Those looking forward to escaping the busy, hectic streets of the Japanese capital, should certainly explore one of the 20 Best day trips from Tokyo, Japan. As Tokyo is one of the busiest and most diverse cities in the world, you will stumble upon the unique fusion of traditional and modern at every corner. Stepping just a few kilometers away from Tokyo city center, however, will allow you to find even more fantastic places worth exploring in Japan. Here are the
20 Best Day Trips from Tokyo
1. Mt Fuji
It would be a shame if you have been to Japan without paying a visit to the highest peak in the country. Rising at 3,776 meters, Mt Fuji is also an active volcano, which has become one of the most iconic Japanese landmarks. Climbing the summit is possible, but the hike takes between 5-10 hours and it is only recommended during the summer season. There are a number of organized day trips from Tokyo, which can take you to the nearby villages, such as Oshino Hakkai or the stunning five lakes at Kawaguchi-ko, surrounding the peak. In April, when the cherry blossoms season is in its peak, the views of Mt Fuji are truly breathtaking! Regardless, when you are planning your Japanese holiday for, this is one of the must visit places on a Tokyo side trip.
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One of the best day trips from Tokyo is a visit to Kamakura – a city filled with history. Located just an hour away from the Japanese capital, Kamakura can easily be reached via train. In the city, you will be able to fully experience the local culture, while admiring the stunning temples and shrines. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city is the almost 12 meters tall statue of Buddha. Believed to be a holy place, it is very popular amongst locals and tourists as well. Before heading back, make sure to also stop by the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine which has a significant cultural importance to the city of Kamakura.
Situated off of Kamakura, Enoshima is a small island, connected to the Shonan area via a bridge. Besides the sandy beaches of this island, visitors will find ancient temples and unique caves worth exploring. After you have visited the Enoshima Shrine, you should also immerse yourself in a culinary tour at Benten Nakamise Dori Street. From various seafood snacks to tasty sweet dumplings, most of the food offered here is traditional for Enoshima in particular. Do not miss the stunning scenery from the observation deck at the Enoshima Samuel Cocking Garden, which is a great spot to go for a peaceful walk to make your Tokyo day trip extra special.
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4. Izu Oshima Island
In the middle of the Philippine Sea, you will find an interesting active volcano island, called Oshima. It is the biggest of the Izu archipelago islands and is among the best Tokyo trips. Make sure you are ready for a real adventure, as you will visit Mount Mihara – an active volcano, which last erupted in 1986. As Oshima island is part of the Fuji Hakone Izu National Park, you can also find various hiking routes taking you to secret hot springs, nestled between the rich vegetation of the area. During the summer, you can also pay a visit to one of the various beaches and dip your toes into the refreshing sea.
As the second largest city, Yokohama is among the best cities in Japan and you should include it as one of your day trips from Tokyo. The city is perfect if you are looking for interesting entertainments and attractions, but also want a more flavorful experience. At the heart of Yokohama you will find the country’s largest Chinatown packed with authentic restaurants and bars – all worth the visit! This will be one of the best ways to compare and experience both Chinese and Japanese cuisines at the same time. Among the most popular tourist sights, is the Marine Towers located by the bay, which has a great observation deck offering breathtaking views of the entire city, especially at night!
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Odaware is among the best Tokyo day trips, as it is home to one of the most beautiful castles across the country. Originally built during the 1440s, the castle will impress you with its traditional Japanese architectural style. Back in the times it was used as a defensive fortification, however, nowadays visitors can explore intriguing artifacts from the Kamakura and Sengoku periods. Also popular for its fish market, it is also worth grabbing a mouth-watering lunch such as a fish cake and rice.
Kawagoe is by far one of the best day trips from Tokyo that you can take. Popular for its traditional buildings and charming atmosphere, it is often referred to as “Little Edo” as well. During the Edo Period, an imperial palace was built and Kawagoe developed as a castle town. Despite the fact that a large portion of the castle was destroyed much later, visitors are still able to admire and imagine its previous glory through the stunning primary hall and the tall tower. On a day trip to Kawagoe, it is a must to stroll down Candy Alleys, where you will find numerous shops all offering traditional Japanese sweets. With its authentic vibe, the best way to explore Kawagoe is by getting lost in between its alleys, while admiring the architectural style.
