Tokyo is a world-class metropolis. But in the event you want a break from the fast-paced metropolis life, think about one in every of these day journeys from Tokyo to one in every of seven close by landmarks.
These locations close to Tokyo vary from a straightforward half-hour to 120 minutes by prepare or ferry. Best of all, these locations are attractive in all 4 seasons. So, escape your JR Pass or Passmo/Suica playing cards and prepare for some enjoyable!
Best Day Trips from Tokyo
The finest method to expertise these Tokyo day journeys is by prepare, however in case you are up for the problem, you may lease a automobile as effectively. It offers you extra freedom and suppleness to discover these wonderful locations.
If you might be on the lookout for extra data on Tokyo, learn our Tokyo journey information at The Best Things to do in Tokyo, Japan
From 1185 to 1333, Kamakura was the de facto capital of Japan. There’s a cause why this metropolis is named a “Little Kyoto” – it’s bursting with historical past, tradition, and spiritual buildings. With 65 temples and 19 shrines, it is vitally straightforward to get temple/shrine overload. For that cause, it’s finest to restrict the variety of temple/shrine excursions to a few a day.
If you’re solely in Kamakura for sooner or later, three very particular spiritual websites are effectively price a go to. For a extra in-depth information of Kamakura learn: Things to do in Kamakura Japan – The Ultimate Seaside Escape
The temple was established in 736 and is known for its 11-headed picket statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The stunning grounds embody ponds full of colourful fish, and beautiful landscaped areas.
Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine
One of essentially the most distinctive shrines in Japan, Zeniarai Benzaiten dates again to 1185. Visitors come right here to clean their cash within the shrine’s particular waters. According to legend, when you spent your washed cash, your luck and fortune would multiply. Although the money-washing legend is an plain draw, the shrine’s website could be very particular: you entry it by passing by a tunnel cave.
The hottest temple in Kamakura, the Big Buddha (Daibutsu) is so linked to town itself that the statue is prominently featured on tourism packages and magazines. The 44-foot bronze Daibutsu was constructed within the mid-Thirteenth century and has survived earthquakes, fires, and battle.
Kamakura can be well-known for wonderful purchasing and all kinds of worldwide cuisines. If you’re trying to attempt an area specialty, Kamakura is known for shirasu – whitebait. There are some ways to eat shirasu – dried, uncooked, or boiled. If that is exterior your consolation stage, one factor is for certain – at Kamakura, you’ll have plenty of scrumptious choices to decide on from.
Best Suited For: Those excited by exploring conventional Japanese tradition and historical past.From Tokyo: It’s simply over an hour by prepare from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station.
2. Enoshima Island
This charming island is related by a 600-meter bridge to the mainland. The island has a romantic backstory: a fierce dragon who had been terrorizing the native villagers renounced his evil methods to win the love of the gorgeous goddess Benzaiten. Enoshima Island is a testomony to their love.
The dragon theme is woven all through the island, from the carved statues to the ornate lamp posts. There is even a shrine devoted to the dragon, together with a temple devoted to the goddess.
Although it entails a number of units of steep stairs, the most effective locations to go to is the ocean caves. For ¥500, ($3.50 USD) employees will current you with a candle to discover the caves and see historical statues. The candle isn’t actually needed as there’s ample lighting. All the identical, it’s a enjoyable contact that provides to the sense of journey and it’s small element that younger guests actually love.
At the furthermost cave, a contemporary dragon statue stands in welcome, dramatically lit in shades of purple and scorching pink. Kitschy? Yes. But It continues to be fairly cool.
For such a compact island, a visit to Enoshima famously entails a number of bodily exercise. If you like Japanese meals, it is a nice probability to work up an urge for food and get your cardio in. Enoshima comes with HUNDREDS of stairs.
Don’t really feel like taking the steps, or have already got the physique of a Greek god? The island has a tiered ticket system, and for between ¥200-800 yen ($1.50 – $8USD) friends can use escalators to entry varied sights. The value of tickets is determined by how excessive up you want to go.
Given its romantic historical past, it’s straightforward to know the island’s reputation with younger lovers. The views from the highest are breathtaking, and on a transparent day, Enoshima Island has completely gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji.
