Japan, the land of the rising sun. Known for its hot summers and crispy blue sky winters. But did you also know Japan has a rainy season? The summer begins and ends typically with rain. From mid May till June and in September considerably more rain fails out of the sky. Also, in September, typhoons occasionally bring very stormy and windy weather. But even outside of these months, you might get unlucky and find yourself in Tokyo on a rainy day. But no worries, there is plenty you can do in Tokyo on those wet days!
The first thing you will want to do is gearing up! If your hotel doesn’t offer rain gear, go to your nearest convenience store like 7/11 or Lawson or the 100yen store to grab your umbrella or poncho. Now, let’s enjoy Japan in any weather!
- Visit a museum or show
- 1. teamLab Borderless
- 2. Edo Tokyo Museum
- 3. Tokyo Toy Museum Yotsuya Shinjuku
- 4. Ghibli Museum
- 5. National Museum of Nature and Science
- 6. Tokyo National Museum
- 7. The National Museum of Western Art
- 8. Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
- 9. Mori Art Museum
- 10. Tobu Railway Museum
- 11. TeNQ (high-tech space museum)
- 12. Robot Restaurant – show (temporarily closed)
- Indoor gaming and theme park
- Do a workshop
- Be dazzled at an aquarium
- Enjoy sports in Tokyo
- Shopping in Tokyo
- Recommended Tours
- More articles about things to do in Tokyo
Visit a museum or show
Take advantage of the rainy day and take a look at the numerous art and culture museums that Tokyo has to offer. Visiting a museum is one of the best ways to enjoy yourself on the rainy day. The question is, which one to go?
1. teamLab Borderless
The Mori Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets are ones of the most popular museums in Japan lately! It’s simply wonderful and you can see and experience things that you probably have never seen before. Walk through the sparkling lights, immerse yourself in the lights and stimulate your senses. The lights setting in the museum ensures amazing photos and videos. It is for a reason that this place is often said to be Tokyo’s most Instagrammable spot.
Because of its popularity, we recommend getting tickets in advance. To prevent you from a long waiting time or even be sent off.
2. Edo Tokyo Museum
Japan is a nation with an impressive history. Immerse yourself with the 400-year old history of Tokyo, or Edo as it was known in the days of the samurai, at the Edo-Tokyo Museum. The main features of the permanent exhibitions are a life-size replica of the Nihonbashi, the bridge leading into Edo, and houses of the Edo townsmen.
Due to the big earthquake in 1923 and firebombing 1945, there are not many “old” buildings in Tokyo left, but in the museum you can still catch a glimpse of what old Tokyo was like.
Edo Tokyo Museum
Admission fee ¥600 (adults), ¥480 (students). Free entrance <12 years old.
3. Tokyo Toy Museum Yotsuya Shinjuku
The Toy Museum is a great activity for (little) kids, it compromises 3 floors and an outdoor playground (for the sunnier days). In the museum you can see and play with toys and games from over 100 countries but of course also traditional Japanese toys such as bamboo-copter and Japanese spinning top are available to play with. For the older kids, >3 years old, the museum offers workshops for making your own toy.
The museum is housed in a renovated elementary school building, making it an interesting place also for people less interested in toys. It is a rare opportunity to see the inside of the Japanese school building structure.
Tokyo Toy Museum
Admission fee ¥800 (adults), ¥500 (children).
4. Ghibli Museum
Another museum that should definitely be mentioned here is the famous Ghibli Museum. Inside the museum you can learn about the animation process as well as enjoy rooms themed after your favourite animations. Even the garden is accessible on a wet day as the museum sets up tents.
Read more about this amazing museum and how to get tickets in our blog 6 ways to get Ghibli Museum tickets.
5. National Museum of Nature and Science
Opened in 1877, one of the oldest museums in Japan located in Ueno Park in Tokyo, it is one and only museum featuring natural history and history of science and technology. It consists of two main buildings, Japan Gallery and Global Gallery. At Japan Gallery you will learn the transition of Japanese lives and even meet a real Hachiko dog at the exhibition. At Global Gallery, you will see the history of humankind, universe, and life on our planet. The main attraction is an exhibition of huge dinosaur fossils.
