You’re headed to Tokyo, one of the most dynamic concrete jungles of the world, set with a list of things things you have to eat, places you have to visit, and experiences you have to capture. However, nothing (or maybe a few vague articles about Tokyo’s intermittent weather have, but you’ve chosen to quietly ignore them) has prepared you for the turbulent mood that is Tokyo’s weather, especially in the summer season. You expect the sun to be out and it to be hot, and it is, but then all of a sudden it rains for three days, non-stop. What do you do then?
Do not be discouraged! Below are some tried and true activities that you and your partner can do even whilst it sprinkles (or storms) all over the city. Whilst many popular attractions use the allure of bright city lights, or the beaming sun, or a cloudless sky to sell its appeal, the below activities can be done in absolutely, positively any weather at all, and some are especially special when it rains because being indoors and watching raindrops slide down the glass can stir some romantic feelings that are quite unexplainable.
Rainy Day Activity #1 – Visit the glamourous Ginza Six Shopping Complex
As most people would know, Ginza is the number one luxury shopping destination in Tokyo. It can be reached from almost anywhere in a short amount of time, and can be visited as a full-day trip, or a half day alongside nearby attractions such as the Tsukiji Fish Markets. There are multiple shopping centres in Ginza that are worth checking out, but none more so than the glamourous Ginza 6 Shopping Complex.
As one of the newer players in the game, Ginza 6 has already gained a massive reputation stocking some of the world’s biggest brands, including Prada, Mulberry, Kenzo, and Alexander Wang. You and your partner could spend quite some time here, as there are a total of 241 global and domestic brands located all under the one roof. If you’re after a more rounded shopping experience, simply head up to level 6 to explore the large Tsutaya bookstore whose contemporary décor will leave you stunned the first time you see it. There is also a konbini located on the bottom level for some quick pick-me-ups if needed, and when you get hungry after all those hours shopping, head to the basement level for a wide selection of international cuisines to end the perfect day.
Description: Up-market shopping centre selling 241 global brands across fashion and accessories.
Address: 10-1, Ginza 6-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan
Access: Head to Ginza Station, and use Exit A2 or A3.
Hours: 10:30am – 8:30pm
Rainy Day Activity #2 – Make your own noodles at the Yokohama Cup Noodle Museum
For most, Yokohama is more of a day-trip from Tokyo than anything, but hey, if it’s pouring outside, why not head to one of the most popular attractions for visitor’s in Tokyo and spend a few hours ogling at instant noodles? We can’t think of a reason why you’d say no.
The Yokohama Cup Museum is located quite close to Minato Mirai, and easily accessible via the train. After paying a small entrance fee, you will need to pay an extra 300 yen if you want to create your own instant noodle cup, but that’s probably the smallest price to pay for a keepsake you’ll fawn over for hours. Once inside the museum, you’re free to roam around and explore the different floors which offer attractions such as a media room playing the history of how instant cup noodles came about, creative wall art concepts that depict major moments in cup noodle history, and, one of the most popular attractions, the instant noodle display room, which proudly lines up almost every single instant noodle that’s come into existence. It’s a great area to take some cool pictures.
Once it’s your time to create your own cup noodle, head to the floor and line up. You’ll be given a blank cup that you can decorate with markers (take your time! This is a great time to showcase your inner artist and write something that will capture the special time in Japan you are having with your partner), and when you are done, head to the ingredients area where workers will happily assist you in making your own ramen.
This is where the fun begins.
You get to choose your own base, and up to four different ingredients. You have the classics, like original base and spring onion and shrimp, but you can also select a tomato base, and dehydrated egg and even Naruto! Once you’re done, they’ll wrap it up, provide you with a blow-up bag, and then off to home you go! Give yourself a few hours, this museum is just so fun, and majorly aesthetically pleasing for those who have a camera to play with.
Description: A museum dedicated to the history and promotion of Instant Cup Noodles.
Address: 2-3-4 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001 Japan
Access: Head to Minatomirai Station, and it is an 8-minute walk from there.
Hours: 10:00am – 6:00pm (last admission at 5:00pm)
Cost: Entrance Fee – 500 yen, Cup Noodles Factory – 300 yen
Rainy Day Activity #3 – Grab a coffee at the prettiest Starbucks in Shibuya (and shop for some cute Harajuku fashion whilst you’re at it!)
If you’re located around Shibuya, head to Tokyu Hands Omotesando Shopping Centre. It’s easily one of the most accessible shopping centres from the subway (hint: you will hardly get wet heading there from the station exit), and it’s five stories of adorable fashion will have you reaching for your credit card before you know it. The entrance to the shopping centre is also the famed kaleidoscope glass mirror entrance that you’ve probably seen online at least once. The first time you see it, you will absolutely be in awe.
Apart from the shopping experience, Tokyu Hands Omotesando is also home to one of the most beautifully located Starbucks in all of Tokyo. Head up to the 6th floor, and you will see that the entire floor is dedicated to the coffee chain, with half of the seating being indoors, and half of the seating area outdoors. The outdoor area is absolutely stunning, with wooden decks that lead up to an observation area that overlooks the Meiji Street and Omotesando Street intersection, which absolutely comes alive at night. There’s also a wooden octagonal seating area around the middle that encompasses a small garden with trees and hanging branches with fairy lights illuminating the outside area at night.
