12 of the most effective day journeys from Tokyo

An effective way to find extra of Japans historical past, tradition, landmarks and pure highlights is by taking off on a few of these high day journeys from Tokyo. Town is a superb base for exploring being a transportation hub and with so many enjoyable locations close by.

Best day trips from Tokyo

Why Tokyo is a perfect base on your facet journeys

Tokyo is a metropolis filled with vitality, vibrancy and contrasts.  It will also be exhausting for a lot of guests in the event that they aren’t used to residing in a giant metropolis.  We handle the sensory overload by leaping on a practice each few days looking for the most effective day journeys from Tokyo.  

In simply a few hours, you’ll be able to expertise someplace utterly completely different.  Not solely do these simple day journeys from Tokyo enable us to expertise an thrilling new place however we return to town refreshed and re-energized able to cope with the crowds and depth once more.

Japan enjoys a wonderful public transport system and as a vacationer within the nation, you’ve gotten entry to utilizing it at a worth that represents even higher worth than the locals take pleasure in by way of the Japan Rail Cross scheme.  For those who’re simply beginning out planning your journey you could discover these articles not solely make issues a bit clearer however can assist make sure you get the most effective worth on your journey {dollars}.

So let’s check out a few of the choices so as to add to a Tokyo itinerary.  These are our present high 12 however be careful for brand spanking new additions, every time we head again to Japan we go to new locations and revisit outdated favourites which means our suggestions advanced through the years.  For every one, we’ll take a look at why it’d add one thing particular to your Japan expertise, methods to get there, how a lot travelling is concerned and why it’s certainly one of our high selections.

When you have any questions or your individual strategies, please tell us within the remark part on the finish we love to listen to about your journey plans too.

1. Hakone

Hakone Ropeway | 2 Aussie Travellers

Hakone in Kanagawa prefecture is a enjoyable day journey from Tokyo and really simple to do.  It’s an onsen city, excellent if you wish to soak in its therapeutic scorching springs, you’ll have unbeatable views of Mt Fiji from the lake and lots of different areas and Owakudani, the geo-thermal is one thing fairly completely different to see.  It’s additionally an awesome place to go to seasonally for cherry blossom, autumn foliage or a pristine snowy white backdrop in winter.

The start line within the Hakone space is Odawara station, right here you’ll be able to choose up the Hakone Freepass that we talk about on this article or you are able to do the identical circuit on particular person tickets in case you choose.

Learn extra in our article on a Tokyo facet journey to Hakone or discover out extra about methods to take pleasure in a Hakone Onsen with out essentially staying in a single day within the space.

For those who’re searching for a tour choice that visits a few of the greatest spots in each Mt Fuji and Hakone it is a common alternative.

2. Kamakura

Kamakura big Buddha

Additionally in Kanagawa prefecture is the historic seashore city of Kamakura recognized for the large buddha, an historic shrine,  well-known zen temples and gardens and in case you are searching for one thing somewhat extra energetic with a while off the primary vacationer practice there may be the Daibutsu (Buddha) strolling path operating from northern Kamakura to the temple of the Nice Buddha within the south by way of temples, parks and quiet strolling paths.

Kamakura is residence to Hasedera temple, one which we each actually take pleasure in for a lot of causes however particularly the historic Benten-Kutsu cave.  You may see right down to the seashore from the higher components of the temple grounds and it’s a straightforward strolling distance from the Nice Buddha.

Kamakura is a straightforward journey from Tokyo by practice, it takes just below an hour on a normal native practice and prices Y920, there are restricted specific choices out there however they’ll solely save round 10 minutes and double the price.

3. Enoshima

Enoshima Island torii

Enoshima is a small island solely about 4 km in circumference off the Shōnan Coast not removed from Kamakura and the 2 may be mixed right into a single day journey in case you’re a fast-paced traveller, we’re not and simply spend a full day on and across the island.

You may take the practice from Tokyo right down to Kamakura then a brief journey on the Enoden line throughout to Enoshima however our desire is to take the JR line to Ofuna then swap throughout to the hanging monorail by way of to Enoshima, for me, it’s probably the greatest components of this journey, one thing very completely different than we’ve skilled anyplace else.  Both choice will take simply over an hour from Tokyo.

The island is joined to the mainland by the Enoshima Benten Bridge so that you gained’t want to attend for a ferry throughout.  There are common occasions on the island, after we have been there in February there was a night light-up, a preferred date-night expertise in Japan and a really early spring tulip show. 

Issues to do on the island embody using the escalators up the hill, the shrines and gardens, the cliffs and rock platforms on the seaward facet and the Iwaya caves.    There may be additionally a small purchasing road that leads as much as the massive torii as you enter the island and to the proper is the spa the place you’ll be able to soak in an onsen with distant views of Mt Fuji on a transparent day.