National Museum of Nature and Science (e-ticket)
Admission fee ¥630 (adults), free (high school students and below)
6. Tokyo National Museum
It consists of several buildings with over 120,000 collections including 89 national treasures and 648 important cultural properties. It initially opened in 1872 when the first exhibition was held at Yushima Seido, and in 1882, the exhibition was held at the current location in Ueno Park. They displayed Buddhist statues, traditional crafts, paintings and samurai armors etc, so if you are interested in Japanese art, it is a more than perfect place to cherish the important artworks in history. At Toyokan, it displays art crafts from other countries such as China, Korea, India, Central Asia and Egypt. It’s interesting to compare these arts to Japanese arts as well. 3-5 times a year, they hold a special exhibition from in and outside of Japan which makes a long line in front of the museum. You can easily spend a whole day at the museum!
Tokyo National Museum
Admission fee ¥1,000 (adults) ¥500 (university students)
7. The National Museum of Western Art
Also located in Ueno Park, the main collection of this museum is focused on Impressionist paintings which were donated by the French government. In front of the museum and at the garden, the big sculptures of Auguste Rodin will welcome you. Actually the museum itself is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can see beautiful collections of western art all year round, but you can also visit the temporary exhibitions from all over the world sometimes.
*Unfortunately, the museum is closed from October 19th 2020 to Spring 2022.
The National Museum of Western Art
Admission fee ¥500 (adults) ¥250 (university students)
8. Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Japan is known for their high technologies, and here is the perfect place to learn about the role of science and technology and the possibilities for the future. There are three main permanent exhibitions, “Explore the frontiers”, “Create your future” and “Discover your Earth”. The iconic display shaped like a globe called Geo-Cosmos shows you the changing weather patterns on the earth, which allows you to see the similar view from the spaceship! At the Dome Theater, watch 3D short movies about science or space, each movie is about 30 minutes long. For theater, don’t forget to buy an admission ticket for both permanent exhibitions and theater.
Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Admission fee ¥630 (adults) ¥210 (6-18)
9. Mori Art Museum
Located in Roppongi, it’s one of the most popular museums which is mainly focused on contemporary arts collected in Japan and other Asian countries, attracting over one million visitors a year. Their temporary exhibition features several different themes, and at MAM collection, some of the artworks chosen from over 400 collections will be displayed accordingly. Admission fee may be varied depending on the exhibition.
10. Tobu Railway Museum
Tobu Railway is the railway which runs through Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures. At the museum, they have exhibitions about history, culture and the role of the railways. Enjoy the exhibitions of dynamic steam trains and real trains, and if you are with kids, they can have a driving experience at train simulation!
Tobu Railway Museum
Admission fee ¥200 (adults/ paid by IC card) ¥200 (adulst/ paid by cash) ¥100 (4 year old~ junior highschool students)
11. TeNQ (high-tech space museum)
It’s located near Tokyo Dome and the theme park Tokyo Dome City, the exhibitions are divided into 9 areas dedicated to learning about space. From watching the short movies at the theater to playing with some exhibitions such as puzzles and unique objects, every generation can have fun at the museum!
Admission fee ¥1,800 (adult) ¥1,200 (65 years old and above) ¥1,500 (students) ¥1,200 (4 year old~ junior highschool students)
Tokyo Dome City attractions and TeNQ Space Museum Tickets ¥3,000
12. Robot Restaurant – show (temporarily closed)
Even though the name of this place is Robot restaurant, it really is more than one spectacular show. This famous place in Japan (amongst tourists) is definitely something you have never experienced before. High-tech laser displays, multi-coloured lights, flash dancers, glittering robots make for a crazy (good) night out. As the name implies it is a restaurant thus you can have dinner there, but our recommendation is you watch the show and have dinner at one of the many restaurants in bustling Kabukicho. *Temporarily closed during COVID-19
Indoor gaming and theme park
13. Arcade halls like Taito station & Club Sega
This should come as no surprise, but you can find some of the coolest arcades in Tokyo, Japan. With its flashy neon lights, loud music and chaotic (from time to time) crowds, Tokyo itself feels a bit like a (video) game. In these game halls you can play traditional (video) games, pacman and grab your favourite toy. A very popular activity for Japanese is purikura, basically a photo booth with built-in photoshop. Choose your favourite design and beautify yourself, and make your own souvenir for a few hundred yen.
