Note that this article was originally posted here on May 2013 but updated regularly.
Some people get depressed when it rains on vacation. However if it is possible to find beforehand some enjoyable spots even when it rains, it will change the mood dramatically.
Kyoto and Japan in general have a rainy season every year. The timing varies depending on the place. Kyoto usually has its rainy season from June to July right before summer begins.
So for those who want to be prepared and happy even if it rains, please keep reading.
Here’s possibly the best rainy day plan in Kyoto. Note that this plan assumes that a traveler is staying at a hotel near Kyoto station.
1. Buy a cheap umbrella or a compact umbrella at a convenience or at a one coin store near the hotel. MUJI at Porta, which is an underground shopping/restaurant floor of the Kyoto Station, might have an affordable compact umbrella.
2. Get a One Day Free Subway Ticket (600 yen for Adult 300 yen for Child) at the closest subway station, because this plan only needs the subway for traveling. At Kyoto Station, find the Subway Karasuma Line. If there is no ticket machine which sells this card, ask the Subway staff (in that case, clearly and slowly pronounce “SUBWAY ONE DAY FREE TICKET”). When using the card, just slip it into the ticket gates (this is not the kind that works by touching the card onto the panel).
3. Take the Subway Karasuma Line (Kokusai Kaikan bound) and get off at Karasuma Oike Station. Change to Subway Tozai Line (Uzumasa Tenjingawa bound).
4. Get off at Nijojomae Station. Visit Nijo Castle. Do not forget to show subway card at the ticket office. Because it can get a discount.
5. After visiting Nijo Castle, go back to Nijojomae Station. Take the Subway (Rokujizo bound) and get off at Higashiyama Station.
6. Walk to the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. Again show the subway card at the ticket office. After browsing the museum, walk to Heian Jingu. If hungry, Cafe de 505 at National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto is highly recommended.
7. Go back to Higashiyama Station. Take the Tozai Line bound for Uzumasa Tenjingawa. Get off at Kyoto Shiyakusyomae Station. Walk to Teramachi Arcade. Enjoy walking the arcade without using an umbrella. Nishiki Market is within walking distance.
8. After shopping/eating/drinking, go back to Kyoto Shiyakushomae Station. And Take the Tozai Line bound for Uzumasa Tenjingawa. Get off at Karasuma Oike Station and get on the Karasuma Line bound for Kyoto/Takeda.
9. For people who have some energy left, visit Kyoto Tower.
Fore more fun and useful information, which will make your Kyoto Travel more memorable, exciting and stress-free, check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.
Updated on January 10th 2016.