- 3 min read

Things to Do During Japan's Rainy Season

Don't let the weather rain on your parade!

Japan is one of many countries that experiences a rainy season, and this typically begins in the Tokyo area in early to mid June. It certainly doesn't mean it rains every day, but it does mean that you may need to prepare for the skies opening up! This guide covers some ways to usher in the rainy season if you plan to visit during this period in the future.

Visit Tokyo's weather shrine

Sometimes you're really going to want the weather on your side, particularly if you've got an outdoor activity planned. That's when you may want to elicit the help of a higher power, and that's where Tokyo's weather shrine may come in handy! Kisho Shrine is on the grounds of Koenji Hikawa Shrine, and it's a place where people often come to pray for sunny skies for important events. It's a short walk from Koenji Station, so be sure to stop by if you're in the area!

Photo: Kanesue / CC BY 2.0

Make a teru teru bozu

Another way to wish yourself good luck when it comes to weather is by making a teru teru bozu. These traditional dolls can easily be made using cloth or even tissues – you simply scrunch one piece into a ball and wrap the other one around it, twisting it to secure the head and create a flowy body. Keep it all together with a rubber band or piece of string, draw on a face, and hang it up. They're meant to keep rain at bay, and while they may not be successful all the time, they're a fun indoor craft nonetheless!

Keychain teru teru bozu wearing helmets in Asakusa
Keychain teru teru bozu wearing helmets in Asakusa (Photo: bfishadow / CC BY 2.0)

Enjoy the rainy season's flowers

Showers bring flowers, and that's certainly true during rainy season! One of the highlights are hydrangeas, which grow in abundance at this time of year. You'll find them in many places across the country, from dedicated hydrangea gardens to the grounds of temples and shrines...and often, just growing freely by roadsides! If you're looking for some suggestions, a quick search right here on Japan Travel will yield you with plenty of results.

Hydrangeas at Yoshimine-dera, Kyoto
Hydrangeas at Yoshimine-dera, Kyoto (Photo: Patrick Vierthaler / CC BY-NC 2.0)

Plan out some indoor activities

The rainy season is a great time to have a few indoor activities planned for when the weather is too inclement to make outdoor activities much fun. Japan has some brilliant museums covering a wide range of interests, including art, science, cars, and even some quirky ones! Art exhibitions by the TeamLab group continue to be popular, and the floating flower garden display at Odaiba's TeamLab Planets manages to bring that feeling of the outdoors inside.

TeamLab's Floating Flower Garden is one way to bring the outdoors in
TeamLab's Floating Flower Garden is one way to bring the outdoors in (Photo: Planets Co. Ltd)

Go shotengai shopping

A shotengai is a traditional Japanese shopping street, and many of them conveniently come with covered awnings that mean patrons can shop 'til they drop whether it's rain, hail, or shine outside. Some good Tokyo-based covered options include the Koenji Junjo Shotengai and the Asagaya Pearl Center, but you'll find similar destinations in just about every urban area across the country.

Looking out towards a covered shotengai in Hiroshima
Looking out towards a covered shotengai in Hiroshima (Photo: TFurban / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Sleiman Azizi a year ago
Shotengai shopping is underrated. You don't even have to shop, just head to a cafe or eatery and relax for a little while. It's a pleasant feeling.
Kim Author a year ago
I've always enjoyed my visits to various shotengai. Like you said, even just going to eat/grab a coffee and people watch is fun!
Elizabeth S a year ago
The rainy season brings out the colors. Wet temples and shrines and hydrangeas make it so vibrant.
Kim Author a year ago
Yes, definitely a good time of year to capture some great photos!
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