Tip: some of the taito stations have cosplay costumes available for free!
Or get amazed by the locals playing taiko no tatsujin. Pull out a chair and sit down to watch Japanese perfecting this drum game. For those who are not exactly the singing bird, this is a great alternative. Just follow the screen and start drumming the beat!
14. Namja Town in Ikebukuro
Namja Town is an amusement theme park where attractions, restaurants and stage shows are held. The most recommended part of the park is the reproduced nostalgic street called Fukubukuro 7 chome shopping street. The area holds the old-time Tokyo atmosphere of the 1950-60s and the food court is specialized in Gyoza, Japanese dumplings. Gyoza is a popular Japanese finger food and each region has their unique flavors. The food court regularly sells Gyoza in more than 10 different locations. Gyoza fans should visit this place.
Namja Town in Ikebukuro
Admission fee ¥500 (adults) ¥300 (children)
15. JOY POLIS
It is an indoor amusement park which is located in Odaiba, which has thrilling roller coasters and haunted houses, arcade games and exciting rides and attractions featuring popular anime. If you go there on your birthday, the admission fee will be free and you will receive the passport which allows you to enjoy the rides as much as you want all day!
Entrance fee ¥800 (adults) ¥500 (elementary school ~ highschool students)
One day passport (voyagin e-ticket) ¥4,100 (adults)
16. KidZania (indoor family entertainment centers)
KidZania is the indoor theme park which provides children with working experience. In the children’s sized town, children can choose from 100 different kinds of jobs for the experience! They will receive special money in return which can be used just inside KidZania.
Admission fee will be varied on age and time
17. Sanrio Puroland
Sanrio Puroland is the indoor theme park featuring Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty and Gudetama. At the park, several live performances by dancers and characters can be enjoyed as well as cute rides, shopping and a unique menu collaborating with Sanrio characters at the restaurants. Don’t forget to take a picture with your favorite characters!
Admission fee: weekdays ¥3,300 (adults) ¥2,500 (children), weekends ¥3,900(adults) ¥2,800 (children)
18. LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER Tokyo
This family-friendly indoor LEGO theme park is located in Odaiba. There are a number of attractions to enjoy including shooting games and 4D theater, factory tour and LEGO building workshop.
LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER Tokyo
Admission fee ¥1,990 (Voyagin e-ticket)
Do a workshop
19. Japanese cooking experience
Many tourists visit Japan for its famous cuisine – who hasn’t heard of all the fresh fish and noodles?! It’s all very fresh, delicious and yummy, so why not learn how to prepare some Japanese cuisine. So when you return home, you can make your favourite Japanese dish!
- Tempura Cooking Lesson at Japan’s Leading Cooking School
- Vegan food cooking workshop with a Tokyo local
- Tsukiji fish market visit with Sushi Making Experience
20. Ninja Experience in Tokyo
Ninja is not the thing in the past nor only in anime. The host of this Ninja experience is the head of a ninja-samurai clan named Musashi Ichizoku who worked for Tokugawa Shogunate for 265 years. Their dojo is located near Tokyo Tower, and you will learn the basic skills of ninja from the real ninjas. Their authentic experience with deeper understandings of history behind the skills and weapons will be an unforgettable memory in Japan!
21. Samurai Experience in Tokyo
There are several different samurai experiences available in Tokyo, from Kembu (samurai dance) lessons with a photo shoot to a private sword lesson by a samurai descendant. Put on a kimono and learn the basic technique for swordplay and chop up grass tatami mats with a real sword!
- Dress up like a samurai and enjoy samurai dance, Tokyo
- Private Katana Sword Iai Lesson with a Samurai Descendant
Be dazzled at an aquarium
22. Aqua Park Shinagawa
The aquarium is conveniently located in Shinagawa – east part of Tokyo – and welcomes people with their beautiful marine creatures and high tech lighting effects. you can see exciting performances accompanied by amazing light shows. The aquarium is located in the Shinagawa Prince Hotel nearby Shinagawa station and this area holds various kinds of restaurants. The aquarium is open until 10pm, so you can even go after dinner!