Food to Try
While there are many sit-down eating places on the island, it may be a enjoyable expertise to only graze on the many meals stalls. As with close by Kamakura, shirasu (white bait) is an Enoshima specialty. There are a number of methods to take pleasure in shirasu: in a scorching croquette, atop a rice bowl, or (gulp!) as a mushy cream in a cone.
Best Suited For: Those on the lookout for a one-of-a-kind island expertise. Due to the island’s geography, those that are pretty energetic will benefit from the expertise essentially the most.From Tokyo: It’s an hour from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station. From Kamakura Station, take the scenic Enoden Line prepare to Enoshima Station (roughly 25 minutes). Follow the well-marked indicators and stroll throughout the bridge to Enoshima Island.
Misaki and Jogashima Island
Are you a maguro (tuna) lover? If so, you’ll love Misaki. The fishing city is thought for having one in every of Japan’s high tuna hauls. Whatever dish you need to attempt, relaxation assured – the standard can be top-notch.
Misaki can be recognized for its fish market. While it’s presently closed because of COVID, guests usually have the chance to view the tuna public sale course of by way of the glass home windows in the marketplace’s second ground.
Near Misaki Harbor is Jogashima Island, accessible both by way of bridge or a brief boat experience.
Whereas Enoshima Island is a vacationer vacation spot stuffed with caves and must-see temples, Jogashima provides off a relaxed getaway vibe. The sparsely populated island has a number of wonderful climbing trails. The most scenic of these trails will take you by well-maintained lighthouses and alongside seashores of volcanic rock.
Those whose temperament is extra mellow can select to easily take pleasure in recent breezes and ocean views whereas picnicking.
Food to attempt: It can be a disgrace to go to Misaki and NOT get their tuna. While Misaki is most well-known for its tuna, as a fishing village ALL of the seafood is great. An unimaginable set menu that features miso soup, a bowl of rice and tuna, and inexperienced tea will probably run roughly ¥1600 ($11).
Best Suited For: Outdoor lovers and maguro lovers.From Tokyo: It will take you about 90 minutes to get from Tokyo Station to Misakiguchi Station. Outside the station, take a taxi or the NR 2 Bus to Misaki Port (roughly 18 minutes).From Misaki Port to Jogashima: Jogashima Island could be accessed by a 5 minute boat experience from Misaki Port or a 2.2-kilometer stroll throughout the bridge.
Yokosuka has an extended historical past as a Sailor city. Originally, Yokosuka was one in every of 4 outstanding shipyards for the Japanese Imperial Navy. In 1884, the Yokosuka Naval District was constructed for the protection of Japan.
These days, town hosts each the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the U.S. Navy. Because of the Sailor affect, two must-try culinary specialties to attempt when in Yokosuka are Kaigun (Navy) Curry and the “Navy burger”.
Whaaaaaat? A burger as a culinary vacation spot merchandise? You finest consider it. And Japan’s tackle a U.S. Navy burger is nothing in need of beautiful.
On U.S. Navy ships, Wednesdays are affectionately often known as “Burger Day”.
As for Kaigun Curry, it’s consumed by Sailors aboard Japan Maritime Self-Defense ships each Friday. Posters inside Keikyu Line prepare compartments repeatedly function tourism campaigns highlighting these two genuine “Sailor” dishes.
While it’s a lot simpler to get recent merchandise at sea at present, securing provides to feed a hungry crew for lengthy durations at sea was far harder within the outdated days of crusing. Whereas Western Sailors died because of scurvy, many Japanese Sailors died because of B1 deficiency (beriberi) caused by a scarcity of thiamine. Without this important vitamin, Sailors may exhibit signs similar to psychological confusion, lack of muscle perform, and paralysis.
Kanehiro Takaki, a superb Japanese naval medical officer, carried out scientific experiments and realized that the signs had been diet-related. The Imperial Navy noticed the meals different Navies had been consuming and took a web page from British Sailors – who had taken the concept from India – in consuming curry, a dish stuffed with thiamine.
