Tokyo is a world-class metropolis. But if you happen to want a break from the fast-paced metropolis life, contemplate certainly one of these day journeys from Tokyo to certainly one 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, escape your JR Pass or Passmo/Suica playing cards and prepare for some enjoyable!
Best Day Trips from Tokyo
The finest solution to expertise these Tokyo day journeys is by practice, however if you’re up for the problem, you may hire a automobile as nicely. It offers you extra freedom and suppleness to discover these superb locations.
If you might be searching for extra info 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 simple 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 in the future, three very particular spiritual websites are nicely 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 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 plain draw, the shrine’s web site may 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 glorious procuring and all kinds of worldwide cuisines. If you’re seeking to strive a neighborhood specialty, Kamakura is known for shirasu – whitebait. There are some ways to eat shirasu – dried, uncooked, or boiled. If that is exterior your consolation degree, one factor is for certain – at Kamakura, you’ll have numerous scrumptious choices to decide on from.
Best Suited For: Those serious about 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, probably the greatest 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 historic statues. The candle isn’t actually crucial 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 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 numerous points of interest. The worth of tickets is dependent upon how excessive up you want to go.
Given its romantic historical past, it’s simple 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 beautiful 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 take pleasure in shirasu: in a scorching croquette, atop a rice bowl, or (gulp!) as a delicate 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 certainly one of Japan’s prime tuna hauls. Whatever dish you need to strive, relaxation assured – the standard will likely be top-notch.
Misaki can be recognized for its fish market. While it’s presently closed attributable to COVID, guests usually have the chance to view the tuna public sale course of by way of the glass home windows available on the market’s second flooring.
Near Misaki Harbor is Jogashima Island, accessible both by way of bridge or a brief boat trip.
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 glorious 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 strive: It could 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 superb. An unbelievable 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 may be accessed by a 5 minute boat trip 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 certainly one 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 strive 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 wanting beautiful.
On U.S. Navy ships, Wednesdays are affectionately referred to 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 frequently characteristic tourism campaigns highlighting these two genuine “Sailor” dishes.
While it’s a lot simpler to get recent merchandise at sea right this moment, securing provides to feed a hungry crew for lengthy intervals at sea was far harder within the outdated days of crusing. Whereas Western Sailors died attributable to scurvy, many Japanese Sailors died attributable to B1 deficiency (beriberi) led to by an absence of thiamine. Without this important vitamin, Sailors may exhibit signs similar to 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 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 right this moment.
As one may count on 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 trip from Tokyo Station to Yokosuka Chuo.
Although Chiba Prefecture is most well-known for Disneyland, why not expertise an genuine cultural treasure off the overwhelmed 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 toes), 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 delicate expression and holds a drugs bowl in his hand.
A journey to Nokogiriyama is an element non secular 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 harm – the place it’s apparent the statue was beheaded – was attributable to anti-Buddhist actions through 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 beautiful nature and wonderful views. At a scenic overlook referred to as “Hell’s Peak”, the adventurous can enterprise to a railing on the fringe of a cliff and take photographs.
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 preferred viewpoints.
Best Suited For: Outdoor adventurers with sturdy legs who’re keen to place in effort to get to a really beautiful cultural treasure.From Tokyo: The finest 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 frequently, are spotlessly clear, and are a enjoyable solution to cross Tokyo Bay.
Kurihama, a part of Kanagawa Prefecture, is a stunning 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 international commerce.
It’s onerous to overstate the importance of this quiet, unassuming place reverse Kurihama Harbor. And but this doc gave rise to what would develop into 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 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 phenomenal flower park?
According to the unique 1954 Godzilla movie, Godzilla first made land at close by Tatarahama seashore. A slide was initially constructed on the seashore, 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 underneath 12 can go up Godzilla and slide down his huge tail, he’s nonetheless price a go to.
Best Suited For: Those serious about historical past and politics (Perry Park), and people searching for a soothing afternoon at a stunning park. Although the ascent up Kurihama Flower Park is steep, for a number of hundred yen the park’s “Flower Train” will transport visitors the place they need 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-about a part of the better Tokyo space, Yokohama undoubtedly 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 international commerce. As such, Yokohama has a really city, worldwide status.
For proof, look no additional than Yokohama’s Chinatown, which is likely one of the largest on the 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 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 operate of a shopping center and occasion venue.
Cup of Noodles Museum
To expertise certainly one of Japan’s biggest culinary exports, head to the Cup of Noodles museum.
Post World War II, Momofuku Ando invented the cup of noodles in 1958 as a means to supply cheap, flavorful meals for a contemporary staff. His invention would go on to develop into certainly one of Japan’s prime 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 a wide range of elements to design your personal bespoke cup of noodles. It’s a enjoyable memento to take house.
Best Suited For: Those who love Chinatown or need 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 simply be visited in a brief day. If you drive, it’s even higher to discover among the prime locations in Nikko.
Most individuals come to Nikko to see its superb UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nikko Temples and it is likely one of 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 struggle. His Mausoleum is positioned inside the Tosho-gu Shrine and is likely one of the most necessary shrines in all of Japan.
Right subsequent door to Tosho-gu Shrine is the Buddhist temple of Rinnoji. Make certain to strive 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 serious about 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 if you happen to desire.
And these are some superb day journeys from Tokyo. Japan is a surprising nation to go to, so make certain to get out of town to benefit from the stunning and various countryside. It has extra outside areas and forests that you just’d count on!
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