Get your umbrellas at the ready because the rainy season is coming! The rainy season usually lasts from early June to mid-July – and when it rains it does pour!
If you’re looking for things to do in the rain, we have plenty of ideas to keep you busy every rainy day from hydrangea viewing to craft workshops and museums, there’s plenty to enjoy!
The highlight of the rainy season are the Hydrangea flowers. The arrival of the rainy season means that spring is coming to a close, so most other flowers are past their blooming season. Hydrangea flowers, however, are just beginning!
Although it may not be one of the most obvious things to do in the rain, the beautiful hydrangeas are not to be missed. So, it’s definitely worth going outside on a rainy day to go and see them – don’t forget your umbrella!
Hydrangea flowers are made up of large clusters of flowers and an assortment of colors, they are completely mesmerizing. Some of the most popular spots for seeing hydrangea flowers are Meigetsu-in in Kakogawa, Hasadera in Kamakura, Ohirasan Shrine in Tochigi, Yatadera Temple in Nara, and Mimurotoji Temple in Uji.
Learn a Japanese Craft
One unique way to spend time during the rainy season is by learning a new hobby!
There are so many traditional crafts in Japan; origami, pottery, washi papermaking, food sample-making, calligraphy, knife-making, and weaving – to name a few. These all make great hobbies, and in most cities in Japan, they offer classes for at least a few of these.
Whether you want to enroll in a regular craft class or attend a one-off workshop experience on a particularly rainy day; learning a new craft can be one of the most illuminating things to do in the rain.
Please check out our article on Traditional Japanese Crafts You Should Try At Least Once for more ideas on craft workshops to try out.
Visit a Museum or Aquarium
For another dose of culture, a trip to the museum is one of the most educational things to do in the rain. Or why not learn more about nature and wildlife on a rainy day by visiting an aquarium?
There are so many museums in Japan open during the rainy season – one for each rainy day perhaps! There are digital art museums, such as the world-famous TeamLAB museums and exhibitions, that are truly immersive experiences. The Ghibli museum on the outskirts of Tokyo is one of the lovely things to do in the rain that may appeal to Ghibli fans and children.
Some other essential museums to see are the Tokyo National Museum, Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Edo Tokyo Museum, Hakone Open-Air Museum, and the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo. As well as museums in the big cities, there are so many museums dotted across Japan in smaller towns and cities, so please check them out!
Aquariums are a particularly fun way to occupy children during the rainy season. Okinawa’s Churaumi Aquarium, Osaka’s Kaiyukan Aquarium, Sendai’s Umitamago Aquarium, and Aquamarine in Fukushima as some of Japan’s most impressive aquariums.
Japan is home to some of the world’s largest museums, as well as some of the world’s largest aquariums. Make the most of the entertainment (and shelter) that they can offer during the rainy season.
Celebrate Ocean Day
Umi no Hi, known as Ocean Day, Marine Day, or Sea Day in English, falls on the third Monday of July each year. It is one of Japan’s many national holidays dedicated to nature, alongside Mountain Day and Greenery Day.
Ocean Day is celebrated in order to show appreciation and feel gratitude for our seas and oceans, and with the ever-changing climate, this celebration is more important now than ever. This Japanese national holiday involves people giving thanks to the seas for all it brings to the country (hint: a whole lot of fish!) and contemplating how important the ocean is for Japan since it is a maritime nation.
Ocean Day usually marks the end of the rainy season – hoorah, not a rainy day in sight! Some of the ways people like to mark Ocean Day include trips to the beach, swimming, snorkelling, diving, surfing, or any marine sport you can think of!
It’s also popular to throw dried mudballs filled with effective microorganisms into the sea. This helps the sea get rid of sea grime, making it a cleaner sea for every being. Anyone looking to help out mother nature could try participating in a beach clean-up (or hold a mini clean-up of your own).
If going to the sea isn’t an option, or if the rainy season hasn’t yet finished so you need to find things to do in the rain to celebrate Ocean Day, go to an aquarium! They often hold special events to celebrate the national holiday.
Beyond this list there are so many other things you can do when it’s raining in Japan; trips to an onsen, the cinema, trying out food delicacies, and trendy cafes are all great ways to spend a rainy day.