Don’t let a rainy day in Tokyo put a damper on your travel plans. Tokyo is such an expansive city with so many things to do – even when you’re trying to avoid spending time outside. These rainy day things to do in Tokyo aren’t just single activities, they’re whole itineraries for how you can spend a half-day or full-day in Tokyo. Whether it’s raining or snowing, freezing cold or blistering hot, don’t worry. We’ve got the whole day planned for you.
Tip: If you’re caught out in the rain in Tokyo, just pop in to any convenience store and you can buy umbrellas and ponchos. If you’re already wet, you can find socks and hand-towels too!
1. Explore Tokyo Station, Yaechika, and Marunouchi
This rainy day activity in Tokyo is one of my favorites. Even on perfectly sunny days you can find me wandering around Tokyo Station!
Tokyo Station is the central hub of Tokyo that can easily be reached via an extensive web of train, bus and subway lines. Not only is it a train station, it’s basically an entire underground village. Famous spots that can be explored within Tokyo Station’s underground network include Character Street (shops that sell items dedicated to characters and anime like Pokemon and Studio Ghibli), Tokyo Station Ramen Street, eateries featuring food from around Japan, and countless Tokyo-centric souvenir stores.
Tokyo Station is connected to a number of nearby buildings and malls via underground passageways so you don’t need to step out into the rain. And it’s not as depressing as it sounds – even the passageways are lined with shops and cafes!
One of these areas that Tokyo Station connects to underground is Yaechika, short for Yaesu Chikagai (chikagai meaning underground shopping arcade). This chikagai is home to various shops and perfect for picking up daily necessities as well as interesting trinkets. In addition to clothing and shoes shops, check out Hokkaido Foodist, a shop that sells all Hokkaido goods, and Liquors Hasegawa where you can try and buy liquors from around the world.
Above ground from Yaesu Yaechika is Tokyo Midtown Yaesu, a newly-opened mall complex that hosts pop-up shops and special events throughout the year. Rainy day pilgrims can relax at Yaesu Public, a large food court and seating/resting area that faces Tokyo Station.
Once you’ve had enough of the Yaesu side of Tokyo Station, take the underground passageways over to Marunouchi, the other side of Tokyo Station. Here, you can visit the Shin-Marunouchi building, which has a number of high-end stores as well as a food court and open-air public space on the 7th floor. Another nearby option is KITTE Marunouchi, which as a great rooftop view of Tokyo Station on non-rainy days!
With hundreds of food and shop options, all connected via underground passageways, the Tokyo Station area is a great place to spend a rainy day in Tokyo.
2. Go Museum-Hopping in Ueno
One of the best things to do on a rainy day in Tokyo is spend time exploring some of its amazing museums. The Ueno neighborhood north of Tokyo Station is known for its museums, and one could easily spend a rainy day in Tokyo exploring a number of them. Although you will need to walk a little bit around Ueno Park to get from one location to another, here are some of the top museums to visit in Ueno.
- Tokyo National Museum
- Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
- National Museum of Nature and Science
- National Museum of Western Art
- The University Art Museum, Tokyo Museum of the Arts
- Shitamachi Museum
Expect to spend 1-3 hours in each, making it a perfect way to spend a rainy day in Tokyo!
Once you’ve had your fill of museums or are looking to take a break, visit a spacious cafe or restaurant in Ueno. To make it a full day out, here are some places to eat and drink in Ueno to finish off your rainy day in Tokyo.
- Delirium Cafe Ueno – a beer hall and cafe, a perfect place for a bite and relax with a beer in hand
- Everyone’s Cafe – a spacious cafe located in Ueno Park, also across from a Starbucks coffee. You’ll forget you’re in the center of Tokyo when seeking refuge from the rain here.
- Yushima Hall – a colorful and eccentric izakaya where you can fill up on soul food like ramen and shumai
Unfortunately Ueno’s famous shopping arcade, Ameyokocho, is not covered so it is not ideal for spending a rainy day in Tokyo.
