansive theme parks like Tokyo Disney Resort® with its diverse indoor shows and attractions to Tokyo Joypolis, an indoor theme park in Odaiba, there's plenty to enjoy.

teamLab Planets TOKYO is a unique exhibition that delights visitors with innovative exhibits using digital art and projection technology. It's an immersive art experience that transports visitors to another dimension.

For those seeking more active pursuits, why not indulge in an exhilarating game of black-light illuminated bowling at Shinjuku Copa Bowl? Located in Shinjuku Kabukicho, they also offer table tennis, darts, and a well-stocked food corner. Open until the wee morning hours, it's a great idea for a fun nightlife experience on a rainy day. So forget about the weather, and spend some quality time with your family and friends!

8. Intellectual Pursuits at Libraries and Bookstores

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

If the weather isn't cooperating, why not seek some intellectual stimulation at a library or bookstore? Tokyo boasts over 200 ward libraries, offering a relaxing oasis of high quality reading material for local residents to unwind.

There are also Tsutaya bookstores in areas like Roppongi and Daikanyama, which also house a Starbucks where customers may bring their own reading materials to enjoy while sipping a cup of coffee. It's a delightful way to get a taste of Japanese literature and art.

Another option is to explore the world of used bookstores. Jimbocho is renowned as a treasure trove of used bookstores. Home to an abundance of historical bookstores, you’ll find plenty of bargain books and out-of-print editions. Wandering through Jimbocho's historic buildings on a rainy day will surely immerse you in a uniquely Japanese atmosphere.

9. Experience Traditional Japanese Stage Performances

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

If you're looking for something a bit more fancy, consider exploring traditional Japanese stage and theater.

The Kabuki-za Theater, a lively complex featuring the Kabuki-za Tower, is famous for its Kabuki performances, an internationally-recognized traditional Japanese art form. Visitors can also shop for goods and enjoy authentic Japanese food here.

There’s also Shinbashi Enbujo Theater, where visitors can enjoy Kabuki, as well as Shinkigeki and many other traditional Japanese performances. Other theaters include the Imperial Theatre, Japan's first Western-style theater for staging plays and musicals, and the Hibiya Theatre Creation. So on the next rainy day, immerse yourself in the excitement of Japanese entertainment on stage!

10. Enjoy an Entertaining Aquarium

Art Aquarium Museum GINZA  (Photo: from https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0005334/)
Art Aquarium Museum GINZA (Photo: from https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0005334/)

Amidst the tranquility of the rainfall, a visit to the aquarium can be a delightful experience. The Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro stands as an extraordinary high-rise urban aquarium offering a range of exciting attractions, including the "Penguins in the Sky" tank and a sea lion show.

There’s also Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa, a cutting-edge entertainment facility that combines sound, light, visuals, and marine life. Visitors are treated to an exhilarating environment with various technologies and gorgeous decorations in the aquarium tanks and attractions.

For a perspective that combines an aquarium with art, the Art Aquarium Museum GINZA is also highly recommended. A fusion of unique lighting, music, and scents creates a fantastical ambiance, illuminating the graceful movements of goldfish. These aquariums are must-visit attractions that offer plenty of enchanting experiences, even on the rainiest of days!

11. Visit Historical Sites for Fantastic Views

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

Historical sites evoke an especially elegant and charming ambiance on otherwise glum days. Temples and shrines like Sensoji Temple and Meiji Jingu, enveloped in the tranquility of the rainfall, exude a sacred, solemn atmosphere. The sight of the drops collecting on the historic buildings and cobblestone pathways is mesmerizing.

Tokyo Station is another magnificent structure. Built in the Meiji Period, its red-brick station building carries great historical significance. The reflection of the station building on the wet road surface has also become a favorite photo opp for many.

The Tokyo National Museum is also worth a visit. As the oldest museum in the country, their collection spans ancient to modern Japan, providing visitors with a chance to deeply immerse themselves in Japan’s rich history and culture.

12. Sing, Laugh, and Let Loose at Karaoke

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

Karaoke is not just a popular Japanese pastime but also a hit among foreign tourists. It’s also a fantastic way to brighten up a rainy day!

You'll find numerous karaoke chains like Karaoke-kan and Karaoke Manekineko, conveniently located near train stations, offering various private rooms and an extensive selection of music. From anime tunes and J-pop to Western hits, there's something for everyone. They also serve alcohol, soft drinks, and food, ensuring endless hours of entertainment.

So don’t let your spirits dip just because the weather is glum. Instead, enjoy singing, laughing, and creating new, fun-filled memories with your friends!

13. Challenge the Latest Games at the Arcade

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

On days when going outdoors isn't an option, exploring the latest games at an arcade is a fantastic alternative. Tokyo is dotted with game centers, especially in Akihabara and Ikebukuro, both of which have become known as hubs for otaku culture.

