Japan’s Rainy Season: What to Expect and How to Have Fun During Tsuyu! (2024 Edition)

The rainy season in Japan is known as “tsuyu” or “baiu.” It takes place in early summer, around June and July, and is worth researching if you’re planning to visit Japan during this time. While wet days are frequent, with knowledge and preparation, you can still have plenty of fun during the rainy season in Japan. In this article, we’ll cover how long Japan’s rainy season lasts, what to wear, how to enjoy it, and more. So, if you’ve booked a holiday to Japan around June and July, be sure to read up before packing and planning!

Check out our writers’ top Japan travel ideas!

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About Japan's Rainy Season

Japan is known for having four distinct seasons, each with its own charms, such as cherry blossoms in spring, colorful foliage in the fall, and snow in winter. In addition to these major seasons are micro-seasons, such as the rainy season in early summer.

The rainy season in Japan is called “tsuyu” or “baiu.” It occurs during the transition from spring to summer, when the atmospheric pressure system over the Pacific Ocean called the South Pacific High travels up the Japanese archipelago. This warm, humid air hits the cold air that remains in northern Japan, called the Okhotsk High, creating a seasonal rain front that lingers over Japan for roughly a month. The South Pacific High gradually pushes the Okhotsk High north and overpowers it, breaking into clear summer days from late July and August. The rainy season affects all parts of Japan except for the northernmost island of Hokkaido, which is too far north for it to reach.

How Long Does Japan’s Rainy Season Last, and How Wet Does It Get?

The starting and ending dates for Japan’s rainy season vary by region as the rain front moves northward, starting in the tropical islands to the south of Japan and ending just below Hokkaido. In general, the rainy season tends to span about one and a half months from early June to mid-July. The end of the rainy season brings a long period of sunshine and heat, although the weather remains humid even after the rainy season ends.

The Kanto and Kansai regions of Japan tend to enter the rainy season around the first or second week of June, and it finishes by the end of the third week of July. The northern Tohoku region has a delayed rainy season, kicking off in mid-June and wrapping up at the end of July.

In south Japan, Kyushu’s northern prefectures (Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita) tend to be similar to Kanto and Kansai. However, southern Kyushu often has its rainy season begin at the end of May. Even further south, Okinawa’s rainy season commences as early as the first week of May (sometimes even the end of April), and stops by the third week of June.

The amount of rainfall also differs depending on the region of Japan. Generally, the further south you go, the more it rains. For example, the Kanto region experiences roughly 300 mm of rainfall over the whole season, while Okinawa gets 500 mm.

In 2023, Tokyo received 347 mm of rainfall in June and just 30 mm in July. Osaka had 262 mm of rainfall in June and 100.5 mm in July. Fukuoka got 169 mm in June and a whopping 536.5 mm in July, while Okinawa had 400.5 mm in June and 92 mm in July. Meanwhile, Aomori at the very north of mainland Japan received just 51 mm in June and 134 mm in July. This demonstrates just how varied Japan’s rainy season can be, so your experience can differ wildly depending on where you travel.

Along with researching general trends, be sure to look up the latest weather forecast just before leaving for Japan and again each day prior to heading outdoors. Also, just because you avoided Japan’s rainy season doesn’t mean you won’t experience wet weather. For example, Osaka received 232 mm of rainfall in May 2023, which isn’t much less than June’s 262 mm. Typhoons can also make landfall in Japan around late summer and early autumn (August, September, October), so keep an eye out for those, too.

What to Wear During Japan's Rainy Season

The humidity during the rainy season can be extremely high, and you will often find yourself sweating even though it isn't sunny or particularly hot outside. Also, since the weather is still switching from spring to summer, there can be large differences in temperature throughout the day and night. Tokyo, for example, had an average high of 27.6℃ (81.6°F) and an average low of 19.6℃ (67.2°F) in June 2023. These articles go into more detail about Tokyo weather, Osaka weather, and Fukuoka weather.

We recommend dressing for summer, but also packing a light jacket, raincoat, and removable layers for when it gets chilly after dark, and always wear shoes that can withstand the rain. One of the most important items to have with you during Japan’s rainy season is an umbrella, and luckily, they can be purchased for the low price of 100 - 500 yen from any of Japan's ubiquitous convenience stores if you ever get caught unprepared.

Note that most stores in Japan take measures to prevent customers from bringing wet, leaky umbrellas inside. Most commonly you will find an umbrella stand outside of the entrance to leave your umbrella as you enter the store. Please remember where you left your umbrella so you do not take someone else's by mistake. It might even be a good idea to mark your umbrella with a piece of string or marker!

There are also many other stores that have a dispensary for long, thin plastic sheathes to put around your umbrella as you shop.


Check out our writers’ top Japan travel ideas!

How to Enjoy Japan When It's Raining Outside

While it’s tempting to stay indoors during the rainy season in Japan, it's not like you can waste your precious trip to Japan either! Below are a few recommendations for a fun time in Japan during the rainy season.