3. Gaming and Themed Cafes in Akihabara
Akihabara is the anime and electronics capital of Tokyo, where fans of character goods and video games could easily get lost for hours. The best things to do in Akihabara on a rainy day include shopping at the various otaku/anime stores, and playing arcade games and claw machine games at the game centers. Here are some unmissable Akihabara locations for gamers, collectors, and anime fans:
- Super Potato (new and used video games with a retro arcade on the top floor)
- Kotobukiya (figurines and collectible goods)
- Mandarake Complex (figurines and collectible goods)
- GiGO (previously SEGA) arcade store
Akihabara also has massive retail stores like Don Quijote, Bic Camera, and Yodobashi Camera for people looking for amazing bargain finds, especially in electronics.
Just north of Akihabara is a hidden gem store that sells handmade products from around Japan, which is also worth a stop during a rainy day in Tokyo. 2k540 is a conglomerate of 50+ boutique shops, each selling unique handicrafts.
Looking for a place to eat and rest in Akihabara? Consider visiting the following regular and themed cafes in Akihabara on a rainy day:
4. Visit Odaiba Mega-Malls and Theme Parks
Odaiba is one of the best places to spend a rainy day in Tokyo because of its mega-malls, theme parks, and under-the-radar museums. Its array of mega-malls include DECKS Tokyo Beach, Aqua Beach, and the biggest of all, Diver City Tokyo Plaza (home to the Unicorn Gundam Statue). You’ll find hundreds of shops and restaurants here as well as food courts and theme parks, perfect for spending all day indoors.
DECKS Tokyo Beach is home to a number of theme parks and attractions, including:
- Tokyo Joypolis by SEGA (shown in Instagram post below)
- Legoland Discovery Center
- Tokyo Trick Art Museum
- Retro Arcade Game Centers
The neighboring Aqua City is home to a Madama Tussauds wax museum and a large movie theater, United Cinemas, which plays both movies in English with subtitles and dubbed Japanese.
Outside of Odaiba’s Mega-Malls are a number of under-the-radar museums where you could easily spend an entertaining few hours during a rainy day in Tokyo. These informational museums are great for adults and often have interactive components for kids as well:
- Tokyo Miraikan, aka the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (great for kids!)
- Tokyo Miniatorie, the Tokyo Maritime Museum
- Tokyo Water Science Museum
- Panasonic Center, Science Museum (great for kids!)
One perk of spending the day in Odaiba is riding around the driverless monorail. If you board the first car of the monorail, you can sit in the front for unimpeded views of Tokyo landmarks. The Yurikamome monorail connects Odaiba to Shimbashi station on one end and Toyosu on the other.
5. Visit Teamlab Borderless and Roppongi Hills
The NEW Teamlab Borderless has just opened in February 2024 in Azabudai Hills, near Tokyo Tower in central Tokyo. This immersive art museum took the world by storm when it first opened in Odaiba, and will undoubtedly draw crowds of tourists and even celebrities on rainy days in Tokyo. The open “borderless” concept of the museum means people can stay for hours wandering around their favorite digital art exhibits.
When I visited Teamlab Borderless in Odaiba, I spent four hours there! It’s a great half-day activity on a rainy day in Tokyo.
Continue the second half of your day in nearby Roppongi Hills, which is a large metropolitan mall area known for high-end stores. The Roppongi Hills complex is also home to the famous MORI Art Museum, one of the best museums in Tokyo.
The museum is located on the 52nd floor of the MORI building and hosts a variety of memorable art exhibits. A ticket to the museum can be paired with entry to Tokyo City View, a beautiful Tokyo viewpoint on the 53rd floor of the building. Although during rainy days the view will be sub-par, it’s worth having a look while you’re up there!
6. Shop at Ikebukuro's Sunshine City and play at Round One
Ikebukuro is a hip and vibrant neighborhood in northwest Tokyo that has a number of locations perfect for spending a rainy day in the city: Sunshine City mall and Round One Entertainment Center.
