A visit to Japan during the rainy season or tsuyu sounds pretty awkward if you are misguided by someone who does not have the ability to impress you about why you should take trip to this amazing country around that time of the year.

I heard many people saying that Japan is not suitable to explore during tsuyu. Do you agree? Would it be the right time to take a trip? I am hopeful that you will find your answers just right after reading this post.

Always carry an umbrella when you go for sightseeing in Japan during the rainy season. Photo Credit: mrhayata at Flickr.

I admit that it rains a lot during the rainy season in Japan but it does not rain every day. That’s good to know! There is no escape from it, in fact rain acts like a blessing that every living being on the planet must need. It makes the environment super cool and helps growing crops in abundance.

So there is nothing to be worried of when it comes to visiting Japan in the rainy days. Here, the season usually lasts from the beginning of June through mid July. While on the other hand, it arrives about one month earlier on the islands of Okinawa.

What about Hokkaido? It does not have it, surprised?! Sometimes I feel sorry for the locals there that they don’t experience this mysterious rainy season. Although most part of Japan gets wet with rains and cloudy sky, Hokkaido remains dry and sunny.

The flower season in Hokkaido comes alive at that time (from early July to late July) making the areas incredibly awe-inspiring. Anyway, is this the reason why many travelers fly to Hokkaido from the main land Japan and aboard? However, let’s get to the main point now!

1) Hydrangeas

Ajisai at the Meigetsuin Temple, Kamakura. Photo Credit: veroyama at Flickr.

I am a flower aficionado who loves exploring the places that are filled with seasonal flowers. I appreciate the color of the flowers that bloom in the rainy season. Hydrangea or Ajisai is one of my favorite flowers that make my mind wonder.

When it rains out there, they look so beautiful and become a thing to hunt for just like momiji in autumn and sakura in the spring. Do you want to know why it is said to be one of the most popular flowers in Japan? Find this answer by reading this article.

Hakone Tozan Train and stunning Ajisai. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

There is no time to feel boring when it is raining and pouring constantly! In fact, it does not suit when you are in Japan during the rainy season. Grab an umbrella or wear a rain coat, and embark on a trip to see colorful Ajisai. You can find them in abundance in Kamakura and Tokyo.

You must visit Meigetsuin Temple and Hase Temple to see thousands hydrangeas of different kinds in Kamakura. Want to see naturally growing Ajisai there? Just hop on the Hakone Tozan train that runs between Hakone-Yumoto and Gora stations and enjoy the ride all the way while seeing hydrangeas and beautiful surrounding green vegetation in June.

Hase temple’s beautiful Ajisai, Kamakura. Photo Credit: shinji_w at Flickr.

If the rainfall fears you not to go out for sightseeing, you surly miss something that could cheer you up within a moment in Tokyo. Japanese rainy season features some of the greatest floral festivals in the world and Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri is one of them.

Every year it is held at Hakusan Jinja Shrine in Bunkyo ward, Tokyo, from early June through mid June. You are suggested to head to this gorgeous place and experience approximately 3,000 hydrangeas there. Before you go there, take an umbrella with you. It may rain, who knows!

2) Irises

Meiji Jingu Iris Garden. Photo Credit: Daniel Ramirez at Flickr.

If you love the colors of purple and white, you would love to explore one more seasonal flower here in Japan known as Iris. Is not it an appealing flower of the rainy season?

Japan boats hundreds varieties of irises. There are some very famous iris gardens out there that are marvelous to take a trip to. In fact, they are my favorite ones when it comes to viewing colorful irises, you can find the places right here in this post.

Beautiful irises at Koishikawa Korakuen, Tokyo. Photo Credit: Yoshikazu TAKADA at Flickr.

In general, depending on the weather, irises start to bloom around mid May and can be viewed till early July. Please note that June is definitely the best time to see them, don’t you forget it.

More or less irises grow almost everywhere in Japan, but there are places which seem to me worth a visit such as Horikiri Iris garden, Hodoji temple iris garden, Yokosuka iris garden, Meji Jingu Iris Garden and many more.

Whether it is drizzling or not, there is nothing like taking a stroll along the garden trails of iris flowers. With a little breeze and a sudden downpour, you may think of dancing in the rain with the flowers that surround you!

3) Temple & Shrine

Seiganto-ji and Nachi falls during the rainy season in Wakayama. Photo Credit: Kzaral at Flickr.

The beauty of Japanese temple & shrine changes with the colors of each season. This is quite similar to most of the Japanese gardens found throughout the country.

Temples and shrines are referred to be the sacred places where various elements such as gardens, wooden structures, stone lanterns, Buddha statues, pagodas, paths, and beautiful surrounding vistas draw my attention much. What about you?

