From toilets to crabs to anime figures, these indoor activities will keep you entertained when the rain and humidity are too much to take.

The rainy season is underway in Japan, and it’s pretty much the least popular time of year to be out and about without a roof over your head. Aside from the possibility of getting drenched by rain itself, the high humidity means that your body will do a pretty good job of moisturizing you from within, keeping you constantly wet from a combination of precipitation and sweat whenever you’re outdoors.

So the trick is to find indoor activities for those days when the weather gets unbearable, and thankfully Japanese online travel portal Jalan has released its list of Japan’s top 10 unique museums, based on user review scores and presented below in no particular order.

1. Echizen Crab Museum (Fukui Prefecture)

Instead of getting crabby about the weather, why not get crabby in a more literal sense? The museum’s exhibits teach visitors about Fukui’s regional Echizen crab and other local marine life. An underwater walkway lets you observe fish swimming in their natural habitat, and the Bicrab Theater’s gigantic 10-meter (32.8-foot) video screen simulates a ride-along on a crab fishing expedition. There’s even an onsen hot spring bath attached to the building with ocean views.

2. Sake Museum/Hakushika Memorial Museum of Sake (Hyogo Prefecture)

Housed in a sake brewery building originally constructed in 1869, the Hakushika Memorial Museum of Sake is a celebration of traditional methods for making sake, with areas where visitors can have hands-on experiences using classical brewing equipment and listen to the songs brewers used to sing while working.

3. Yokohama Daisekai Artrick Museum (Kanagawa Preefecture)

Located in Yokohama’s Chinatown, Daisekai is a multi-story shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. Within it is the five-floor Artick Museum, a trick art museum that lets you snap clever optical illusion photos, including a muster-themed one for puzzle-solving enthusiasts and an entire floor of horror trick art for those brave enough.

4. Kaiyodo Figure Museum (Shiga Prefeture)

Kaiyodo has been one of Japan’s biggest figure manufacturers for several decades. Of course that means they have an extensive lineup of anime and game character figures, but they craft detailed animal figurines too. The museum houses a collection of over 5,000 figures, and also hosts a figure workshop where visitors can try painting a figure of their own.

5. Toto Museum (Fukuoka Prefecture)

Recently the rest of the world has been awakening to the wonder of Japanese toilets, and there’s no more wondrous player in that field than Toto, Japan’s leading toilet maker. The Toto Museum traces the history of the company and its creative commode innovations, and also covers its often overlooked tableware creations.

6. Saga Balloon Museum (Saga Prefecture)

Held every fall, the Saga International Balloon Fiesta is Asia’s largest hot air ballon gathering. This museum explores the history and science behind ballooning through theater simulations and other exhibits.

7. Iwashita New Ginger Museum (Tochigi Prefecture)

Of course Japan’s quirkiest ginger-based snack maker has its own museum! The Iwashita New Ginger Museum is an eclectic mix of displays on the science of ginger cultivation, the roots of the company and its signature snack, and lots and lots of pink art installations and photo spots. Mascot character Iwashika-chan stops by to meet and greet guests on weekends, and there’s an attached cafe with a ginger-intensive menu, including pink ginger ice cream.

8. Sapporo Olympic Museum (Hokkaido Prefecture)

Sapporo, Hokkaido’s prefectural capital, was the host city for the 1972 Winter Olympics. The event is still a point of pride for the people of Japan, and this commemorative museum includes six simulation stations where visitors can feel the rush of ski jumping, bobsledding, and other Winter Olympic sports.

9. Duskin Museum (Osaka Prefecture)

Just like Duskin itself, the company’s museum has two very different divisions. In the Cleaning Building, visitors can learn about the science and history of dirt removal, in keeping with Duskin’s manufacturing of mops, dusters, and other such equipment. The bigger draw here, though, is probably the Misdo Museum section, as Duskin is also the parent company of Mister Donut, Japan’s most popular donut shop, where you can try your hand at making the chain’s sweets yourself and see displays as to how Mister Donut won over the hearts of sweets fans in Japan.

1. Kankaku Museum (Miyagi Prefecture)

Kankaku is the Japanese word for “senses.” This conceptual art center features a rotating collection of art installations not just with visual appeal, but all five sensory perceptions. There’s also a meditation space for those who want to gaze inward.

So don’t sweat the rain, or the heat, if you’re in Japan during the rainy season, because there’s still plenty to see and do!

Source: Jalan, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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