What to do in Tokyo on a rainy day

Don’t let the weather keep you from having only-in-Japan fun! Click on the images for great stuff to do in Tokyo on a rainy day


Below are seasonal events that you can go to on the spur of the moment, without reservations

(Update note: be sure to check the dates on the official websites – the ones on the images are for 2015 and they change slightly from year to year year)
















• Sample foods & entertainment from all over japan at the Furusato Matsuri JAN

• See giant paper mache characters at the Asagaya Tanabata festival AUG


• Go to a sumo tournament JAN, MAY, SEP

• Enjoy the gorgeous handmade quilts at the International Quilt Festival JAN

•Hear about the hottest new Japanese design ideas at Pechakucha night JAN

• See ceramics and lacquerware from all over Japan at the Tableware Festival FEB

• Get dressed up and go to the Steam Garden Tokyo steampunk party FEB

• Shop for bargains at the Heiwajima Antiques Fair MAR, SEP, DEC

• See pieces by cutting-edge Japanese artists at the Tokyo Art Fair MAR

•Mingle with the cosplayers at the Anime Japan Convention MAR

• Be stunned by the flower arrangements at the Flower Dream expo APR

• Be amazed at the sheer originality of the goods at Design Festa MAY

• Music, laser lights & live goldfish dazzle at Art Aquarium JUL – SEP

• Check out the crazy stuff at the Wonder Festival JUL

• Get boggled by fanfic comics & cosplayers at Comiket AUG

• Check out the hottest new things on wheels at the Tokyo Motor Show OCT – NOV

• See the most outrageous nail designs in the world at the Tokyo Nail Expo NOV

• Watch the newest things in robots do their stuff at the International Robot Expo DEC

Only-in-Japan experiences

• Treat yourself to a fun day in an Edo-era town at the Oedo Onsen indoor hot spring theme park

• See vintage cars and play in real ones at the Toyota Megaweb

• Enjoy the spectacle of a kabuki performance

• Live the fantasy at the J-World manga theme park

• Marvel at the beautiful paper and constructions at the Origami Center

• Get your wallet blessed by fire & drums at a Fukugawa Fudo temple fire ceremony

• Go to a Japanese baseball game at Tokyo Dome and cheer with the world’s craziest fans MAY-SEP

• Try some eel ice cream at Namco Namja Town

• Pet the kitties & sip a latte at a cat café

• Or, if you prefer bunnies, how about a session at the rabbit cafe?

• Eat next to a giant working model train set at the Steam Locomotive Cafe & Bar

Make your own plastic food at a shop in Kappabashi

Get your picture taken dressed up in the latest Lolita style

• Get treated like otaku royalty at a Tokyo maid café


• Play with the exhibits at the Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation)

• Spot the drummer and other amazing denizens in the models at the Edo-Tokyo Museum

• Explore a life-size, indoor, samurai town at the Fukagawa Edo Museum

• Get in a smile fight at the Sony Explorascience Museum

• Take amazing photos of yourself in the optical illusions at the Tokyo Trick Art Museum in Odaiba

• See the actual signed confession of the 47 ronin & the receipt for Lord Kira’s head at the Sengaku-ji Temple Museum

• Learn all about (and taste!) beer at the Beer Museum

Salmon skin boots? Yep, at the Amuse Museum in Asakusa

• Get up close and personal with restored vintage autos at the History Garage

Shopping as a cultural experience

• Sample unusual & delicious Japanese snacks at a department store food hall

Ogle the $10,000 doll sets in Asakusabashi

• Shop the character stores and eat at the underground ramen street at Tokyo Station

• Discover weird products and inventions at the Tokyu Hands store

• Marvel at the electronic toilets & weird vending machines at the electronics superstores in Akihabara

• See only-in-Japan products at the Loft store

• Browse the one-of-a-kind artisan-made products at the Aki-Oka artisan co-op

• See crazy fan-built Lego models at the Lego store in Odaiba

• Browse the crazy souvenirs at Village Vanguard

• Get beautiful traditionally-made crafts from all over Japan at the Japan Traditional Craft Center

• Bling your car at the rhinestone car accessories store in Men’s 109

• Find the funniest/weirdest souvenirs at the Don Kihote store

Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo. Her fourth book, Painted Doll, hits Detective Kenji Nakamura much too close to home…

It's been nine years since she didn't make it home, but now Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura's life is about to unravel... Read more
When Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death ten years ago wasn’t an accident, his world begins to unravel. New evidence links her to…Read more

PAINTED DOLL book trailer (1:08)