Japanese Sailors got here to like the dish, and introduced the recipe again house. Over time, Kaigun Curry established itself as a preferred dish. Fun reality: every Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship has its personal curry recipe.
Either pre- or post-curry/burger, journey to Mikasa Park and take a look at the Japanese battleship Mikasa. An iconic battleship, the Mikasa participated in a number of main conflicts, and is the one pre-dreadnought battleship remaining at present.
As one may count on from a Sailor city, there are many outlets in Yokosuka that promote Japanese and U.S. Sailor-inspired merchandise, from squadron patches to Kaigun curry packets.
Best Suited For: History and nautical buffs.From Tokyo: It’s roughly an hour prepare experience from Tokyo Station to Yokosuka Chuo.
Although Chiba Prefecture is most well-known for Disneyland, why not expertise an genuine cultural treasure off the crushed observe by heading for Nokogiriyama?
The first Buddhist temple was commissioned at Nokogiriyama over 1300 years in the past. At a peak of 31.05 meters (101.8 ft), the Diabetsu (Buddha) at Nokogiriyama is the tallest Buddha Statue in Japan.
Beyond its peak, the Buddha is putting in that it was carved into the mountain in 1783. As the Buddha of therapeutic, the determine has a mild expression and holds a medication bowl in his hand.
A journey to Nokogiriyama is a component non secular pilgrimage, and half embracing your internal Indiana Jones. Read all about my expertise at Nokogiriyama and an Encounter With Chiba’s Great Stone Buddha
Takai Arhats – Enlightened Disciples
The strolling paths on the mountain are lined with the stone figures of Takai Arhats (enlightened disciples). Sadly, a number of of the Takai Arhats have been broken or destroyed. Some of this has been as a result of passing of time and publicity to nature. And a few of the harm – the place it’s apparent the statue was beheaded – was because of anti-Buddhist actions in the course of the Meiji Restoration.
Those who’re exceptionally match will benefit from the problem of a strenuous hike up the mountain, the place they are going to be rewarded by gorgeous nature and superb views. At a scenic overlook often known as “Hell’s Peak”, the adventurous can enterprise to a railing on the fringe of a cliff and take pictures.
Have completely zero curiosity in a hike up a 300-meter mountain? Take the cable automobile from the bottom to the highest for ¥500. Note: though the cable automobile takes guests to the highest, there’s nonetheless a number of strolling up/down steep stairs to get to the most well-liked viewpoints.
Best Suited For: Outdoor adventurers with sturdy legs who’re keen to place in effort to get to a really gorgeous cultural treasure.From Tokyo: The finest method to entry it’s to take a prepare from Tokyo to Keikyu-Kurihama. Walk the quick distance to Kurihama Harbor and catch a 40-minute ferry to Chiba (¥1600 round-trip). The ferries run repeatedly, are spotlessly clear, and are a enjoyable method to cross Tokyo Bay.
Kurihama, a part of Kanagawa Prefecture, is a beautiful place to spend a morning or afternoon. Kanagawa is thought for 2 legendary arrivals: U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew Perry and Godzilla.
At Perry Park, a easy monument pays tribute to Commodore Perry’s arrival in Japan and the 1854 signing of The Treaty of Kanagawa. Up till the signing, Japan had spent two centuries in a state of voluntary seclusion. The signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa resulted in Japan opening its borders to overseas commerce.
It’s exhausting to overstate the importance of this quiet, unassuming place reverse Kurihama Harbor. And but this doc gave rise to what would turn out to be trendy Japan. Read extra: Mind-Blowing Facts about Japan
Kurihama Flower Park
Less than a 20-minute stroll from Perry Park is Kurihama Flower Park, a 144-acre oasis the place flowers bloom year-round. If you might be there in April or May, the poppies are particularly beautiful. Hundreds of hydrangeas will reward guests who journey in June or July in bloom. Go in September or October, and the fields are carpeted by 1,000,000 cosmos flowers.
At the highest of the hill stands what’s arguably Kurihama Flower Park’s most well-known attraction: a 9-meter (27-foot) Godzilla slide. What is the “King of Monsters” doing at a stupendous flower park?