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Despite not being among the most popular Japan day trips, Kawasaki is a relatively large Japanese city worth exploring. Home to various roller-coasters and amusement rides, Yomiuri Land is an entertainment park great not only for kids, but also for adults. It is one of the best spots you can visit if you are looking forward to a fun family day. On a tour to Kawasaki, you should explore the open-air folk house museum, which is a real hidden gem, where you can spend hours just strolling around and getting a closer feel of the Edo period and Japanese culture.
Situated over 100 km away from Tokyo, Takasaki is one of the off-the-beaten-path Tokyo day trips which will surprise you with its relaxing, laid-back atmosphere. The city is home to the popular Daruma dolls – red, angry-looking face of a bearded man, considered as one of the Japanese talismans for good luck. As the vast majority of these dolls are produced in Takasaki, you will be able to find a great market with a huge variety of Daruma dolls, which are an excellent souvenir to take back home. The Haruna Shrine is another fantastic spot to visit to enjoy a peaceful walk in nature. Surrounded by deep forests, the temple is extra mystic and beautiful during the autumn.
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Those looking forward to escape from the busy and hectic streets of Tokyo, can head to the peaceful and quiet Tokyo Mountains. Located in the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Hakone is a great Tokyo day tour. The town is mostly known for its hot springs and the stunningly beautiful Lake Ashi. While there are interesting tourist attractions, such as the Hakone Open Air Museum and the Hakone Shrine, the best way to explore the area is by getting a boat ride across the lake or embarking on a real adventure at one of the hiking trails in the park. Make sure to add Hakone day trip to your Japanese travel itinerary.
Located to the western side of Saitama, Chichibu is a must-do Tokyo daily tour. Do not get discouraged that the journey takes over 2 hours as this truly beautiful location will certainly impress you with its mountainous views and endless fields covered with pink blooming flowers. In order to fully experience this colorful spring parade, it is best to visit during the Shibazakura festival from April to May, when the different shades of pink form a flower carpet. Even if you are visiting outside of this season, Chichibu which is part of a pilgrimage route with its 36 unique Buddhist temples, still has a lot to offer. It is certainly a good idea to pay a visit to at least some of these temples so you get a closer feel for the Japanese culture.
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12. Hitachi Seaside Park
If you are looking for another picturesque spot, beautifully painted in colors, you should take one day trip from Tokyo to Hitachi Seaside Park. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this is a public park, known for its stunning flower gardens. As you follow the winding paths, you will be able to immerse yourself in the laid-back atmosphere with floral scents and colorful fields. The best part is that the gardens are home to various floral species and each of them bloom at different time of the year. While yellow narcissus and tulips cover the gardens during the spring, fall if the perfect time to see the stunning colorful cosmos flowers. The park is also home to more than 25 rides and attractions and as well as a ferries wheel offering breathtaking views of the entire Hitachi Seaside Park.
If you have some more time to spare, you should visit Nikko – a place where history and nature beauty combine together. The city is just 150 km away from the Japanese capital and while it can be done on a day trip, it is by far one of the best weekend day trips from Tokyo. The town itself is fairly small, nestled beneath the beautiful mountain peaks. Even still, it is packed with stunning temples, such as Toshogu Shrine and Rinnoji Treasure House, which are both certainly worth the visit. Even more, the town is situated by the Nikko National Park entrance, allowing visitors to enjoy a nature escape. Nikko is one of the best daytrips from Tokyo for those who enjoy hiking paths and wandering through Japanese mountains.
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14. Kusatsu Onsen
A compulsory part of your travel itinerary to Japan should be an onsen (hot spring) experience. As a country with volcanic activity, Japan is home to thousands of onsens – hot springs, accompanied by traditional bathing facilities. As one of the major onsen resorts, Kusatsu is among the best places to visit near Tokyo. With temperatures over 131 degrees Farenheit (55 degrees Celsius), the water is believed to heal different health problems. The entrance to Kusatsu Onsen’s hot springs is free of charge, but visitors can also plan an entire weekend getaway and stay at one of the traditional resorts and inns in the area. Slightly outside of the city, you can also find the active stratovolcano of Mount Shirane, surrounded by beautiful crater lakes and deep green forests, so, the views promise to be truly breathtaking.