Get Outdoors Rain or Shine! Places That Look Amazing In the Rainy Season

After the flowers of spring have fallen, fresh green leaves and thick moss takes over the forests and parks of Japan, adding a radiating hue that shimmers beautifully when wet. Here are some recommended spots in Japan to fully appreciate this rainy season scenery!

・Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo)

For a primer on just how special the rainy season in Japan can be, we recommend watching Makoto Shinkai’s “The Garden of Words.” In this short anime film, two lonely souls meet in the rain at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and the wet weather is beautifully depicted through layered art and sound.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is a sprawling 58.3-hectare park right in the heart of Tokyo full of spacious lawns, dense gardens, and cultural facilities. Along with experiencing the poignant mood of The Garden of Words for yourself, the rainy season fills the park with fresh greenery and magnificent flowers like hydrangeas, cape jasmine, southern magnolia, tiger lily, and hibiscus. Plus, if it’s bucketing down, Shinjuku Gyoen has just as much to do indoors, including touring historical sites like the Old Imperial Rest House, along with a museum, greenhouse, and several restaurants and teahouses.

Our Top Tips


Get unlimited entry to a bunch of fantastic Tokyo attractions, including Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden!

・Hakone Tozan Railway (Kanagawa)

The Hakone Tozan Railway is one of the best train journeys to take in Japan during the rainy season. This unique 8.9 km railway runs between Hakone-Yumoto Station and Gora Station in the nature-rich hot spring resort of Hakone, reachable on a day-trip from Tokyo, and it switches back multiple times to zig-zag up the mountainside.

From mid-June during the rainy season, the special Hydrangea Train runs to let passengers enjoy the blooming hydrangeas that grow along the tracks. You can even board a special nighttime service to see them illuminated brilliantly in the dark!

Our Top Tips

Hakone Freepass Voucher

Get unlimited travel on 8 transport systems in Hakone, including the Hakone Tozan Railway!

・Oze National Park

Oze National Park straddles the borders of Fukushima, Niigata, Tochigi, and Gunma prefectures, and is known for its high-altitude wetlands that host an incredible array of flora and fauna.

These wetlands are particularly famous for the Asian skunk cabbage that grows in profusion, peaking in early June. Despite its odd name, these plants have beautiful flowers that rise directly from the earth, dotting the ground with flecks of white. Being in the highlands, the weather is still cool at this time of year, so if you’re struggling with the heat in Tokyo, Oze is a good escape.

・Kiyotsu Gorge Tunnel of Light (Niigata)

The Tunnel of Light is an underground tunnel that runs through the cliff face of Kiyotsu Gorge, and is filled with evocative art installations designed to enhance the surrounding natural scenery. Being entirely indoors, visitors can venture deep into the wilderness of Niigata Prefecture without stepping into the rain.

Its most famous attraction is the Light Cave at the end of the tunnel, which is lined with mirrors and a shallow layer of water on the floor to reflect the wilderness outdoors. Natural light floods the tunnel with seasonal colorsーa dazzling green in the rainy season. If the rain isn’t too heavy, you can also visit the Bijinbayashi Forest about a 30-minute drive away, whose perfectly symmetrical beech trees bear fresh green leaves around this time.


・Oirase Gorge (Aomori)

Oirase Gorge is located in the deep wilderness of Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan. Its landscape, covered in moss and trees, is especially gorgeous during rainy days. There are well-marked and maintained walking trails, so you don't have to worry about losing your way or footing even on a rainy day. You’ll also more than likely find Oirase Gorge without crowds during the rainy period, granting the peace and quiet needed for an immersive forest bathing session if you don’t mind getting a bit wet.

Our Top Tips

Oirase Gorge Chartered Car Tour

Oirase Gorge is very remote, so we recommend booking a customizable chartered car tour of the region.

・Farm Tomita (Hokkaido)

To break up the cloudy rainy season with a spot of blue skies, June and July is an excellent time to head up to Hokkaido. The rainy season rarely touches Hokkaido, and the weather during this time remains cool, so be sure to bring warmer clothes.

During early to mid-July, rural Hokkaido is also graced by fragrant fields of purple lavender flowers. There are many such lavender fields in the central Furano and Biei areas, the most famous being Farm Tomita. A 30-minute drive from Farm Tomita is also the Shirogane Blue Pond (Aoiike), whose otherworldly turquoise waters pop out against the encompassing early summer greenery.

Our Top Tips

Farm Tomita, Shikisai no Oka, and Blue Pond Day Tour

Visit Farm Tomita together with other local attractions like Shikisai no Oka and the Shirogane Blue Pond (Aoiike) on a tour!

Check Out Rainy Season Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are the symbol of Japan’s rainy season. They bloom around early June to early July, depending on the region. Their dainty pastel petals and bright green leaves add a splash of color to the otherwise dreary landscape of Japan’s rainy season, making a visit to one of Japan’s famous hydrangea gardens essential! Be sure to confirm the opening times and peak bloom of each before visiting.

