The most popular/populous capital city of Japan, Tokyo is every tourist's first choice when it comes to holidaying in the island country. With all the modern amenities and the cultural exuberance, Tokyo can keep you occupied and before you know your holiday gets over. That is how packed Tokyo is. But we advise you not to surrender yourself completely to Tokyo, alone! There are plenty of other places to visit outside of Tokyo which are in close proximity too. Take a short break from the bustling city of Tokyo and go explore these 8 day trips from Tokyo that will add a new layer to your trip and make your vacation complete.
1. Yokohama - A Shopping Trip From Tokyo
Image Credits: Yoshikazu Takada/flickr.com
Worried about plenty of time getting wasted during your quest to finding a worthy short trip from Tokyo? Worry no more! The port city of Yokohama is just a 30-minute ride from Tokyo and is definitely one of the best day trips you could take from the capital city in winter. Utilize the time saved by exploring the traditional, Japanese style garden of Sankeien that resonates with the essence of Japan and go shopping, Yokohama is the best place to shop in Japan.
Go round and round in the Cosmo Clock 21 Ferris wheel to have an aerial view of the once fishing village. Pack a sumptuous lunch at the Yokohama bay and relax on a cruise as it drifts along the waters. Catch a glimpse of the Chinese culture by wandering the streets of Yokohama Chinatown. And if you are a ramen lover, head over to Shin-Yokohama museum and slurp down the juicy noodles. There is another great news, Yokohama celebrates its own Oktoberfest between the 30th of September and October 16th in the precincts of the famous Red Brick Warehouse. Well, what can I say, Yokohama is all yours
How to travel: Train - Tokyu Toyoko Line (from Shibuya Station).
Best time to visit: During Winter, from October to January.
2. Hakone - A Scenic Short Trip From Tokyo
Image Source: Wikipedia.org
A 2-hour train ride from Tokyo will take you to the scenic town of Hakone, famous for its hot springs (Hakone Onsen) and Japanese-style inns. An active part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Hakone offers an unparalleled view of Mount Fuji from Lake Ashi that will leave you spellbound.
When you are bored looking at the natural beauty of Mt.Fuji, try out the traditional Japanese hot spring bath in one of the resorts in Hakone. Get on a cable car to explore the volcanic Owakudani and have a bite at the strangely looking black eggs that surprisingly taste delicious and are also believed to extend the life span. Also, appreciate the work of art by visiting Hakone Open-Air Museum. In Hakone you are going to spend a busy weekend.
How to travel: Train - Odakyu Railways (from Shinjuku Station). If you have a JR pass then board Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo or Shinagawa but you will have to change trains.
Best time to visit: August-November.
3. Nikko - A Flowery Weekend Trip Near Tokyo
Image Credits: Tanaka Juuyoh/flickr.com
Blooming with colorful flowers that carry a tinge of yellow, orange, and red, Nikko looks absolutely splendid during the autumns. An approximate 2-hour ride from Tokyo, Nikko is famous for its UNESCO world heritage site of Toshogu Shrine that is the resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of Tokugawa Shogunate. The lavishly decorated shrine consists of a plenty of buildings surrounded by beautiful forest and also has the original carving of The Three Wise Monkeys.
Marvel at the magnificent Kegon Waterfall - one of the best waterfalls in Japan, sneak inside the Japanese cultural theme park of Edo Wonderland to witness cute girls dressed up in Kimonos, ninjas lurking on the rooftops, and beautifully adorned geishas. And make your visit an overnight trip by staying in the popular hot spring resort of Kinugawa Onsen.
How to travel: Train - If you have JR pass, board JR Tohoku Shinkansen (from Tokyo or Ueno Station) or take a train from Tobu Asakusa Station.
Best time to visit: During Autumn, from late September to early November.
Plan The Escape
Worried by the size of Tokyo? Don’t worry about a single thing when you are planning an escape to Tokyo. The Tokyo travel planner will help you at every stage to organize your trip. Plan Now!
4. Enoshima - A Beach Destination Near Tokyo
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Enoshima is a small offshore island situated very close to Kamakura. An ideal way to enjoy summer in Japan is to escape to the island of Enoshima and chill-out at the beaches. With a circumference of approximately 4 kilometers, the island is also home to Benzaiten, the goddess of music and entertainment.
Dine at the local beach shacks, pay a visit to the famous Enoshima Shrine and go swimming in the waters of the beach & what's amazing is that you can watch over at the mesmerizing view of Mt.Fuji while you are swimming. When done, explore the caves of Enoshima Iwaya, and take a walk across the tropical plants garden of Samuel Cocking Garden, before sailing away in the waters. To not to miss out on the beach escapade, include Enoshima in your travel itinerary right away!