A view of the graveyard of the Okuno-in temple. A walk through this path while raining is full of mystery. Photo Credit: Xiaojun Deng at Flickr.

It is pretty wonderful to take a stroll along the mystery walkways of Okunoin temple, located in Wakayama prefecture. While on the other hand, you can spend hours after hours staring at the Nachi no Taki waterfall (Nachi falls – the tallest waterfall in Japan) and hearing the sounds of rain falling.

It is located near the Seiganto-ji Temple – part of Kumano Nachi Taisha (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Wakayama. In addition, the streams falling over the cliff is just a thing you can not miss seeing there. That’s truly divine!

In search of many beautiful historic temples and shrines you should head towards Nara, Kyoto, and Kamakura. I guarantee you that you will be thrilled seeing their appearances and the elements they possess during the rainy season!

Most of the temples & shrines offer attractive walkways through which one can take a hike in the rain and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I have to tell you that Wakayama is a great destination and a lot to discover during tsuyu.

4) Ryokan & Onsen

Inside a Japanese ryokan, looking very elegant! Photo Credit: Edward Dalmulder at Flickr.

One of the very good reasons to visit Japan during the rainy season is for staying in a ryokan (traditional inn) and soaking up your body in an outdoor hot spring bath. Staying in a ryokan could be a hilarious experience for the first timers, but even if you have stayed in one of the ryokans before either in spring or autumn, you would still like to see how it could make you feel during the rainy days.

Ryokan is completely different than the traditional hotel you stay overnight when traveling the world. In Japan, based on a specific area, the price of staying a night in a ryokan could vary time to time and yes it is really expensive!

However, since many people think that rainy season is not suitable to roam around in Japan it receives less amount of visitors than the average. This means most of the owners of the ryokans reduce the actual price and offer cheap ryokan deals. Sounds GREAT!

Find some best and cheap ryokans in Hakone area here.

A private onsen bath. Photo Credit: City Foodsters at Flickr.

In Japan, most of the traditional and oldest ryokans can be found in hot spring resort towns. In fact, an onsen town consists of a number of ryokan, and both public and private hot spring baths. Based on your preference choose the one that is suitable for you.

During the rainy season, it is hot and humid and the weather out there is very unpredictable. You may get tired after sightseeing, so how could you relax your mind? There is a way to get rid of it! Relax your mind soaking up your body in an open air hot spring while listening to the sound of dropping rainfall and staring at the cloudy surrounding scenery.

Learn the most important ryokan customs before you arrive there. If you have no idea how to take a bath in an onsen, read this helpful guide.

5) Traditional Japanese Gardens

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden – A tranquil garden in Tokyo. Photo Credit: Yoshikazu TAKADA at Flickr.

Suppose, you are visiting Japan but you have not included a Japanese garden to visit in your itinerary, is that sound good to you? I don’t think so and don’t leave the country without visiting one of the traditional Japanese gardens. They are known for the beauty they represent upon arrival of each season.

In spring, they look fabulous with cherry blossoms. In autumn, the shimmering leaves of maple and ginkgo leave you speechless. In winter, heavy snow falls on the grounds of the gardens look mystical. And in the rainy season and summer, a garden gets covered by the green vegetation creates a perfect space for relaxation.

To tell you the truth, what a traditional Japanese garden produces any time of the year is worth a visit.

A glimpse of the greatest Korakuen garden in Okayama. Photo Credit: SteFou! at Flickr.

Sometimes, the gardens that don’t showcase any seasonal flowers during the rainy season yet are great places to hunt for. Each of the garden elements such as the bridges, ponds, stone lanterns, water basins (tsukubai), buildings, tea houses, rocks, waterfalls, streams, hills, and pathways could be charming things to explore.

I would highly recommend you visiting most of the beautiful traditional Japanese gardens in Tokyo and Kyoto including the three most beautiful landscape Japanese gardens, they are: Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, Kairakuen in Mito, and Korakuen in Okayama.

In the land of the rising sun, each Japanese garden offers you to see distinct spectacular sights that you cannot miss!

Let the rain come down and enjoy the weather! Photo Credit: Beni Arnold at Flickr.

That’s it! These are the top 5 very god reasons to travel to Japan during the rainy season. Have not you impressed? The rainy season in Japan can still be a great time to visit. Don’t you think so?

According to me experience, the sightseeing attractions around Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Aichi, Hakone, Osaka, Nikko, Gifu, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka are said to be the best to explore during tsuyu. There is one more important travel tip I want to share with you is – anyone looking for a budget tour to Japan should start dreaming now!