rainfall in kyoto

A rainy day in Japan helps to transform some of its most beautiful scenery. (Photo from: nicelife_bs CC BY 2.0)

Japan sees plenty of rainfall in June, but the gentle patter of rain enhances its diverse landscapes, creating some of the most enchanting views of the season, transforming the scenery into mystical and serene scenes. Here are five of the best places in Japan to experience rainy day scenery:

Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture

rainy day in yakushima

The Jomon Sugi tree in Yakushima on a misty day. (Photo from: Kagoshima Prefecture)

Renowned for its lush, ancient forests and abundant rainfall, Yakushima in Kagoshima Prefecture is an ideal destination for rainy-day explorations - the rain adds mystique to the moss-covered trees and flowing streams, creating an almost otherworldly atmosphere. This UNESCO World Heritage site is also home to the famous Jomon Sugi, a cedar tree over 7,000 years old, while the Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, with its dense greenery and misty air, looks like a scene straight out of a Ghibli movie, hence inspiring the Studio Ghibli film Princess Momonoke. Hikers can enjoy the tranquil sound of rain as it amplifies the serenity of this ancient forest.

Hakone Tozan Railway Hydrangea Train, Kanagawa Prefecture

hakone tozan railway

Passengers onboard the Hakone Tozan Railway Hydrangea Train get to see beautiful hydrangeas along the way, even on a rainy day. (Photo from: PhotoAC)

June is known to be the season where ajisai, or hydrangeas, dot the landscape across Japan, the symbol of the rainy season in the country. Curving through the mountains of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture is the Hakone Tozan Railway, which offers a unique rainy day experience with its Hydrangea Train. In June and July, when the hydrangeas are in full bloom, the vibrant flowers glisten under raindrops, lining the railway and creating a colourful and enchanting journey. The train slows down at certain points, allowing passengers to fully appreciate the allure of the hydrangeas against the misty landscape.

Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Terraces, Ishikawa Prefecture

Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Terraces, Ishikawa Prefecture

Waterlogged terraced rice fields at the Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Terraces in Ishikawa Prefecture. (Photo from: PhotoAC)

Located in Ishikawa Prefecture’s Noto Peninsula region, the Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Terraces are a stunning sight in the rain. The terraces consist of over 1,000 small rice paddies and descend in steps towards the Sea of Japan. The waterlogged paddies after a bout of rain reflect the sky, creating a mirror-like effect that augments the landscape, the vibrant green rice plants and reflective surfaces making for a captivating view.

Oirase Gorge, Aomori Prefecture

Oirase Gorge, Aomori Prefecture

The streams of Oirase Gorge in Aomori Prefecture. (Photo from: Aomori Prefecture)

Located in Aomori Prefecture, the waters of the Oirase River flow from Lake Towada through the gorge’s lush forests. This popular hiking destination is made up of numerous waterfalls, clear streams, and lush greenery that contribute to its scenic beauty - even more so during the rainy season. This is when the waterfalls become even more spectacular, and the forest comes alive with the vibrant colours of moss and foliage. Walking along the trails, visitors are treated to soothing sounds of flowing water and the earthy scent of the rain-soaked foliage.

Takachiho Gorge, Miyazaki Prefecture

Takachiho Gorge, Miyazaki Prefecture

Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture. (Photo from: Takachiho Tourist Association)

All the way south of Japan lies Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture, a breathtaking natural wonder where visitors meander through its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear river, and lush vegetation via paddling through the gorge on a rental boat. The gorge stuns during rainfall when the rainwater enhances the river’s flow as visitors marvel at the waterfalls cascading down the cliffs and the mist rising from the river. tThe gorge is closed during heavy rain, but visitors can still stroll around the vicinity to find pockets of beautiful nature.