How to travel: Odakyu Railways (from Shinjuku Station) or Enoden Train (from Kamakura). For JR pass holders: JR Tokaido Line (from Tokyo Station).
Best time to visit: During Summer, April-July.
5. Mt.Fuji - An Adventurous Trip From Tokyo
Image Credits: Pixabay.com
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan standing at a height of 3776.24 meters from the ground. And like the icing on the cake, the spread of snow is mostly at its peak. A once active volcano, Mt.Fuji has been lying dormant since its last eruption in the early 18th century and is one of the popular destinations in Japan. Don't just stop marveling at the enthralling views of the Mt.Fuji but rather make the climb and experience the whole of Mount Fuji in the best possible way. The ideal time to climb Mt.Fuji is during the summer and if you are new to climbing, seek the guidance of a professional. Mt.Fuji has also been awarded the status of UNESCO world heritage site as it has been constantly inspiring artists and poets.
Once you're done scaling the mountain, have some fun at the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, soak yourself in the pleasant environment of Oshino Hakkai village and relax at the pristine lake of Lake Kawaguchi while staring at the sight of Mt.Fuji which is just within your reach.
How to travel: Bus - Keio Express (from Shinjuku), Train - Odakyu Railways (from Shinjuku Station), although you have to change trains.
Best time to visit: July-August.
6. Echigoyuzawa - A Snowy Place Close to Tokyo
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Echigoyuzawa is the closest snowy place you could get on a day trip from Tokyo by bullet train. Dotted with plenty of popular all-year-round resorts, Echigoyuzawa is covered in thick, fluffy snow which totally teleports to a whole different world and never fails to bring out the child in you. Located conveniently, Echigoyuzawa is just an 85-minute ride from Tokyo and is the ideal place to visit to satiate your love for snow.
Get adventurous by indulging in activities like skiing, snowboarding and hiking in the snowy slopes of Echigoyuzawa and get over your weariness by taking a sake bath in one of the popular hot spring resorts close by. While you're here don't miss out on the snow festival of Yuzawa Onsen Yuki Matsuri that features a parade of 100 skiers with torchlights and fireworks.
How to travel: Joetsu Shinkansen Bullet Train (from Tokyo Station).
Best time to visit: During Winter, from October - January.
7. Kamakura - A Peaceful Day Trip From Tokyo
Image Credits: Pixabay.com
Located south of Tokyo, Kamakura is a part of Japan's Honshu Island and is less than a hours ride from the ever-buzzing Tokyo. Popularly known as the Kyoto of the East, Kamakura is an ancient city packed with temples and shrines. If you are picturising Kamakura to be same like any other city in Japan, then you would be wrong. Kamakura is totally distinct from the other Japanese cities and you would feel the change in the atmosphere as soon as you enter the city from Tokyo.
Get enlightened by visiting the huge Buddha statue at Kotoku-in, practice the zen way of life in the centuries old - historical temple of Kenchoji, take a stroll across the Autumn leaf colored temple of Meigetsu-in and finally, unwind at the sandy beaches of Kamakura.
How to travel: Train - For JR pass holders: JR Yokosuka Line and JR Shonan Shinjuku Line. For others: Odakyu Railways (from Shinjuku Station).
Best time to visit: June-October.
8. Mount Nokogiriyama - A Hiking Trip Near Tokyo
Image Source: Guilhem Vellut/flickr.com
Are you on a lookout for a good hiking spot around Tokyo? Look no further, head over to Mount Nokogiriyama. A 120-minute ride from Tokyo, Mount Nokogiriyama is in the southern most part of Chiba prefecture and is mostly covered in mountains. The ridges of the mountain run zig-zag like the teeth of a saw thus giving to the nickname, 'Sawtooth Mountain'. Standing at a height of 329.4 meters approximately, Mount Nokogiriyama is not the tallest but definitely offers breathtaking panoramic views from atop.
Seek the blessings of Buddha from the zen temple of Nihon-ji, ride on a ropeway and never miss out on the Jigoku Nozoki Hill Peek. Keep your cameras handy, this is going to be a memorable short trip.
How to travel: Ferry: Kurihama Ferry Terminal, from Kanagawa to Port Kanaya. From Kanaya reach Nokogiriyama Ropeway Station through a 10 minute walk. Train: JR Uchibo Line, from Tokyo Station to Kanaya Station.
Best time to visit: During Summer, from April-August.
Did we miss out on any of your favorite trips from Tokyo? Please let us know in the comments.