Sunshine City mall is a massive complex known for having both an aquarium and planetarium on-site, and being one of the tallest observation decks in Tokyo. It also has the largest Pokemon Centers in Tokyo and a number of other character shops including Studio Ghibli, Disney, One Piece, and Marvel. It also has a Sanrio (Hello Kitty) Cafe, the Pikachu Sweets Cafe (an alternative to the Pokemon Cafe in Nihonbashi) and a myriad of others on their floor of restaurants and cafes. You’ll also find here your Tokyo standards like UniQlo, Village Vanguard, ABC Mart, Daiso, Seria, and even a Toys-R-Us.
Once you’ve shopped to your heart’s content, head through an underground passageway towards Sunshine 60 Street, which is where you’ll find Round One.
Round One is an entertainment center where people can spend an entire day even if it’s not raining. Activities at Round One include all-you-can-play arcade games, bowling, darts, and ping pong. They even have karaoke booths (for an additional fee)! It’s a great place to blow off some steam and have fun with family and friends, rain or shine in Tokyo.
To extend your rainy day in Ikebukuro, here are some places you can eat and rest along Sunshine 60 Street:
- Kura sushi, which is on my list of Tokyo restaurants with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options
- Ain Soph Soar, a full-vegan Western-style restaurant
- Beer Pub Camden, with a full selection of craft beers and burgers
7. Visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour - Making of Harry Potter
One activity that Harry Potter fans visiting Tokyo shouldn’t miss is visiting the Warner Brothers Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour. This studio tour gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies were created, including props, stages, and costumes. Not to mention there is a massive souvenir store here too! Because most of the studio tour takes place indoors, it’s a perfect rainy day activity in Tokyo.
The massive complex is made up of a number of different rooms that will be nostalgic for all Harry Potter fans. If you line up to take part in every single experience here such as broomstick riding and Quidditch practice, if you read all of the plaques and information signs, and eat at the number of cafes and food halls within the studio, you’re looking at spending 5-7 hours here overall.
How to get there (both take approximately 30 minutes from Tokyo):
- From Shinjuku Station, take the Oedo Line northwest to Toshimaen Station.
- From Tokyo Station, take the Marunouchi Line to Ikebukuro, then change to the Ikebukuro line to Toshimaen.
Looking for other things to do in Tokyo?
- Read up on my Tokyo itinerary – The Perfect Three Days in Tokyo Itinerary
- Check out the highlights – Top 15 Things To Do In Tokyo
- See Tokyo’s weird and quirky side – 40 Weird And Unique Things To Do In Tokyo
- Learn where to escape the crowds – Off-The-Beaten-Path Places In Tokyo
- Get out of the city for a day – Best Day Trips From Tokyo
- Gain some elevation over Tokyo – Six Amazing Tokyo Viewpoints
I hope this list of rainy day things to do in Tokyo is helpful in ensuring your trip to Japan is the best one yet! Rain or shine, you’re sure to have an amazing time exploring this wonderful city.
Are You Prepared For Your Trip To Japan?
Be sure to check out my Japan home page for Japan travel information, insider tips, reading list, and must-haves for traveling to Japan!
- Book Your Flights – To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is key. I use both Google Flights for their low fare calendar, and Skiplagged, which uses airfare loopholes to get the lowest prices. For a trip to Japan, check flights to both Tokyo airports (Haneda, Narita) and to Osaka (Kansai).
- Getting Around Japan: Prepare your JR Pass and Suica transit card before you depart.
- Book Your Accommodation – Check out Booking.com for the largest selection of accommodation in Japan. Consider having a bit of fun at one of these Weirdest Hotels in Japan too 🙂
- Book Local Excursions – Don’t miss out on world-class experiences, like Teamlab Planets or Tokyo Disneyland, by booking tickets online now. Check GetYourGuide and Klook for fun experiences all around Japan.
- Stay Connected: Order a pocket WiFi for airport pickup if you’re traveling with family or with a large group. Solo traveling to Japan? Order a SIM card just for you.
- Buy Travel Insurance – It’s better to protect yourself from mishaps when traveling. Get a quote from World Nomads to see how much it’ll cost to get you covered!
- Pack Your Essentials – Check out my posts about Long Term Travel Gear, and Carry-On Luggage Packing Essentials.
- Read more on my Travel Resources page!