Japan's capital city is pretty epic, but sometimes it's good to take a break and enjoy some easy day trips from Tokyo. Most first time visitors create a 2 week Japan itinerary which tends to include various cities, but if you are like me and love Tokyo the most, you will probably decide to stay in the capital, and simply take some day trips from Tokyo when you need to find your zen. There are so many places you can visit whether you want to enjoy a traditional onsen, a walk in the mountains or an exquisite trip around Mount Fuji. Here are my favourite day trips from Tokyo you should add to your list.
Table of Contents
Nikko has to be one of the most beautiful places I've seen in Japan. It's rare to see such glorious landscape, with lakes, and forests, mountains and wooden houses. Nikko sure is great for a day trip from Tokyo, although it can be easily extended into a weekend. It's especially great for those who love the outdoors. You can visit the Tōshō-gū shrine, the vermillion Shinkyo bridge and the Kanman-ga-Fuchi Abyss park. Here is everything you need to know about Nikko.
If you want to enjoy the many shrines and temples of Japan but have no time to visit Kyoto, then a day trip from Tokyo to Kamakura might be exactly what you need. You can find an array of delicious street food vendors whilst making your way to famed giant Buddha. Don't forget to sit back and relax in a traditional Japanese tea house for a well deserved zen break.
The Snow Monkey Park
I mean who can resist the idea of seeing cute Japanese macaques bathing in an onsen? The Snow Monkey Park is a natural reservation where snow monkeys come to eat and bathe. They roam freely and can come an go as they please.
To get to the Snow Monkey you will need to take two trains and a bus from Tokyo, but it's actually very straightforward. We visited on a rainy day and still very much enjoyed our adventure. You can read more about the Snow Monkey Park including details on how to get your tickets in advance and what to expect from your journey.
Hakone is yet another amazing fantastic day trip from Tokyo for all outdoor enthusiasts. There are so many cool things to in Hakone, starting with bathing in an onsen, through eating volcano-steamed eggs, to taking the gondola over the volcanic valleys. If culture is what you are after, worry not, as Hakone is home to over a dozen museums.
Order this amazing package trip which takes you to Hakone as well as Mount Fuji for the day. It's pretty epic!
Nagano is yet another great place for soft adventure lovers. During summer you can enjoy some incredible hiking opportunities whilst winter brings some epic skiing opportunities. One of the highlights includes the views from Murodo, which is a trolleybus station in Tateyama. From up there you can enjoy incredible views of the Japanese Alps. Up to the station, there is also the famed Snow Corridor, which is essentially a road lined with a tall wall of snow.
Don't forget to check the department stores in Nagano station which have delicious bento boxes and a variety of nicely wrapped gifts.
Another great day trip from Tokyo is Yudanaka. Yudanaka is an onsen town which has various well preserved traditional Japanese streets. If you decide to stay overnight, you can book a fantastic accommodation in a ryokan with open-air hot spring facilities. For a day trip, you can still access the nearby hiking trail and stop at an onsen for a few hours relaxation time.
Yokohama is a Japanese city located south of Tokyo. It's mainly known for its port which was the first Japanese port to open for foreign trade. Here you can stroll around the Sankeien Gardens famed for their preserved residences from different eras, and the seaside Minato Mirai. Don't forget to visit the Ramen as well as the cup noodles museums. No day trip to Yokohama is complete without a visit to the Cosmo World, which is a theme park containing all sort of entertaining rides, including a high-speed roller coaster and a tall Ferris wheel
I strongly recommend a day trip to Chichibu if you happen to visit Japan during Spring. Chichibu is mostly known for its Hitsujiyama Park, a gorgeous park covered with colourful flowers. Hitsujiyama Park is a great place for photography enthusiasts. I recommend that you visit early in the morning to avoid crowds. During Spring, you can also enjoy the magnificent cherry blossoms festival.
There is more to Chichibu than just the Hitsujiyama Park. Take the Chichibu Kannon Pilgrimage route, which travels between 34 temples across the surrounding mountains. If you love hiking, you might want to consider ascending Mount Kobushi, which offers stunning panoramic views. With a bit of luck, you can see the imposing peak of Mount Fuji.
I purposely left the best for last: a day trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. This was one of those wild dreams I had during my Tokyo itinerary but was pretty certain I won't get to see the gorgeous mountain due to capricious weather. In fact, Mount Fuji hides in the clouds more often than not, so it's actually more elusive than you would have imagined.
To see the beautiful Mount Fuji, I recommend visiting Lake Kawaguchiko. It's a great place to see Mount Fuji in all its splendour, as well as enjoy cherry blossom trees if you visit during April. I actually recommend walking from the train station towards the Ubuyagasaki Shrine. You will cross a bridge which offers those stunning picture opportunities of the snowy peak.
If you don't want to make your way towards Mount Fuji, you can book tickets for a bus tour. This full-day scenic trip is a great option to comfortably enjoy a day trip from Tokyo to Mount Fuji.
These were my favourite day trips from Tokyo which I absolutely loved. Don't forget to get a Japan Rail Pass to ensure you get unlimited travels around Japan. Your turn now! Tell me about your upcoming day trip from Tokyo. Leave a comment and let me know where will you go and what are you planning to see and do!