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The 3 Best Places To Visit Outside Tokyo

Places to visit just outside Tokyo with nature & quiet

Did you have enough of Tokyo's crazy colours and jumbo neon adverts? Then it's time to take a few day trips outside of Tokyo which will restore your blood pressure and allow you to embrace perfectly preserves, raw nature. It's well known that the Japanese love to live in perfect harmony with their surroundings and given their love for landscape gardens and perfectly secluded little shrines, there is no surprise that trips outside of Tokyo will take your breath away.

What are the best places outside of Tokyo? I could probably spend an eternity telling you everything about each city and little town located on the island of Honshu, for the purpose of this article, I'm going to tell you about the three best places outside of Tokyo you must visit right away.

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    See Also

    Sunset Reflection Japan

    Day trip to Mount Fuji

    I'm sure you already figured I'm going to send you to Mount Fuji. This beautiful, iconic mountain, has long been part of the Japanese culture to its religious significance. There are forty-six prints which everyone is rather accustomed to, all created by Hokusai, which depict the beauty of this sacred mountain.

    Glancing at Mount Fuji in real life is like capturing a small fragment of Japan's soul. When I first saw it, I felt like a time traveller who got to see a natural beauty which inspired so many people throughout the history.

    There are several things you could do at Fuji, and several locations you can admire Fuji from. The most popular location is Lake Kawaguchiko, followed by Hakone and Kamakura.

    Cory and G seeing Mount Fuji during their 2 weeks in Japan itinerary

    Day Trip to Nikko

    Nikko is a fantastic place to visit if you are in search of a more spiritual side of Japan. I especially like Nikko in the winter, I think it looks fantastic. You should visit Nikko and photograph the fantastic Toshogu, a beautiful shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, an Edo period ruler and the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Being in such mountainous area, Nikko has impressive landscapes and beautiful foliage throughout the year. Visit the Nikko National Park for a day filled with photographic opportunities.

    Onsen Mashlands Nikko Japan

    Day Trip to Snow Monkey Pass

    This has been one of my favourite day trips out of Tokyo. I long wanted to see snow monkeys, hence I was really excited to go on an adventure and start a journey into rural Japan. The trip turned into a real adventure, as I hiked into the pouring rain, but didn't give up, as I really wanted to see these beautiful creatures. You can read about my trip to the Snow Monkey Pass here. Remember that you can literally a day to go to the Snow Monkey Pass and back. This is what I initially did. However, there are lots of onsens in Yudanaka for you to capture a glimpse into the more traditional Japanese way of life. I recommend staying for one night and enjoying the benefits of the Japanese hot springs.

    Missing Japan's capital after all these adventures? Find out how to explore Tokyo in the land of the rising sun.

    Snow Monkey Park Rain

    Did I miss something? Would you like to add another place to the list? Tell me all about it in the comments section below.

    Read More about Japan

    If you're visiting Japan for the first time, check out my 7 days in Japan itinerary or 2 weeks in Japan itinerary. If you wish to stay longer, check out the 3 weeks in Japan itinerary.

    I love Japan and created the ultimate list of best things to do in Japan. Don't forget to check what to pack for Japan and how to dress in Japan.

    I have a whole article dedicated to planning a trip to Japan to help you with all the dos and donts. I also answer questions such as is Japan expensive.

    Accommodation in Tokyo gets booked super fast, so check where to stay in Tokyo and book your hotel asap. Don't miss the best 7 day Tokyo itinerary and read about the best things to do in Tokyo. Some tourists want to enjoy some time outside the capital, so I created a great article with the best day trips from Tokyo.

    Tokyo is amazing and has so much great food. See what is the best Japanese food to try during your trip and what type of street food you will want to try in Tokyo. I recommend the Roppongi Hills for seeing Tokyo from above but there are several other interesting spots too.

    Did you enjoy this article? Then please consider buying my book How to Behave in Japan.

    What do you think?

    Did you like this article? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below.

    Your Comment

    12 Jul 2019

    Hey Cory.
    travelling with a 2 yr old, can u suggest which one should I do between Osaka and Kyoto? I can only do one after Tokyo, need to decide.
    Also is Hokkaido/Sapporo worth a visit?


    13 Jul 2019

    Hi Arpita, thank you for your message. Would pick Kyoto! Absolutely and 100%.
    Hokkaido is worth a visit, but since I prefer Tokyo, I'd say it's best to extend your Tokyo trip instead. Hokkaido deserves a 7-14 day road trip on its own.

    Raja Melvani
    29 Dec 2018

    Have been reading your blogs and find them very interesting and helpful.

    I was travelling to Tokyo for 5 nights & kyoto for 2 nights starting 28th March 2019.

    was looking at possibility of visiting an Onsen.... pls advise, which will be ideal for me as time is a little short.

    Also i have a free stay with my return flight at midnight from Haneda, so was thinking if i could do some day trip on 4th April from early morning from Asakusa and be back in time to pick my bags & head to airport to catch my flight.

    Pls advise

    Thanks & regards

    30 Dec 2018

    Hi Raja,

    Thank you for your email. Here is an article to help you find the right Kyoto onsen for your liking:

    Trains and transportation in Tokyo are very good and reliable so there are no delays. It's very rare that your train might be a few seconds late if anything. So if you time it right, I see no issues taking a day trip. But make sure it's short. It's better to take a day trip during your time in Tokyo and explore more of the city on the last day. It seems less risky.

    Kind Regards,


    24 Mar 2018

    I'm a solo traveller, how can I join a group tour of these places?

    26 Mar 2018

    Hi Jesse,

    We recommend having a look at Beauty of Japan - > we used them for some of our tours as well.

    I hope this helps.