Tokyo is a world-class metropolis. But in case you want a break from the fast-paced metropolis life, take into account 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 simple half-hour to 120 minutes by prepare or ferry. Best of all, these locations are beautiful 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 technique to expertise these Tokyo day journeys is by prepare, however if you’re up for the problem, you possibly can hire a automobile as properly. It will provide you with extra freedom and suppleness to discover these wonderful locations.
If you’re 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 purpose why this metropolis is called a “Little Kyoto” – it’s bursting with historical past, tradition, and spiritual constructions. With 65 temples and 19 shrines, it is extremely simple to get temple/shrine overload. For that purpose, it’s finest to restrict the variety of temple/shrine excursions to 3 a day.
If you’re solely in Kamakura for at some point, three very particular spiritual websites are properly 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 known for its 11-headed picket statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The lovely grounds embrace ponds full of colourful fish, and wonderful 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 clean 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 could be very particular: you entry it by passing via 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 also be well-known for wonderful purchasing and all kinds of worldwide cuisines. If you’re trying to attempt an area specialty, Kamakura is known for shirasu – whitebait. There are some ways to eat shirasu – dried, uncooked, or boiled. If that is outdoors your consolation degree, one factor is definite – at Kamakura, you’ll have a lot of scrumptious choices to decide on from.
Best Suited For: Those focused on exploring conventional Japanese tradition and historical past.From Tokyo: It’s simply over an hour by prepare from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station.
2. Enoshima Island
This charming island is related 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) employees will current you with a candle to discover the caves and see historical 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 sizzling pink. Kitschy? Yes. But It remains to be fairly cool.
For such a compact island, a visit to Enoshima famously entails a whole lot of bodily exercise. If you’re keen on Japanese meals, 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) friends can use escalators to entry numerous sights. 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 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 take pleasure in shirasu: in a sizzling croquette, atop a rice bowl, or (gulp!) as a mushy 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 lively 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 prepare 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 also be recognized for its fish market. While it’s presently closed as a result of COVID, guests usually have the chance to view the tuna public sale course of through the glass home windows in the marketplace’s second ground.
Near Misaki Harbor is Jogashima Island, accessible both through bridge or a brief boat trip.
Whereas Enoshima Island is a vacationer vacation spot filled with caves and must-see temples, Jogashima provides off a relaxed getaway vibe. The sparsely populated island has a number of wonderful mountain 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 contemporary breezes and ocean views whereas picnicking.
Food to attempt: 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 great. An unbelievable set menu that features miso soup, a bowl of rice and tuna, and inexperienced tea will seemingly 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 might be accessed by a 5 minute boat trip from Misaki Port or a 2.2-kilometer stroll throughout the bridge.
Yokosuka has an extended historical past as a Sailor city. Originally, Yokosuka was one in every of 4 outstanding 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 finest imagine it. And Japan’s tackle a U.S. Navy burger is nothing wanting 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 prepare compartments usually characteristic tourism campaigns highlighting these two genuine “Sailor” dishes.
While it’s a lot simpler to get contemporary merchandise at sea at this time, securing provides to feed a hungry crew for lengthy intervals at sea was far harder within the previous days of crusing. Whereas Western Sailors died as a result of scurvy, many Japanese Sailors died as a result of B1 deficiency (beriberi) led to by an absence of thiamine. Without this significant vitamin, Sailors may exhibit signs similar to psychological confusion, lack of muscle operate, and paralysis.
Kanehiro Takaki, a superb Japanese naval medical officer, performed 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 dwelling. 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 at this time.
As one may anticipate from a Sailor city, there are many outlets 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 prepare 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 hanging in that it was carved into the mountain in 1783. As the Buddha of therapeutic, the determine has a mild expression and holds a drugs bowl in his hand.
A journey to Nokogiriyama is a component religious pilgrimage, and half embracing your internal 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 as a result of 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 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 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 whole lot of strolling up/down steep stairs to get to the most well-liked viewpoints.
Best Suited For: Outdoor adventurers with robust legs who’re prepared to place in effort to get to a really gorgeous cultural treasure.From Tokyo: The finest technique to entry it’s to take a prepare 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 technique 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 laborious to overstate the importance of this quiet, unassuming place reverse Kurihama Harbor. And but this doc gave rise to what would grow to be fashionable 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 one million 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 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 kids underneath 12 can go up Godzilla and slide down his monumental tail, he’s nonetheless value a go to.
Best Suited For: Those focused on historical past and politics (Perry Park), and people searching 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 friends the place they wish to go.From Tokyo: It is roughly a 75 minute prepare to both Keikyu Kurihama station. From there, it’s a simple 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 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 overseas commerce. As such, Yokohama has a really city, worldwide repute.
For proof, look no additional than Yokohama’s Chinatown, which is without doubt one of the largest on this planet. The brightly coloured, bustling .2-kilometer sq. space options a number of outlets 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 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 approach to supply cheap, flavorful meals for a contemporary employees. His invention would go on to grow to be one in every of Japan’s high cultural exports.
Not solely are you able to be taught the historical past of this invention, for ¥400 yen (2.50 USD) you possibly can choose from a wide range of substances to design your individual bespoke cup of noodles. It’s a enjoyable memento to take dwelling.
Best Suited For: Those who love Chinatown or need 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 simply be visited in a brief day. If you drive, it’s even higher to discover among the high locations in Nikko.
Most individuals come to Nikko to see its wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nikko Temples and it is without doubt 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 battle. His Mausoleum is positioned throughout the Tosho-gu Shrine and is without doubt one of the most necessary shrines in all of Japan.
Right subsequent door to Tosho-gu Shrine is the Buddhist temple of Rinnoji. Make positive 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 focused on Japaneses historical past and tradition and to do some out of doors adventures. From Tokyo: Catch the Tobu Express prepare from Asakusa Station or the Tokyo Sky Tree. Nikko is positioned 157 km north of Tokyo. Locals drive to the area, so you possibly can drive too in case you favor.
And these are some wonderful day journeys from Tokyo. Japan is a shocking nation to go to, so ensure to get out of town to benefit from the lovely and various countryside. It has extra out of doors areas and forests that you simply’d anticipate!
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