Learn extra:  Planning a day journey to Enoshima Island

4. Nagano

Snow monkeys in the onsen in Nagano

An extended facet journey from Tokyo is to move to Nagano, there’s a vary of issues to do right here however in winter the prospect to see the monkeys soaking of their onsen within the snowy panorama is one thing I can’t move up.

The macaque, a wild Japanese monkey referred to round right here because the snow monkey is repeatedly seen in and round their purpose-built onsen.  These are wild monkeys, free to return and go within the surrounding forest. 

Many years in the past the monkeys used to take a seat in small rock crevices the place the recent springs bubbled by way of however after they discovered the human onsen a lot extra snug and began arriving uninvited for their very own ‘pool events’ the locals constructed them their very own throughout the park.  It’s been a favoured spot for them ever since.

The journey will take round 3 hours from Tokyo to the snow monkeys bus cease however there are alternative ways of getting there which we cowl intimately within the article linked under.  For those who choose there are additionally snow monkey day excursions out there.

Find out how to plan your day journey to the snow monkeys from Tokyo

5. Yokohama

Yokohama is Japans second largest metropolis and may be very simple to go to out of your base in Tokyo.  It’s positioned within the adjoining Kanagawa Prefecture on Tokyo Bay to the south of Tokyo itself.  It’s a significant business centre and has a variety of points of interest and variations from Tokyo metropolis that make it price visiting.  You may attain Yokohama by native practice in half-hour.

Widespread points of interest in Yokohama to go to are the Chinatown, it’s one of many high 3 in Japan, and the port space referred to as Minato Mirai which is an attention-grabbing mixture of leisure, purchasing and cultural points of interest.  For a birds-eye view head on as much as the 69th flooring of the Landmark Constructing for a 360 diploma perspective on town and for a serene distinction the Sankaien Backyard is a big and exquisite classical backyard based in 1906 by a silk dealer.

Different common points of interest embody Seaside Park, Osanbashi Pier, the Ramen Museum which is extra an interactive noodle expertise that recreates a bit of Yokohama from the Fifties, take a stroll in Motomachi to really feel such as you’ve landed in Europe or make your strategy to the Kirin Beer manufacturing unit tour full with tastings.

6. Nikko

Shrine in Nikko

A Tokyo to Nikko day journey is a straightforward and enjoyable journey.  It may well embody some fascinating historical past and tradition, lovely nature and seasonal highlights, particularly for autumn color and snow in winter.  The area is common for mountaineering and its surroundings all yr spherical however it’s hottest vacationer spotlight is the UNESCO World Heritage space which incorporates the gorgeous Tosho-gu shrine courting again to 1617.

Along with the shrine don’t miss the Shinkyo bridge courting again to 1636 and Kanmangafuchi Abyss shaped by an explosion from close by Mount Nantai with it’s many Jizo statues positioned reverse the botanic backyard.

You will get to Nikko utilizing the JR Cross when you have one however probably the most environment friendly approach is utilizing the native Tobu Railway that runs from Asakusa in Tokyo and takes just below 2 hours.  As soon as in Nikko, you’ll be able to discover the central space on foot or take native buses between locations.

If you’re considering of heading to Tochigi prefecture for a day (or longer) we’ve a detailed information to Nikko on the location that features all the pieces you’ll want to enable you to plan your journey.

7. Mt Nokogiri

Mount Nokogiri, also called Sawtooth Mountain is in Chiba prefecture may be reached in round 2 hours by practice from Tokyo.  You may hike the mountain or take the ropeway as much as the highest station.  Even in case you do use the ropeway each methods you’ll discover you’ve gotten completed loads of strolling up and down the mountain by the top of the day.

There are 2 large Buddhas right here, Kannon the Boddhisatva of compassion was carved in 1966 however the Ishidaibutsu was carved in 1783 and is twice the scale of the large Buddha in Kamakura.  There are 1500 a lot smaller Arhat statues too, Arhat characterize the Buddha’s disciples or individuals who have gained enlightenment.  You may discover a variety of beheaded statues, this isn’t vandalism, at the very least not fashionable harm anyway, it was completed as a part of an anti-Buddhist demonstration after the Meiji Restoration within the mid to late 1800s and has been retained as a part of the historical past of the world relatively than repairing them.

There are many lookouts and a glass-walled restaurant so attempt to choose a transparent day to benefit from the views gained climbing all of the steps.

Learn extra: Find out how to plan your day journey to Mt Nokogiri

8. Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Gorge Japan

Todoroki gorge doesn’t contain leaving Tokyo, it’s solely a 15-minute practice journey from Shibuya however you’ll really feel such as you’re a world away from town.  That is the one gorge that continues to be in Tokyo and offers a cool stroll in nature within the shade of tall bushes and palms alongside the river.  Alongside the way in which you’ll move temples, shrines and historical burial tombs, you’ll move a conventional tearoom and discover a fascinating Japanese backyard constructed into the hillside that’s open to wander by way of.