Large-scale facilities like GiGO Akihabara and the Taito Station Ikebukuro West Exit branch offer an extensive array of games, from crane games to music-based ones. Other facilities offer special arcades and VR games, promising fresh experiences even for visitors from abroad.

Regardless of the weather, new adventures await you at Tokyo's game arcades, amusement hubs brimming with fun and excitement, and wonderful new memories just waiting to be created!

14. Photograph a Stunning Rainy Day Landscape

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

Rainy days in Tokyo offer the perfect opportunity to discover and capture beautiful scenery. Looking out at the Shibuya scramble from above reveals an especially mesmerizing sight of colorful umbrellas looking like flowers—an image that has become a hot topic amongst international visitors.

Sensoji Temple and Tokyo Station also transform into popular photography spots when illuminated at night, as their reflections in the puddles create a wonderfully enchanting scene. In Japanese gardens like Shinjuku Gyoen, visitors can revel in the atmospheric scenery that only a rainy day can offer.

Tokyo truly holds a distinct allure on a rainy day compared to sunny weather, with its own unique charm. So embrace the moment, capture these scenes, and share them with your friends and followers all around the world.

15. Explore the Cozy Local Shopping Streets

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

There are numerous shopping streets around Tokyo, many of which are covered, so you can shop while soaking in the atmosphere (without getting soaked), even on rainy days.

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street, nestled in the Yanesen area, has a bustling downtown vibe. However, it is not a covered arcade, so you will need your umbrella to stroll around. But dotted with so many old-fashioned cafes and handmade goods shops, it’s the perfect place to wander around!

Nakamise-dori Street, just a short walk from Asakusa's Kaminarimon Gate, also boasts a unique ambiance on rainy days. Lined with traditional souvenir shops, Japanese confectioneries, and food stalls, this sheltered arcade makes it easy for visitors to enjoy shopping while delving into Asakusa's rich history and culture, without getting wet in the rain!

16. Pamper Yourself with Healing, Beauty, and Massage at Spas and Salons

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

On rainy days, consider indulging in relaxation at a massage, head spa, or hair salon for a blissful Tokyo experience. Thai Relaxation Salon Sora Shibuya combines the best of Thai massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, yoga, bodywork, loosening, and stretching techniques to impart a soothing sensation of lightness throughout your body.

Head Spa Kuu Omotesando also offers a choice of the best, most high-quality products tailored to individual fatigue and scalp conditions, all within a luxurious environment for one of the most relaxing experiences you could ask for!

Assort Tokyo and Assort Harajuku are popular Tokyo beauty salons, boasting highly skilled stylists with extensive international experience. Beyond their technical prowess, they are also known for their attentive services, including post-shampoo massages. On top of that, the staff members all speak English, so you can go in for a treatment with complete peace of mind.

17. Indulge in Some Local Craft Beers

TOKYO Sumidagawa Brewing Co. (Photo: from https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0004439/)
TOKYO Sumidagawa Brewing Co. (Photo: from https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0004439/)

Tokyo is home to a number of restaurants that serve all kinds of craft beers. So why not enjoy your next rainy day relaxing and savoring delicious beer and food?

Tokyo Sumidagawa Brewing, situated along the Sumida River just outside of Asakusa, started as Tokyo's pioneering local craft beer brewery. It offers three different craft beers, and a wide variety of meat dishes that pair perfectly with them.

There are also many other restaurants, such as Craft Beer Bar IBREW Ebisu Ekimae and Craft Beer Tap Grill & Kitchen Shibuya, which also offer all-you-can-drink craft beer. So enjoy the soothing sounds of the rain, unwind with friends or loved ones, and delve into the rich world of craft beer!

18. Immerse Yourself in Upbeat Live Music

Image: PIXTA
Image: PIXTA

If the weather’s got you down, you can count on Tokyo's vibrant live music scene to lift your mood! Spend some time at the various live houses and bars, and let the diverse range of music inspire you.

For a memorable experience, there’s Billboard Live Tokyo in Roppongi, known for attracting both local and international artists, and UNIT in Daikanyama, which hosts all kinds of club and techno events. Meanwhile, Shinjuku Pit Inn and Blue Note in Minami Aoyama will delight jazz enthusiasts, while R3 Club Lounge, one of Roppongi's most popular nightclubs, offers food, drink, and performances by famous DJs.

These live music venues will expose you to all kinds of musical genres, providing a comprehensive taste of Tokyo's rich and varied music scene.

    • Address Round Cross Roppongi B1F, 7-14-23 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0032
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Roppongi Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line / Toei Oedo Line)
      2 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-6804-5865

And there you have it—these 18 ways to spend a rainy day in Tokyo! These activities will surely add color to an otherwise gloomy day. So even if you find yourself needing to change your plans due to the weather, rest assured you can still make the most of your trip, and have an amazing time!

*The information in this article is current as of November 2023. Please check the official website for the latest information.

English translation by: Krys Suzuki

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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