Looking for tips on things to do in Japan during the rainy season (tsuyu)? You have endless places to choose to visit. Some are exceptionally beautiful to explore and can only be experienced during the rainy season, for example, hydrangeas at Hasedera temple in Kamakura.
Japan is geographically diverse and without a question you can visit Japan during the rainy season as it comes with many great things. The rainy season may take place at slightly different times depending on the region you visit.
It does rain a lot during the rainy season but it does not rain every day. The atmosphere is not like the Typhoon season, which occurs between May and October with August and September being the peak season.
There is no escape from tsuyu, in fact rain acts like a blessing that every living being on the planet must need. It makes the environment super cool and helps us growing crops in abundance.
The season usually lasts from the beginning of June through mid July. On the other hand, it arrives about one month earlier on the islands of Okinawa.
What about Hokkaido? It gets less affected by the season. 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 island incredibly awe-inspiring to explore. And that’s the main reason why many travelers fly to Hokkaido from the main land Japan and aboard.
The weather during the rainy season is unpredictable with the average temperatures around 25°C. That being said, it is still comfortable and bearable but excessive humidity can be very annoying. So, to make your trip enjoyable, pack wisely and dress in layers!
A visit to Japan during the rainy season or tsuyu sounds pretty awkward at first, especially if you are misguided by someone who does not know why you should take trip to this amazing country around that time of year.
I heard many people saying that Japan is not suitable to explore during tsuyu/baiyu. 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.
Rainy Season by Area with Average Dates in 2024
|Average Start Date
|Average End Date
|Kansai (Kyoto, Nara, Osaka)
|Kanto (Tokyo, Ibaraki, Tochigi)
Let’s see some of the main highlights that a rainy season in Japan can offer you:
1) See Hydrangeas
I am a flower aficionado who loves exploring the places that are filled with seasonal flowers.
I appreciate the colors of the flowers that bloom during the rainy season. Hydrangea (Ajisai in Japanese) is one of my favorite flowers that make my mind wonder.
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.
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.
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!
Click here to see Japan’s best Hydragea viewing spots.
2) Visit Japanese Iris Gardens
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.
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) Explore Temples & Shrines
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?
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) Experience a Ryokan Stay & Enjoy Onsen
One of the very good reasons to visit Japan during the rainy season is for staying a night in a ryokan (traditional inn) and soaking up your body in an outdoor hot spring bath.
Staying in a ryokan can be once in a lifetime experience for the first timers, but even if you have stayed in one of the ryokans before in winter, 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 season to season and yes often it is really expensive!
Many people think that rainy season is not suitable to roam around in Japan as 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. That sounds awesome!
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, with 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 of after sightseeing, so how could you relax your mind and body?
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.
5) Traditional Japanese Gardens – Explore its beauty
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.
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!
6. Enjoy lots of Fun Indoor Activities
No matter where you go, it is difficult to travel around on rainy days. Sometimes your outdoor day trips may ruin by wet and rainy weather. Thankfully Japan has no shortage of indoor activities. Most are fun, but some are also both fun and educational.
Japan is home to many stunning museums, shopping malls, aquariums, art galleries, karaoke bars, arcades, cafes, VR spots and many more.
Some of you may have interest in learning Authentic Japanese Cuisine or experience cultural activities, such as Tea ceremony, Taiko drumming, Ikebana, Calligraphy, Judo, Kyudo and so on.
If you want to try one of those aforementioned indoor activities, especially cooking class to learn ramen, sushi, gyoza, and tempura making, we recommend Mayuko’s Little Kitchen based in Tokyo. Classes are held in English!
Check this website for learning Ikebana in Tokyo. You will find a number of ikebana schools there.
On rainy days, people there tend to visit museums, aquariums, theatres, arcades, shopping malls, art galleries, karaoke bars, cafés, VR spots, and many more. This page reveals the most popular museums you can visit in Tokyo.
If you want to experience some cultural activities that tourists usually prefer, then attend a Japanese tea ceremony, or participate in a Japanese cooking class. In fact, there are various workshops out there and experience something unique, which you might not have tried before.
The largest kabuki theater in Japan is Ginza’s Kabukiza Theatre. In search of amazing cultural experience in Tokyo, a visit to this theatre is highly recommended. Enjoy live stage performances with traditional dance and music. They are quite entertaining indeed!
Shopping is an important part of your travel plan. It does not matter where you go, you will always look for something to buy and at that time you rely on shopping malls and areas or convenience stores.
This page guides you to find out the best shopping areas in Tokyo.
Often it is hard to decide what the most popular place for shopping in Tokyo is. You have many shopping areas in Tokyo to choose from, especially Shinjuku, Ginza, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Akihabara, Roppongi, Odaiba, Nihonbashi, Harajuku, Ueno, and Asakusa.
Tsukiji Outer Market is for those who want to explore food markets in Japan. It is huge market with lots of shops selling fresh seafood and produce. Stop by Ueno Ameyoko, a great shopping street with many shops and crowds.
That’s it! These are the top 6 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, Hokkaido, and Shizuoka are said to be the best to explore during tsuyu (rainy season).
Though in Hokkaido, you don’t see the rainy season. In fact, many people head to Hokkaido to avoid the hot and humid weather in Honshu. Many flowers bloom in abundance and you will be overwhelmed by seeing Hokkaido’s incredible summer landscapes.
Few Important Things to Know
1. When traveling to Japan during the rainy season, you can expect a fair amount of rain. Therefore, an umbrella is one of the most important things to have with you. And surprisingly, buying an umbrella will not be expensive. You can also buy a rain jacket, a very handy item!
2. The rainy season in Japan lasts from the end of May and until the middle of July. The average temperature during this time of the year in Japan is around 25°C (77°F).
3. The rainy season is not typical in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture of Japan. So, if you are looking to escape from the rain and hot-humid weather, you can visit Hokkaido and enjoy its beautiful flower farms.
4. Due to hot-humid weather out there, you are suggested to bring short-sleeved shirt and carry a light jacket with you just in case in rains in the evening. I hope you get the answer of “what to wear in Japan during the rainy season?”
5. The sun rises early and usually will set around (6-7pm), so you get plenty of daylight hours to spend for sightseeing. With less crowds at tourist spots, you can take a lot of beautiful photographs and stay closer to the sights you want to experience.
6. If you are in Tokyo during the rainy season and looking for a perfect weekend gateway, I would highly recommend you to visit either Atami or Hakone. Both these areas have plenty of hot spring baths!
7. One of the must-eat foods in Japan during this time of the year is definitely Kakigori. Have you ever tried this before?
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! Yes, rainy season is a perfect time for those looking to explore Japan on a budget.
Plan your trip wisely and please let us know if you need help. We will make your trip a great adventure and memorable no matter where you go in Japan during the rainy season.