Summer in Japan also means plenty of rainy days, as humidity levels are at their highest across the country. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news on rainy days, and as long as you’re willing to take an umbrella with you when you go out, you can score some great deals in the Tokyo area.
1. Koichian (Matsuya Asakusa department store, Taito Ward, Hanakwado 1-4-1)
Rain or shine, you’ve got to eat, right? Well the sushi goes half-price on rainy days at take-out counter Koichian’s branch in the basement of the Matsuya department store in Asakusa. Whether you want to use these savings to treat a friend or simply order twice as much for yourself is, of course, up to you. The Asakusa Matsuya is also within strolling distance of Sensoji, Tokyo’s liveliest Buddhist temple which is approached by paved walkways that are easy traverse on a rainy day.
Head to the Del Sole café in Akasaka, which offers free refills on selected drinks on rainy days. Even better, they also offer free refills of their award-winning gelato, just the thing to cool down with during a sticky Tokyo summer squall. Lucky diners might even get a 50% discount to their bill by winning one of the games of bingo the staff organizes when it rains.
While a visit to a farm on a rainy day might seem like a strange choice, Yume Ranch sweetens the deal by discounting their tickets by the same amount as the chance of rain, meaning that tickets are half-off even if there’s only a 50% probability of showers. Aside from barnyard animals and flower fields, for an additional fee, Yume Ranch also offers indoor classes in making ice cream, butter, bread, jam, and even sausages. Admission is 1,200 yen for visitors junior high school-age and up, 700 yen for children over three.
4. Akihabara Parking Garages
UDX Parking (Soto Kanda 4-14-1)
Akihabara Dai Building Parking (Soto Kanda 1-18-13)
Fuji Soft Building (Kanda Neribecho 3)
Until July 31, these three parking garages in Akihabara, Tokyo’s anime and video game shopping mecca, are offering 50% discounts if you pull in while it’s raining outside. You also have to show their ad featured in the free local guide pamphlet Radio Kaikan #9, which can conveniently be obtained inside the garage, as well as at hundreds of stores in Akihabara. As a bonus, parking in Akihabara means you stand a good chance of spotting a couple of “itasha”—cars decked out by hardcore anime fans with decals and graphics of their favorite characters.
5. Pizzeria 1830 Nogizaka (Akasaka 9-6-28, Minato Ward)
If you’ve worked up an appetite, it might be worth heading to Akasaka for dinner at Pizzeria 1830 Nogizaka. From Monday to Thursday of each week, the restaurant offers pizzas at half-price for the first 20 diners to order one on rainy nights.
And finally, if you’re looking for a romantic place to end the day, there’s the 69th floor observatory in Yokohama’s Landmark Tower. Located just a block away from the bay, on rainy weekdays regular adult admission of 1,000 yen is discounted to 700 yen and includes a drink.
While rain might obscure your view of the city’s unique skyline, the observatory’s 273-meter-high altitude puts you right inside the clouds, making for an otherworldly atmosphere. And of course, wet weather also means fewer noisy kids running around, so you and your sweetheart can snuggle to your hearts’ content.