Of course, when it’s raining, you’d want to be indoors. When you enter the Starbucks, on the left are a few stools that look out of a massive window, and its pure magic when the sun is setting and the splashes of red and orange illuminate the sky. On the right of the entrance are some tables, and further along inside the store are the most comfortable lounges you’ve ever experienced. Spend a few hours of just sipping on your coffee, watching the rain outside and feeling warm and snuggly.
Description: An international coffee chain selling hot and cold beverages, and food.
Address: 150-0001 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: Head to Meiji-jingumae Station, and use exit 5. If you flip 180 degrees, it is literally across the street on the corner.
Hours: Starbucks – 8:30am to 11:00pm, Shops – 11:00am to 9:00pm
Rainy Day Activity 4 – Profess your love at the closest karaoke bar
One of nation’s favourite pastimes is karaoke, and whilst the appeal of yelling into a microphone in a small dark room that sometimes smells a little sour is lost to some, experiencing karaoke in Japan is not something that should be discredited.
Unlike many other countries, karaoke in Japan runs all day long. As in, 24-hours. Yep, if you wake up at 4am in the morning in your hotel and have the inexplicable desire to belt some tunes, you’re in luck, because wherever you are, there will be a karaoke bar close by, and it will most likely be open and will welcome you with open arms.
They are dirt-cheap to access during the day, so it would make the perfect affordable alternative to sightseeing when it’s raining outside. Their rooms sometimes come in the tiniest size, making it a lot cosier for you and your partner, and don’t worry if you’re feeling a little nervous, because all karaoke bars offer ‘nomihodai’ (all-you-can drink) packages so have a quick drink at the beginning and you’ll both be claiming the mic to sing ‘My Heart Will Go On’ to each other before you know it.
Popular Karaoke Chains with Multiple Locations that have English Songs (click on each one to head to the ‘Shop Locations’ search function)
Rainy Day Activity 5 – Bat(tle) it out at the indoor baseball batting stadium in Shinjuku
If both of you are arcade enthusiasts but think you’re overstayed your welcome at the local Taito Station claiming all of their skill-tester toys, then head to the Indoor Batting Cage in Shinjuku for an hour or two of a different kind of fun!
This indoor baseball batting cage allows players to pay a small fee for a number of balls (the fee depends on how many balls you’d like to hit), grab a baseball bat, and then head into the fenced area of the nets to bat some balls that will automatically come flying at you. Don’t worry about getting hit by the ball! If you following the correct positioning inside the netting of where to stand, you will be completely out of harm’s way.
Never hit with a baseball bat before? Don’t fear! There are actual speed settings that you can select before you play, with the lowest speed leaving major intervals in between, allowing for you to steady yourself for the next bat.
This is a great date idea that doesn’t involve too much money, time, or effort. Battle it out with each other, or impressive your other half with your skills, this place is for everybody.
Description: An indoor baseball batting arena arcade.
Address: 2 Chome-21-13 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021
Access: From Higashi-Shinjuku Station, use exit A1, or if you’re coming from Shinjuku, use the East Exit.
Hours: 10:00am – 4:00am
Cost: from 300 yen for 28 balls.
Rainy Day Activity 6 – Joypolis
Joypolis is the holy grail of indoor theme parks. As one of the most popular theme parks for the locals, it hasn’t hit its peak yet with foreigners, so the crowds are not nearly as crazy as you would expect for a theme park so fun!
Located in Odaiba, one of the most dynamic cities in Tokyo, Joypolis is pretty much the perfect destination for a date when the weather outside is no good. The entire theme park is located within the Odaiba DECKS Tokyo Beach complex, but that doesn’t stop it from producing some crazy rides. Over the years, they’ve continuously added to their selection of games to play and rides to line up for, but some of the best ones continue to be the indoor rollercoaster that encompasses a game of DDR for the fingers before you’re off on a fast, looped ride, and the half-pipe rode where you’re strapped on whilst standing and swung side to side, similar to the famous Pirate Ship. Other notable mentions are the Initial D cars where you literally sit inside a real car and its maneuvers as though you are on the road, and the Transformers pods, where you’re strapped into a circular pod and taken for a ride where sometimes you would end up upside down!
It’s insane how an indoor arena can play host to such a wide variety of rides. Head to DECKS Tokyo and you can spend the entire day there shopping, eating, riding everything and anything in Joypolis, eating some more, and then heading home without any regret that it had rained during the day at all.
Description: an indoor amusement park.
Address: 〒135-0091 Tokyo, Minato, Daiba, 1 Chome−6−1 DECKS Tokyo Beach
Access: Head to either the Odaiba Kaihin Kouen Station or the Tokyo Teleport Station, and it is between 2 – 5 minutes on foot from there.
Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm
Cost: All Day Passport – 4,300 yen, After 5PM Passport – 3,300 yen (if you bring your passport or ID card, you will get a 300-yen discount).
Trust us when we say this list encompasses some of the best indoor things you can do when it rains outside. You can make it romantic, you can make it challenging, but experiencing all of the above with your partner will make for memories and laughter that you’ll remember for a long time.