We've heard many people say that Japan is beautiful in all seasons. Whether it is spring’s cherry blossom, autumn’s ever-changing colours, summer’s fireworks, or the white wintery days, there is never a wrong time to visit Japan. Or is there?
During the summer months, Japan often suffers from typhoons and heavy rainfall. Although watching the rain may be a calming experience when you’re at home with a nice warm cup of tea, it might not be the best holiday experience. But worry not. If you’re visiting Tokyo during the rainy season, there are still many places you can visit even if the weather outside is a little less perfect.
Sunshine City, Ikebukuro
Ikebukuro lies on the Yamanote Line just a few stations away from Shinjuku. Sunshine City is a large shopping complex with more than just shops. In fact, inside this seemingly normal mall, you can find an aquarium, a planetarium, an observatory tower, and two indoor theme parks (one of them has plenty of gyoza!). This makes Sunshine City a perfect spot for families, couples, and travellers to take shelter from the rain and still have a full day of activities.
For the anime lovers, you do not want to miss J-World, an indoor theme park of Shonen Jump’s beloved manga and anime. Fans of One Piece, Naruto, Bleach and newer Jump’s series can spend hours in J-World exploring, taking photos, and eating food made to look like your favourite anime characters.
Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa
Tokyo Skytree opens its doors in mid-2012 and quickly became a popular destination for tourists. Most would visit for the chance to see Mt. Fuji from the observation deck, however did you know that there are so much more to see and do around the Skytree district? Skytree is home to the Sumida Aquarium and a special night planetarium viewing with healing scent of aromatherapy. What a great way to relax on a bad weather day!
Solamachi, the shopping mall attached to Skytree, has many omiyage (souvenir) shops and restaurants. Many stores within Solamachi sell special Skytree edition merchandises that are exclusive to this mall, so do check them out! Also, a new Pokemon Center recently opens its doors for fans of the popular Nintendo franchise to enjoy.
Tokyo Station, Marunouchi
Tokyo Station Characters
It might be weird to suggest a station as a travel destination, but Tokyo Station has so much to offer that it deserves a spot in this list. Walk along Character Streets for a dose of Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Pikachu, Totoro and more. Sample bowls of ramen at the Ramen Street or try a cup of freshly-made Calbee chips with cheese on top while you purchase some omiyage for your friends and family back home. With all the fun that you’re having, you’ll forget that it’s actually raining outside!
KitKat - Tokyo Station
It might be a little daunting to begin your souvenir hunting at Tokyo Station when there are loads of options. Some popular omiyage include: Tokyo Banana, different flavours Kit Kat, as well as limited edition Pocky & Pretz. Here’s a tip: there is a souvenir store that sells many Kit Kat flavours right opposite Rokurinsha, a popular tsukemen (dipping ramen) joint.
Animal Cafes, Kichijoji
Cat Cafe, Tokyo
Visiting a cat café is a dream come true to many Japanese who can’t own a pet due to tiny house space and busy work hours. Travellers to Japan also love this unique experience, which make animal cafes even more popular. Apart from cats, there are now cafés for hamsters, owls and rabbits just to name a few. There are many other animal cafes around Tokyo. So if you’re stuck somewhere due to bad weather, find one near you and enjoy the next hour or two indoors with some adorable fluffy animals.
Temari No Ouchi, Cat Cafe
Kichijoji is a cool and laidback neighbourhood just a short train ride away from Shinjuku or Shibuya. On rainy days, you can walk along the covered Sun Road shotengai for some food and shopping. But while you’re there, you can also check out Temari no Ouchi, a beautifully decorated cat café with loveable felines. Visit after 7pm for a discounted price!
As you can see, Tokyo has so many things to offer, even when the weather isn’t favourable. So don’t let the rain dampens your holiday mood. Buy the very-Japanese transparent umbrella from a nearby convenience store, wear your comfortable shoes, and go out to explore the city! Because Japan truly is beautiful in all seasons…