Tokyo is a world-class metropolis. But in case 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 practice or ferry. Best of all, these locations are attractive in all 4 seasons. So, get away your JR Pass or Passmo/Suica playing cards and prepare for some enjoyable!
Best Day Trips from Tokyo
The greatest solution to expertise these Tokyo day journeys is by practice, however if you’re up for the problem, you may rent a car as effectively. It provides you with extra freedom and adaptability to discover these wonderful locations.
If you’re searching 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 purpose why this metropolis is named a “Little Kyoto” – it’s bursting with historical past, tradition, and non secular buildings. With 65 temples and 19 shrines, it is extremely straightforward to get temple/shrine overload. For that purpose, it’s greatest to restrict the variety of temple/shrine excursions to a few a day.
If you’re solely in Kamakura for at some point, three very particular spiritual websites are effectively value 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 legendary for its 11-headed picket statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The stunning grounds embrace 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 scrub 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 simple draw, the shrine’s website may be very particular: you entry it by passing by way of 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 procuring and all kinds of worldwide cuisines. If you’re trying to attempt a neighborhood specialty, Kamakura is legendary 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 numerous scrumptious choices to select from.
- Best Suited For: Those all in favour of exploring conventional Japanese tradition and historical past.
- From Tokyo: It’s simply over an hour by practice from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station.
2. Enoshima Island
This charming island is linked 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, top-of-the-line locations to go to is the ocean caves. For ¥500, ($3.50 USD) workers will current you with a candle to discover the caves and see historical statues. The candle isn’t actually needed as there may be 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 numerous bodily exercise. If you like Japanese food, this can be a nice likelihood 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) visitors can use escalators to entry varied sights. The worth of tickets is dependent upon how excessive up you want to go.
Given its romantic historical past, it’s straightforward to know the island’s recognition 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 simply 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 get pleasure from shirasu: in a scorching croquette, atop a rice bowl, or (gulp!) as a tender cream in a cone.
- Best Suited For: Those searching 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 practice 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 understood for having one in every of Japan’s high tuna hauls. Whatever dish you wish to attempt, relaxation assured – the standard will likely be top-notch.
Misaki can be recognized for its fish market. While it’s presently closed resulting from 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 flooring.
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 filled with caves and must-see temples, Jogashima offers off a relaxed getaway vibe. The sparsely populated island has a number of wonderful mountaineering 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 get pleasure from 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 possible run roughly ¥1600 ($11).
- Best Suited For: Outdoor fans 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 a protracted historical past as a Sailor city. Originally, Yokosuka was one in every of 4 distinguished 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 greatest 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 generally 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 practice compartments usually function tourism campaigns highlighting these two genuine “Sailor” dishes.
While it’s a lot simpler to get recent merchandise at sea as we speak, securing provides to feed a hungry crew for lengthy intervals at sea was far tougher within the outdated days of crusing. Whereas Western Sailors died resulting from scurvy, many Japanese Sailors died resulting from B1 deficiency (beriberi) caused by a scarcity of thiamine. Without this significant vitamin, Sailors may exhibit signs resembling psychological confusion, lack of muscle operate, and paralysis.
Kanehiro Takaki, an excellent Japanese naval medical officer, carried out scientific experiments and realized that the signs have been diet-related. The Imperial Navy noticed the meals different Navies have been consuming and took a web page from British Sailors – who had taken the thought from India – in consuming curry, a dish filled 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 truth: 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 as we speak.
As one may anticipate from a Sailor city, there are many retailers 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 practice 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 monitor by heading for Nokogiriyama?
The first Buddhist temple was commissioned at Nokogiriyama over 1300 years in the past. At a top of 31.05 meters (101.8 ft), the Diabetsu (Buddha) at Nokogiriyama is the tallest Buddha Statue in Japan.
Beyond its top, the Buddha is hanging in that it was carved into the mountain in 1783. As the Buddha of therapeutic, the determine has a delicate expression and holds a medication bowl in his hand.
A journey to Nokogiriyama is an element religious pilgrimage, and half embracing your interior 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 because of the passing of time and publicity to nature. And among the injury – the place it’s apparent the statue was beheaded – was resulting from anti-Buddhist actions throughout 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 generally 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 automotive from the bottom to the highest for ¥500. Note: though the cable automotive takes guests to the highest, there may be nonetheless numerous strolling up/down steep stairs to get to the preferred viewpoints.
- Best Suited For: Outdoor adventurers with sturdy legs who’re keen to place in effort to get to a very gorgeous cultural treasure.
- From Tokyo: The greatest solution to entry it’s to take a practice from Tokyo to Keikyu-Kurihama. Walk the brief distance to Kurihama Harbor and catch a 40-minute ferry to Chiba (¥1600 round-trip). The ferries run usually, are spotlessly clear, and are a enjoyable solution to cross Tokyo Bay.
Kurihama, a part of Kanagawa Prefecture, is a beautiful place to spend a morning or afternoon. Kanagawa is understood 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 grow 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’re there in April or May, the poppies are particularly pretty. 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 deliver 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 youngsters below 12 can go up Godzilla and slide down his monumental tail, he’s nonetheless value a go to.
- Best Suited For: Those all in favour of historical past and politics (Perry Park), and people looking for a soothing afternoon at a beautiful park. Although the ascent up Kurihama Flower Park is steep, for a couple of hundred yen the park’s “Flower Train” will transport visitors the place they wish to go.
- From Tokyo: It is roughly a 75 minute practice 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 of 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 popularity.
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 retailers and eating places alternatives to expertise totally different types of Chinese delicacies. One of the largest attracts at Yokohama’s Chinatown is a cease at Kanteibyo temple, devoted to the Chinese god of prosperity and enterprise.
Other in style 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 operate 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 approach to offer cheap, flavorful meals for a contemporary staff. His invention would go on to grow to be one in every of Japan’s high cultural exports.
Not solely are you able to study the historical past of this invention, for ¥400 yen (2.50 USD) you may choose from quite a lot of elements to design your individual 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 package deal.
- 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 among the high locations in Nikko.
Most folks come to Nikko to see its wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nikko Temples and it is among the greatest 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 battle. His Mausoleum is positioned inside the Tosho-gu Shrine and is among the most essential shrines in all of Japan.
Right subsequent door to Tosho-gu Shrine is the Buddhist temple of Rinnoji. Make certain to attempt the Zen Meditation expertise on this temple. If you wish 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 all in favour of Japaneses historical past and tradition and to do some outside adventures.
- From Tokyo: Catch the Tobu Express practice 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 case you choose.
And these are some wonderful day journeys from Tokyo. Japan is a shocking nation to go to, so be certain that to get out of town to benefit from the stunning and numerous countryside. It has extra outside areas and forests that you just’d anticipate!
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