Whereas it may possibly get busy on the weekends, we visited mid-week and apart from a couple of locals taking a leisurely stroll, purposefully going about their every day commute or filling water bottles from the normal type bore pump it was very quiet emphasising the sounds of birdsong and rustling autumn leaves.

Learn extra:  All you’ll want to know to plan your go to to Todoroki Gorge.

9. Mt Takao

Mount Takao Tokyo

Mount Takao is a wonderful day journey from Tokyo with out even leaving the prefecture.  We’ve written about our fabulous day right here throughout the autumn colors and extremely advocate it whether or not you’re searching for an energetic day of mountaineering or a extra leisurely method utilizing the cable automotive and chair lifts and enjoyable within the pure thermal onsen on the finish of the day.

There are a number of spots to benefit from the views of nature again out to Tokyo metropolis, a sprawling historic temple, restaurant, shrine and extra.  There are 8 trails to stroll so you may really spend a number of days out right here in case you wished to however it actually is gorgeous and in case you are very fortunate there are nonetheless wild monkeys to be seen within the forest.

10. Kyoto

Golden Pavillion in winter

Kyoto as a facet journey from Tokyo isn’t one I’d advocate for everybody however when you have a robust curiosity in Japans historical past and tradition and never sufficient time in your itinerary so as to add an extended keep in Kyoto then it may be an choice.  The bullet practice reaches Kyoto in round 2.5 hours, in case you are ready to move off early and are available again after dinner you’ll be able to slot in a full day exploring town and a few of the cities distinctive delicacies however bear in mind that it is going to be a really full day.

I’d recommend you spend a while figuring out what it’s you actually need to expertise if you are there and construct your day round your high priorities.  These might rely upon the season and in your private pursuits, some points of interest open early within the day or into the night, some might even be quieter at these occasions serving to you match a bit extra into the hours out there.

Kyoto is a metropolis of 1600 temples and much more Shinto shrines, they’re such an integral a part of town and its tradition {that a} go to actually isn’t full with out experiencing at the very least a pair.  Then there’s the Imperial historical past affiliate with Nijo Fort and the Imperial Palace, the meals and historical past expertise of Nishiki market, the elusive tradition of the geisha districts, the spectacular gardens and parks, and the normal artwork tradition.

To get an concept of a few of the choices on provide in Kyoto to get your planning underway it’s your decision to check out a few of our Kyoto posts, we’ll have a full information up shortly and to stretch the funds we do cowl the highest free issues to do within the metropolis.

11.  Kawagoe

Hikawa Shrine Kawagoe

Kawagoe was established as a service provider city throughout the Edo Interval when the capital of Japan moved from Kyoto to Tokyo.  The historical past of Kawagoe has been properly preserved making it an awesome place to go to to expertise that heritage and tradition solely half-hour out of Tokyo.

The simplest strategy to get right here is with Tobu Railways ‘Kawagoe low cost move’ which incorporates the return practice journey from Ikebukuro, buses within the city and different reductions with native distributors.

We now have a detailed information to Kawagoe on the location however a couple of of the issues to not miss are the Edo type service provider warehouses, the bell tower within the centre of city, the normal artisans in penny sweet land and Hikawa Shrine.

12. Kinugawa Onsen

Kinugawa river boats

Kinugawa Onsen is in Tochigi prefecture simply over 2 hours by practice from Tokyo or round half-hour from the heritage temples and shrines of Nikko.  A go to here’s a very completely different expertise although, the main focus is on nature, rest and journey.

Taking this conventional boat down the Kinugawa valley had some nice surroundings and the cascades added some enjoyable and splashes though we actually didn’t get moist.  The world is surrounded by lovely nature with some good stroll round however the primary motive vacationers come to the world are the onsens, there are two scorching spring sources, one on both facet of the river and several other locations that day guests can expertise the relief of Japanese onsen right here.

We’ve included some choices for day use onsen, journey planning ideas and extra data on issues to do in Kinugawa Onsen within the linked article.

We hope a few of our high day journey from Tokyo strategies have helped you with planning your subsequent go to or impressed you with a few of the selection and choices out there.  We take a variety of facet journeys on our travels as we choose to decide on a couple of lodging bases relatively than shifting extra usually with our baggage. 

To make sure we see as a lot as potential we put collectively our personal excursions, get began early and don’t thoughts travelling again to our base after dinner to maximise the expertise.  That’s simply our journey type and what works properly for us, we discover we lose invaluable time exploring after we’re checking out and in and orientating ourselves to a brand new base too usually.  In fact, all of those choices are suited to a multi-day keep in case you choose to journey that approach and have extra time out there.

When you have any questions please ask within the feedback part under and observe the hyperlinks within the article to extra detailed articles on every vacation spot website.  Have you ever already taken a day journey from Tokyo?  We’d love to listen to your expertise and suggestions too.

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