Another one-day trip from Tokyo, which will take you to some of the most beautiful places in Japan is Nokogiriyama. Meaning “saw mountain”, Nokogiriyama is accessible by road and cable car. The Nokogiriyama Ropeway, however, is certainly the better way of reaching the mountain peak, as you can also admire the stunning scenery along the way. Visitor should definitely stop by the most popular lookout, known as “A view of hell”, where the views are truly incredible, but it can also get a bit scary, while you are standing on the edge of the steep cliff.
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16. Mount Takao
Situated just an hour away from Tokyo, Mount Takao is among the best day tours in Japan. Rising at approximately 600 meters, the area is a popular nature spot, perfect if you would like to do some hiking. It takes around 90 minutes to reach the summit from its base, but a lot of people prefer taking the cable car, which can take you halfway up. Besides admiring the stunning views from the top of Mount Takao, you can also stop by the monkey park and wild garden, which will guarantee you a truly memorable fun experience.
Atami is another city located on the Izu Peninsula. With its charming, seaside laid-back atmosphere, it is one of the best day trips around Tokyo. Back in the times, the city was one of the most popular onsen resorts. Despite the fact that it now receives significantly less tourists, it is still among the best Japan vacation ideas. The Nikkotei Oyu inn is a great choice if you would like to experience traditional hot springs. During the summer months, Sun Beach is one of the most popular sights in the city, as people are sunbathing and swimming by day, and sipping on cocktails and partying by night. If you are visiting in the spring months, the Atami castle is a fabulous place surrounded by colorful cherry blossoming trees.
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Those of you looking for the best day trips from Tokyo by bullet train, should certainly visit Kyoto. Situated over 450 km away from the Japanese capital, the high-speed train journey takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. As a result, Kyoto can certainly be done as a Tokyo one day tour, however, we would advise planning to stay a few days, as you would want to take your time to fully experience its gardens, palaces and shrines. From the popular red gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha to the bamboo forest at Arashiyama, there is so much to do and see in Kyoto. If you decide to stay overnight make sure to also admire the sunset views from Kiyomizu-dera temple and grab some lunch bites at Nishiki Market.
The small and quiet town of Ashikaga is a real hidden gem and one of the compulsory places to visit near Tokyo. It is situated just over 100 km away from the Japanese capital and can easily be reached via train. As the home to the oldest schools in the country, it holds significant cultural and historical importance. The main tourist attraction in Ashikaga, however, is the flower park covering 23 acres of what seem to be endless fields of seasonal flowers. While the park organizes multiple events throughout the year, the most popular is the wisteria festival where visitors are welcomed by tunnels of purple and pink lavender. If you have additional time, it is worth checking out their night events as well which as so magical as flowers are illuminated with various lights. No matter what you do, try not to skip Ashikaga as it is one of the top day trips from Tokyo.
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20. Disneyland and DisneySea
If you are planning a family trip to Japan, you need to add Disneyland as one of your day tours from Tokyo. Besides the common rides and roller-coasters available in any other Disney entertainment park in the world, Disneyland Japan has the one and only DisneySea park in the world. With its huge lake and numerous water rides, it is a great fun Tokyo one day trip, and a trip here will create unforgettable memories for your entire family. Take a step back to your childhood and allow yourself to immerse into this colorful and exciting experience.
So if you are wondering – what are the best places to visit near Tokyo – know that Japan is packed with endless unique cultural and historical spots worth visiting. From the most popular Mt Fuji trip from Tokyo to the off-the-beaten-path tour to Oshima Island, your travel itinerary will be packed with fantastic experiences. From natural places near Tokyo to historic cities around Tokyo, there are so many things to do while in town! Hope one of these 20 Best Day trips from Tokyo would you spark your interest!