・Michinoku Hydrangea Garden (Iwate)

Consisting of a walking trail lined by around 40,000 hydrangeas of 400 varieties, this is one of the largest hydrangea gardens in all of Japan. Be sure to also time your visit with its petal-covered Hydrangea Pond, which opens during a set period in July.

・Minoyama Park (Saitama)

Minoyama Park is located on the peak of Mt. Minoyama, between Chichibu and Minano in Saitama Prefecture. This park is especially famous for its rainy season scenery in which 3,500 hydrangeas bloom across the side of the mountain.

・Hakusan Shrine (Tokyo)

This famous Tokyo hydrangea spot, home to around 3,000 colorful hydrangea plants, hosts the Bunkyo Hydrangea Festival every year. It draws a large number to the neighborhood each June, which retains a retro, working-class atmosphere.

・Meigetsu Temple (Kanagawa)

Located in Kamakura and nicknamed "Hydrangea Temple," Meigetsu Temple is one of the most famous hydrangea spots in the Kanto region. The magnificent temple path is lined by over 2,500 hydrangea bushes, many flaunting a distinctive hue nicknamed “Meigetsuin blue.”

Read about other famous Japanese hydrangea gardens and flower fields to explore throughout the year in this article!

Visit a Theme Park

It may seem odd to visit a theme park on rainy days, but there are actually ample theme parks within Japan that are full of indoor activities! Here are a few in Tokyo offering plenty to do inside.


・Tokyo Joypolis

Tokyo Joypolis is a large indoor entertainment center in DECKS Tokyo Beach in Odaiba. It contains loads of exciting attractions, like indoor rollercoasters, VR games, purikura, and more, many featuring well-known anime and video game characters.

・Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland is a theme park on the outskirts of Tokyo where you can encounter Hello Kitty, Kuromi, My Melody, Gudetama, and other beloved characters from the super popular Japanese company Sanrio. There are numerous whimsical parades, shows, rides, events, and merch shops to enjoy, promising a day’s worth of “kawaii” fun. Most of Sanrio Puroland is indoors, too, making it a go-to destination for rainy season sightseeing in Tokyo.


・Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo

This Lego theme park is also located within DECKS Tokyo Beach. In addition to constructing Lego masterpieces, there are a host of other activities like workshops, theaters, rides, and more. Note that this facility is intended for children, and adults without kids are refused entry except during special events such as Adult Night. In addition to Tokyo, there is also a Legoland Discovery Center in Osaka and Legoland Japan Resort in Nagoya.


In addition to those listed above, it's worth considering going to outdoor theme parks such as Tokyo Disneyland or Universal Studios Japan in Osaka during the rainy season, too. Smaller crowds and shorter lines are no doubt worth the price of getting wet!

Unwind in a Hot Spring or Spa

There are numerous indoor spa and hot spring facilities across Japan, including those right in the heart of big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. One of the most convenient and luxurious yet affordable is Tokyo Toyosu Manyo Club in the Toyosu area. It’s open 24 hours, and is filled to the brim with relaxing indoor and outdoor hot spring baths with views of Tokyo Bay, along with footbaths, saunas, hot stone spas, massage rooms, and a wealth of dining options. If you’re feeling frazzled from your Japan journey, hot spring facilities like Tokyo Toyosu Manyo Club are a sure-fire way to recuperate on a rainy day.


Discover Japanese Culture at a Gallery or Museum

Japan has a rich culture and history, and is home to countless museums and galleries proudly presenting it to locals and tourists alike. Sticking within Tokyo, recommended rainy day museums include the National Art Center, Tokyo National Museum, teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets, Yayoi Kusama Museum, Ghibli Museum, Sumida Hokusai Museum, Nezu Museum, National Museum of Modern Art, and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.

Shop 'Til You Drop In a Train Station

Another good strategy to pass the time on a rainy day in Japan is to go shopping. There are many shopping centers in cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya that are directly connected to major stations, so you can visit them even during the most torrential of rainfalls!

Shibuya, known for its iconic Scramble Crossing, has Shibuya Hikarie, a department store attached to Shibuya Station. Shinjuku Station, the busiest train station in the world, has Lumine, NEWoMan, and Keio Department Store, while Tokyo Station has its own Daimaru Tokyo. Osaka Station and Osaka-Umeda Station have renowned department stores like Daimaru Umeda, Hankyu Umeda Main Store, and Hanshin Department Store, while Kyoto Station is attached to JR Kyoto Isetan.


Get the Most Out of Your Rainy Season Japan Holiday!

It can be easy to feel down during the rainy season in Japan. However, if you have the right attitude, you can grow to appreciate the rainy season for its unique charms. If it rains during your long-awaited trip to Japan, take it as an opportunity to fully enjoy the pleasures introduced in this article!

Thumbnail: PIXTA

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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