According to the unique 1954 Godzilla movie, Godzilla first made land at close by Tatarahama seaside. A slide was initially constructed on the seaside, however over time degraded and wanted to be eliminated.
However, native companies and personal people missed the beloved monster and raised funds to carry Godzilla again to their neighborhood. The present Godzilla slide at Kurihama Flower Park was unveiled in 1999 and has two English phrases carved on the bottom: GODZILLA RETURNS.
Although solely kids below 12 can go up Godzilla and slide down his monumental tail, he’s nonetheless price a go to.
Best Suited For: Those excited by historical past and politics (Perry Park), and people in search of a soothing afternoon at a beautiful park. Although the ascent up Kurihama Flower Park is steep, for a number of hundred yen the park’s “Flower Train” will transport friends the place they need to go.From Tokyo: It is roughly a 75 minute prepare to both Keikyu Kurihama station. From there, it’s a straightforward 15-20 minute stroll to Kurihama Flower Park or Perry Park. Both parks are freed from cost.
Yokohama is lower than 20 miles from Tokyo. Although thought-about a part of the higher Tokyo space, Yokohama positively has its personal character. It has the excellence of being the 2nd largest metropolis in Japan.
In 1859 it grew to become one of many first ports within the nation open to overseas commerce. As such, Yokohama has a really city, worldwide status.
For proof, look no additional than Yokohama’s Chinatown, which is among the largest on this planet. The brightly coloured, bustling .2-kilometer sq. space options a number of outlets and eating places alternatives to expertise completely different forms of Chinese delicacies. One of the most important attracts at Yokohama’s Chinatown is a cease at Kanteibyo temple, devoted to the Chinese god of prosperity and enterprise.
Other common areas to take a look at whereas in Yokohama are the historic Red Brick Warehouses close to the harbor. Originally used as customs buildings, they now carry out the perform of a shopping center and occasion venue.
Cup of Noodles Museum
To expertise one in every of Japan’s best culinary exports, head to the Cup of Noodles museum.
Post World War II, Momofuku Ando invented the cup of noodles in 1958 as a manner to offer cheap, flavorful meals for a contemporary employees. His invention would go on to turn out to be one in every of Japan’s high cultural exports.
Not solely are you able to be taught the historical past of this invention, for ¥400 yen (2.50 USD) you may choose from quite a lot of substances to design your personal bespoke cup of noodles. It’s a enjoyable memento to take house.
Best Suited For: Those who love Chinatown or want to humble brag about creating their very own instant-noodles bundle.From Tokyo: Catch one of many many trains from Tokyo. The journey to Yokohama will take lower than half-hour.
Bonus Tokyo Day Trip – Nikko
While Dave and I visited Nikko on a four-day journey from Tokyo, many individuals pop into Nikko for a single-day journey. With quick trains leaving Tokyo, it could actually simply be visited in a brief day. If you drive, it’s even higher to discover a few of the high locations in Nikko.
Most individuals come to Nikko to see its wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nikko Temples and it is among the finest locations in Japan to benefit from the fall colors.
The primary attraction in Nikko is the Tosho-gu Shrine devoted to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Tokugawa Ieyasu was essentially the most highly effective man in Japan in 1600. He was named Japan’s first Shogun after uniting the nation from a fierce civil warfare. His Mausoleum is positioned throughout the Tosho-gu Shrine and is among the most necessary shrines in all of Japan.
Right subsequent door to Tosho-gu Shrine is the Buddhist temple of Rinnoji. Make positive to attempt the Zen Meditation expertise on this temple. If you need to plan an extended itinerary in Nikko see our information at Complete Nikko Japan Travel Guide – 18 Things to do and Places to See
Best Suited For: People excited by Japaneses historical past and tradition and to do some out of doors adventures. From Tokyo: Catch the Tobu Express prepare from Asakusa Station or the Tokyo Sky Tree. Nikko is positioned 157 km north of Tokyo. Locals drive to the area, so you may drive too in the event you want.
And these are some wonderful day journeys from Tokyo. Japan is a shocking nation to go to, so ensure that to get out of town to benefit from the stunning and various countryside. It has extra out of doors areas and forests that you just’d count on!
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