Aqua Park Shinagawa (e-ticket)
Admission fee ¥2.200 (adult), ¥1.200 (children)
23. Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo Skytree Town
It’s located on the 5th floor and 6th floor of Tokyo Skytree. There is no certain route that you have to follow, so that you can enjoy the aquariums from different angles back and forth. It houses over 10,000 sea creatures, and boasts the largest indoor water tanks in Japan which allows visitors to watch penguins and fur seals very closely.
Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo Skytree Town
Admission fee ¥2,300 (adults) ¥1,700 (high school) ¥1,100 (elementary ~ junior high school)
24. Tokyo Sea Life Park
Tokyo Sea Life Park is a public aquarium located near Kasai Rinkai Park, which houses over 600 different kinds of sea animals. The symbolic attraction of this aquarium is a large school of tuna swimming around the doughnut shaped big tank!
Unfortunately it’s temporarily closed due to COVID-19
Tokyo Sea Life Park
Admission fee ¥700 (adults) ¥350 (65+) ¥250 (13-15)
Enjoy sports in Tokyo
25. Watch Sumo Tokyo
If you are in Tokyo during January, March or September, reserve one day or afternoon for a visit to the Grand Sumo Tournament! And because nowadays sumo matches are held indoors, it is a great activity for a rainy day! We recommend you to take a tour to get a deeper understanding of sumo and learn more about the national sport of Japan.
Read more about sumo and how to get tickets in our blog a complete overview of Sumo and how to get tickets or click below.
26. Watch a baseball game in Tokyo Dome
Baseball is one of the popular sports in Japan and when you are visiting Japan during the season – end of March to the middle of October – you should try and watch a baseball game. On a match day, you will see many Japanese wearing jerseys of their favorite team, making their way to the stadium. In Tokyo, there is Tokyo Dome which is the home field of the most popular baseball team, the Yomiuri Giants baseball.
27. Spo-cha in Odaiba Divercity
More than 20 varieties of sport play grounds are located in Spo-cha, Divercity building in Odaiba. After paying your entrance fee, that depends on the date and duration , you can play their games as much as they would like. For example, bubble soccer, mini bowling and table tennis are available to play. Also, high-tech toys Segway are available to ride on. This is a recommended place if you want to spend time in an active way ;)
Spo-cha in Odaiba Divercity
Admission fee starting at ¥1.840 (adult) and ¥1.650 (students)
28. Enjoy sumo morning practice
If you are an early bird, join the tour to visit sumo stables to see their strict morning practice.
Sumo stables can be visited only when accompanied by the professional guide, and visitors have to follow the house rules during the practice. Learn more about sumo and their practices from this article.
29. Indoor batting cages
If you like playing baseball, or want to let off some steam, go to batting cages for having fun! There are several indoor batting cage facilities in Tokyo. You can choose the speed depending on your batting level. Hit the homerun and challenge yourself with change-ups, curves and sliders!
Shopping in Tokyo
30. Shop till you drop!
Tokyo is great for shopping. Next to the big international brand, you can find many local boutiques. There are a quite a few shopping malls in Tokyo such as:
- Lalaport (multiple location)
- Sunshine City (Shopping mall in Ikebukuro)
- Yaesu shopping mall (on of Japan’s largest malls with 180 shops, Tokyo Station)
- Shibuya109 (popular mall for young Japanese who are looking for the typical pop culture clothes)
- Outlet shopping malls – near Tokyo you can find a number of outlet mall where you can shop both Japanese as well as international brand for highly discounted prices!
- Kappabashi Kitchen Street – Although technically not an indoor activity, Kappabashi is a great place to go shopping on a rainy day as the pavement is roofed. Kappabashi is the best place in Tokyo to score some (cheap) Japanese souvenirs, there are pottery stores, knife stores, sample food stores and much more!
Don’t forget to ask about the tax free option if you’re here on a holiday!
Japan Wonder Travel is here to make your trip to Japan so much better! If you are interested in exploring Tokyo with a friendly local guide, we offer a great (customized) tour for you! Tell us where you would like to go and let’s make a perfect plan together.
Also don’t forget to check out indoor activities in Kyoto before you visit there in a rainy season.
More articles about things to do in Tokyo
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