When you come to Japan during the rainy season, which is between June and July, you will most likely experience some rainy days when sightseeing. Even when you are prepared and bring your umbrella, when the rain is pouring down, you may want to change your plans. When this is the case, why not do something you can only experience in Japan. In this article we will introduce you with some options of things to do during the rainy season.
1. Enjoying beautiful hydrangeas
Not the first activity that comes to mind perhaps, as it is an outdoor activity, but during the wet season, you can see these beautiful flowers called hydrangeas. They will bloom this time of the year and for sure make a pretty sight! There are many places you can see them in Japan, some great places are:
- Kamakura (Mid of June – Mid of July)
Kamakura is really famous for hydrangeas around Tokyo. In some of the temples in Kamakura, such as “Jojuin temple”, “Myogetu-in temple” and “Hasedera temple”, beautiful hydrangeas blossom. It is for good reason that these three temples are known as The best 3 hydrangeas temple. Since many different types of hydrangeas are in bloom in this season, you can see many different colours and styles of hydrangeas there. It is a very popular activity amongst tourists as well as locals!
- Hakusan shrine (Mid of June – End of June)
Hakusan Shrine is one of the most famous place for hydrangeas in Tokyo. This shrine and the area where it is located, have a nostalgic atmosphere even though it is located in central Tokyo. There is even a hydrangeas festival organised in mid June. Bonus: when it is raining, the sight of these flower are actually the best!
- Hattori farm hydrangea mansion (Beginning of June – Beginning of July)
This farm is located in Mobara, Chiba prefecture, which can be reached in about 80 – 90 min from Tokyo station. The property covers something close to 27,000 square meters with about 10,000 beautiful hydrangeas are blossoming from June onwards. Its scale are extraordinary larger than any other hydrangeas spots around Tokyo.
- Yoshimine temple (Beginning of June – Beginning of July)
When you are in Kyoto during the wet season, Yoshimine temple is the place to go to for hydrangeas. At this complex there are 10,000 beautiful hydrangeas and from the hill, you have great view of Kyoto city over the hydrangeas.
2. Try to watch Japanese movie
If you are movie lover and would love to (try and) watch a Japanese movie, it is good timing to watch Japanese movie in the cinema. In Tokyo, there are a many movie theaters showing movies for every taste. Unfortunately, Japanese movies typically do not have any English subtitles, but it is the one of the good ways to familiarise yourself with the Japanese language and depending on the movie also the culture. For people who are studying Japanese, it is also good way to learn Japanese!
On this blog, you can find an extensive explanation on how to know which movies are shown in English and how to purchase tickets online.
3. Onsen (Hot spring)
Onsen plays a big part of the Japanese culture, often Japanese go on a holiday just to experience a great onsen. People in Japan have been taking onsen since before records were kept and there are more than 3,000 onsen in Japan. Some people come especially to Japan to experience real onsen. It is really good for relaxing and healing your body.
There are so many onsen throughout Japan, and each has its own specialty/effect. So the Japanese people sometimes choose to go to an onsen for its by effects and many different aspects, such as:
How long it takes time to get there and if there are any other places you can visit around.
Each onsen area has its own unique surroundings. Some are located in nostalgic old towns, or others are surrounded by nature. Imagine yourself in an onsen with a beautiful view of the mountains, ocean, waterfalls etc..
There are two different styles of Japanese onsen:
1) Each Japanese Ryokan (hotel) has its own onsen (the source of each ryokan’s onsen in the same area is the same but often each ryokan has its private owned onsen).
2) There are also some special onsen locations with public onsen. You can make use of these onsen, even when nog staying at the ryokan.
- Kinosaki Onsen – Kinosaki is located at Northern part of Hyogo prefecture. You can enjoy several onsen spots in the town.
- Beppu Onsen & Yufuin Onsen – Both onsen are located in Oita prefecture which is the most famous Onsen place in Japan and known as the Onsen Prefecture.
Aquarium is also one of the choices for you. There are some unique aquariums in Japan. We will introduce 3 places.
1 Aqua park Shinagawa
The uniqueness of this park is the many shows. The most famous show is the dolphin show where you can interact with the dolphin. Also they use sounds, lights and visual images for the shows, that make the shows even more enjoyable.
2. Sunshine Aquarium
Being located on the rooftop of the Sunshine building in Ikebukero, this is probably one of the highest located aquariums that you will ever visit. It is home to hundreds of marine and aquatic animals including sea otters and penguins. Walk through the jellyfish tunnel or feed the animals yourself.
3. Kaiyukan Aquarium
Kaiyukan aquarium is located at Osaka and it is well known for having one of the biggest water tanks. They have a types of environmental areas created to stage the natural environment of the habitats in aquarium for the many different animals living here. It is interesting and educational to learn how these animals are living at the wild.
5. Explore Depachika
Depachika is the basement of Japanese department store. This is the place where you can buy and eat good quality foods from all over Japan. It is like the culinary theme park and many locals go there to buy the ingredients for their meals. Especially during the evening, the Depachika is busy with people looking to buy dinner.
There are many depachika in Japan, almost every department store has a food basement. So when you are hungry and want to eat good quality and cheap Japanese food, look for a department store and make you way to the basement.
Some recommended Depachika in Tokyo:
- Shinjuku Isetan
- Daimaru Tokyo
- Ginza Mitsukoshi
5. The Railway Museum
The Railway Museum is located at Omiya, Saitama prefecture. From central Tokyo it takes you about 30 min. We recommend you to go to The Railway Museum if you are interested in (Japanese) trains. There are historical trains on display, railways diorama’s and you can experience operating a train in a simulator.
Also you can learn about the history of trains and railways and about future plans. The museum also has some restaurants and shops, making it an exciting day trip for the whole family.
Official website Railway Museum
10am – 6pm
Admission fee ¥1,330
6. Tokyo Disney Resort
As you can guess Tokyo Disney land and Disney Sea are two of the most famous theme parks in Japan. On a normal day, Tokyo Disney resort is very crowded and for popular attractions the waiting line can reach over 2 or 3 hours (in high season sometimes over 4 hours).
But when weather isn’t good, many don’t feel like going and the park is significantly more quiet. Get your umbrella out, put on your waterproof shoes and your waterproof jacket and enjoy the ride!
Tokyo Disney Resort
Daily opened from 10am – 9pm
Admission free ¥8,200 (per April 1st, 2020)