Enjoying Tokyo in the rain! Our 10 fave indoor activities

Compared to other parts of Japan, the weather in Tokyo is actually pretty good all year round, but there has been some more extreme weather lately, and it’s not unusual to get caught in a downpour. On top of that, if you choose to visit Japan in June or the beginning of July, you will also find yourself slap bang in the middle of the rainy season…

Luckily, we’ve got your back! There’s no need to let grey skies put a damper on your day with this list of our ten favorite indoor Tokyo attractions!

  1. Miraikan (Aomi)
  2. Planetarium Manten (Ikebukuro)
  3. Museum of Yebisu Beer (Ebisu)
  4. teamLab Digital Art Museum (Odaiba/Toyosu)
  5. Maxell Aqua Park (Shinagawa)
  6. Bakuon Film Festival
  7. Tsutaya Bookstore (Roppongi)
  8. Book and Bed Tokyo (Shinjuku)
  9. Goku no Kimochi (Ginza)
  10. Somei Onsen Sakura (Sugamo)

1. Miraikan

At Miraikan, you can take your time and learn all about the latest in science, technology, and society. Exhibits, movies, and talk shows are all utilized to give visitors a picture of the future that awaits us via scientific innovation. You can also find out about the various forms that the Earth and the life that has inhabited it have taken throughout the ages in exhibits like the “Geo-Cosmos” which visualizes the effect of human activity on the Earth.

  • Web: https://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/en/
  • Address: Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation 2-3-6 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Closed Tuesdays)

2. Planetarium Manten (Ikebukuro)

This planetarium’s quest is to bring visitors the most beautiful night skies and by using state-of-the-art optical projectors, they are able to accurately recreate the locations of every celestial body.

Their “lawn seats” and “cloud seats” that allow a limited number of couples to lie back, stretch out, and watch the stars overhead are very popular, so even if the weather is poor, you can still enjoy a lovely relaxed and romantic view of the stars. There’s an English language guide available too. 

3. Museum of Yebisu Beer

First brewed in 1890, Yebisu Beer has been made with the finest ingredients for over 100 years.

At The Museum of Yebisu Beer, situated in the birthplace of this famous brew, you can learn all about the secrets as to why this beer tastes so great.

Although a reservation is required at least three days in advance for the paid tour that also lets you taste the beers, you can also go and visit any time at your own leisure.

4. teamLab Digital Art Museum (Odaiba/Toyosu)

(画像)世界的に活躍する日本のクリエイティブ集団「teamLab」によるデジタルアートのミュージアムです。お台場の「ボーダレス」は、境界のないアート群による「地図のないミュージアム」。豊洲の「プラネッツ」は水がコンセプトです。時間を忘れてアート作品に身を投じてみては?

These spaces brand themselves as digital art museums and have been created by “teamLab” who are a band of Japanese creative professionals who work worldwide. The “Borderless” museum in Odaiba is designed to be an “unmapped museum” formed by numerous borderless art pieces whereas “Planets” in Toyosu is based around the concept of water. Both museums are breath-taking and it’s both a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience to spend a few hours submerged in such a surreal and interactive world of art.

teamLab Borderless

  • Web: https://borderless.teamlab.art/
  • Address: teamLab Borderless, 2nd Floor Odaiba Palette Town, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
  • Opening Hours: Please check the website for bookable times

teamLab Planetes

5. Maxell Aqua Park

Maxell Aqua Park is a two minute walk from Shinagawa Station and an aquarium with a twist. Not only can you enjoy all the marine animals, but you are also treated to an audio, visual, and video feast. Two particular highlights are the “Jellyfish Ramble”, which is an exhibit that combines jellyfish with light and sound performances, and the underwater tunnel from which you can admire the only dwarf sawfish in captivity anywhere in the world.

6. Bakuon Film Festival

Bakuon is the loudest film festival in Japan and is made possible by using sound setups usually reserved for live concerts, allowing you to enjoy great movies in a whole new way. This festival is held nationwide, so check the homepage for movie screening times and locations. 

Web: http://www.bakuon-bb.net/

7. Tsutaya Bookstore Roppongi

This is a bookshop for people with a more global perspective and is packed with books about travel, food, architecture, design, art, and a myriad of other genres. This bookshop has its own full time concierges who are ready to look for that certain book or give you their latest book recommendations at a moment’s notice and is situated in the international district of Roppongi, so there are plenty of staff who can also speak English.

Book and Bed Tokyo (Shinjuku)

This hostel’s theme is a “bookshop where you can stay for the night” and it has branches in Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Asakusa. Even though this is first and foremost a hostel in which you can fall asleep with you nose in a good book, they also offer daytime packages at ¥500/hour on the weekdays/¥600 on the weekend and offer a huge range of English-language books as well as Japanese-language books on any topic you can imagine.

9. Goku no Kimochi

The first dry head massage specialist spa in Japan. The masseuses at this spa use expert massage techniques that feel so nice they can put customers to sleep within minutes. In fact, this spa is so popular that there is a three month long waiting list at all locations… Keep an eye on the homepage for any cancellations or rare vacant slots!

  • Web: https://goku-nokimochi.com/
  • Address: Jingu-Mae NT Building, 3-21-7 Jingu-Mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (Harajuku Spa)
  •     10th Floor Success Ginza First Building, 1-2-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
  • Opening Hours: 10:30-21:00

10. Somei Onsen Sakura

This onsen (or “super sento bath house”) is just eight minutes from Sugamo Station on the Yamanote Line. Here you can relax in all kinds of bathing facilities, including a jacuzzi, sauna, large wooden hinoki bathtub, and a rotenburo open air bath.

You can even indulge your taste buds at the restaurant or grab a healing massage. Relaxing at the onsen on a rainy day really is the best and the cherry on top is that there’s even a free shuttle bus from near the roundabout at Sugamo Station South Exit straight to the baths.

So how about it? When you think of a rainy day in Tokyo, your mind may go straight to shopping malls and art galleries, but there is so much more than that! So take us up on our recommendations and you’ll never need to groan at bad weather in Tokyo again 🙂

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