You planned your trip to Kyoto months ago and you have just realized it was going to rain? Don’t fret for there are a lot of great things to do on a rainy day. Kyoto is essentially known for its temples and gardens, and some of them are perfect to visit even with a bad weather. Here is a list of places where you can go shopping, have a hot meal or drink, and sights you can visit!
The Kyoto Handicraft Center is a great spot if you like traditional gifts. Here you can find Japanese and Western books, Japanese gifts, pottery, kimono, yukata, lacquerware, boxes, etc. You can stay hours in this shop, finding little treasures to take back with you in memory of your trip. It is open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM every day.
Strolling along these famous pedestrian streets next to Nishiki Market is a perfect activity on a rainy day because they are covered for their entire lengths. You can enjoy all the little shops and find lots of objects and clothes, like the famous Japanese souvenir jackets with embroidery in the back. A nice place in the middle of the city where you can enjoy a great cultural experience.
The station of Kyoto is the main door of access to the city. A real crossroads of transport, it serves the Shinkansen, the local trains of JR and Kintetsu, the city subway, and is also a terminal for the majority of bus lines. By walking around, you will be astonished to see many shops and restaurants in one train station.
Yojiya is a cosmetic brand that Japanese women try to buy whenever they are in Kyoto. Go find shelter in one of their shops where you can stay for hours and find cosmetic products to take back to your country.
Nishiki Market is located on a long covered street lined with many food stalls. It is a perfect activity to do in the middle of the day instead of an ordinary restaurant and an unmissable place for food lovers. Open daily from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM, locals and tourists come here to enjoy Japanese specialties.
Yojiya, the famous cosmetic brand in Japan, has expanded into the restaurant market. There are four Yojiya Cafés in Kyoto and each one is a very nice place to stop by during a long day of traveling, especially when the weather is bad. A cup of hot matcha latte is perfect for the rainy day!
On a rainy day, what can be better than a bowl of steamy hot ramen? Ramen Sen no Kaze is one of the most famous restaurants in Kyoto. If you are having a long day and feeling a little bit cold, ramen from this restaurant will be the best answer.
— 京都国際マンガミュージアム (@kyotomm) August 5, 2017
The Kyoto International Manga Museum is a place dedicated to the art of manga. It contains approximately 300,000 comics of all kinds and times, and the main room contains an exposition on manga history. The collection is mostly in Japanese, but you can find some manga in English or in French. You can relax and read all afternoon in this museum when the weather is bad. It is open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto is one of the unmissable museums in the city. It annually hosts six or seven exhibitions where you can learn about Japanese artists.
This textile center is worth a visit. You can learn about how kimonos are made and watch artisans at work. Every hour, a show is taking place so if you are lucky, you can help with a kimono catwalk. There is also a museum retracing kimono history and a huge souvenir shop where you can find some little treasures.
Sanjusangen-do is a Buddhist temple situated in the district of Higashiyama in Kyoto. Its majestic and long main wooden building is known for accommodating 1,001 statues of the goddess of condolence, Kannon, which the visitors are forbidden to photograph. To enter this place that is filled with history gives an amazing sensation of wellness.
This temple is located near Kyoto Station. Behind its big and magnificent door, halls of impressive sizes follow one another with strength. Dedicated to Amida Buddha as well as Shinran, the temple offers vast internal spaces perfect if you need a place to visit during a rainy day.
Ryoanji is a Buddhist temple situated at the bottom of Mt. Kinugasa-yama along the Kinukake-no-Michi road in the northwest of Kyoto. This temple is famous for its zen garden where you can sit and enjoy the calm. Thanks to its wooden roof, you can stay dry while meditating in front of a beautiful view.
This little traditional theater is a great place to enjoy Japanese culture. They hold 50-minute performances related to various Japanese arts such as the Kyomai dance, flower arrangement, tea ceremony, the Japanese instrument koto, court music Gagaku, Kyogen theater, and puppet theater Bunraku. With a little luck, you can also be chosen to participate in one of the activities.
The tea ceremony is a traditional practice in Japan. It is the art of preparing and drinking tea in a spiritual way. At En, you can enjoy the experience of a Japanese tea ceremony in a relaxing and fun way, as well as learn about its history.
The weather in Japan can be very fickle, and when you are visiting for just a few days, it would be a shame to stay in your hotel room. Even with a bad weather, you can still enjoy your trip, just make sure to bring an umbrella. Also, you should travel by train since street traffic slows down on rainy days and taxis can be harder to get. With all these ideas, have a great time in Kyoto regardless of the weather!