Tokyo is a world-class metropolis. However in the event 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 straightforward half-hour to 120 minutes by practice or ferry. Better of all, these locations are beautiful in all 4 seasons. So, get away your JR Cross or Passmo/Suica playing cards and prepare for some enjoyable!
Finest Day Journeys from Tokyo
One of the simplest ways to expertise these Tokyo day journeys is by practice, however in case you are up for the problem, you may hire a automotive as nicely. It offers you extra freedom and suppleness to discover these superb locations.
If you’re in search of extra data on Tokyo, learn our Tokyo journey information at The Finest Issues 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 rather 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.
In case you’re solely in Kamakura for someday, three very particular non secular websites are nicely value a go to. For a extra in-depth information of Kamakura learn: Issues to do in Kamakura Japan – The Final Seaside Escape
The temple was established in 736 and is known for its 11-headed wood statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The gorgeous grounds embrace ponds full of colourful fish, and wonderful landscaped areas.
Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine
One of the distinctive shrines in Japan, Zeniarai Benzaiten dates again to 1185. Guests come right here to scrub their cash within the shrine’s particular waters. Based on legend, when you spent your washed cash, your luck and fortune would multiply. Though the money-washing legend is an simple draw, the shrine’s web site may be very particular: you entry it by passing by means of a tunnel cave.
The preferred temple in Kamakura, the Large 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 buying and all kinds of worldwide cuisines. In case you’re trying to attempt an area specialty, Kamakura is known for shirasu – whitebait. There are a lot of methods to eat shirasu – dried, uncooked, or boiled. If that is exterior your consolation stage, one factor is for certain – at Kamakura, you’ll have a number of scrumptious choices to select from.
- Finest Suited For: These desirous 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 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 may be even a shrine devoted to the dragon, together with a temple devoted to the goddess.
Though it includes a number of units of steep stairs, the most effective 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 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.
On the furthermost cave, a contemporary dragon statue stands in welcome, dramatically lit in shades of purple and scorching pink. Kitschy? Sure. However It’s nonetheless fairly cool.
For such a compact island, a visit to Enoshima famously includes quite a lot of bodily exercise. In case you love Japanese meals, it is a nice probability 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 points of interest. The worth of tickets is dependent upon how excessive up you want to go.
Given its romantic historical past, it’s straightforward to grasp the island’s reputation with younger lovers. The views from the highest are breathtaking, and on a transparent day, Enoshima Island has completely gorgeous views of Mt. Fuji.
Meals to Strive
Whereas there are many sit-down eating places on the island, it may be a enjoyable expertise to only 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 delicate cream in a cone.
- Finest Suited For: These in search of a one-of-a-kind island expertise. As a result of island’s geography, those that are pretty lively will benefit from the expertise probably 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). Comply with the well-marked indicators and stroll throughout the bridge to Enoshima Island.
Misaki and Jogashima Island
Are you a maguro (tuna) lover? If that’s the case, you’ll love Misaki. The fishing city is thought for having one in every of Japan’s prime tuna hauls. No matter dish you need to attempt, relaxation assured – the standard shall be top-notch.
Misaki can also be identified for its fish market. Whereas it’s presently closed because of COVID, guests usually have the chance to view the tuna public sale course of through the glass home windows available on the market’s second flooring.
Close to Misaki Harbor is Jogashima Island, accessible both through bridge or a brief boat trip.
Whereas Enoshima Island is a vacationer vacation spot stuffed with caves and must-see temples, Jogashima offers off a relaxed getaway vibe. The sparsely populated island has a number of wonderful mountain climbing trails. Essentially the most scenic of these trails will take you by well-maintained lighthouses and alongside seashores of volcanic rock.
These whose temperament is extra mellow can select to easily get pleasure from recent breezes and ocean views whereas picnicking.
Meals to attempt: It will be a disgrace to go to Misaki and NOT get their tuna. Whereas 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).
- Finest Suited For: Outside fans and maguro lovers.
- From Tokyo: It can take you about 90 minutes to get from Tokyo Station to Misakiguchi Station. Exterior 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. Initially, 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.
Lately, town hosts each the Japan Maritime Self Protection Power and the U.S. Navy. Due to 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 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-Protection ships each Friday. Posters inside Keikyu Line practice compartments commonly function tourism campaigns highlighting these two genuine “Sailor” dishes.
Whereas it’s a lot simpler to get recent merchandise at sea in the present day, securing provides to feed a hungry crew for lengthy durations at sea was far harder within the outdated days of crusing. Whereas Western Sailors died because of scurvy, many Japanese Sailors died because of B1 deficiency (beriberi) caused by an absence of thiamine. With out this significant vitamin, Sailors may exhibit signs reminiscent of psychological confusion, lack of muscle perform, 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 well-liked dish. Enjoyable truth: every Japan Maritime Self-Protection Power ship has its personal curry recipe.
Both 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 in the present day.
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.
- Finest Suited For: Historical past and nautical buffs.
- From Tokyo: It’s roughly an hour practice trip from Tokyo Station to Yokosuka Chuo.
Though Chiba Prefecture is most well-known for Disneyland, why not expertise an genuine cultural treasure off the overwhelmed monitor by heading for Nokogiriyama?
The primary Buddhist temple was commissioned at Nokogiriyama over 1300 years in the past. At a peak of 31.05 meters (101.8 ft), the Diabetsu (Buddha) at Nokogiriyama is the tallest Buddha Statue in Japan.
Past its peak, the Buddha is putting in that it was carved into the mountain in 1783. Because the Buddha of therapeutic, the determine has a mild expression and holds a drugs bowl in his hand.
A journey to Nokogiriyama is an element non secular pilgrimage, and half embracing your internal Indiana Jones. Learn all about my expertise at Nokogiriyama and an Encounter With Chiba’s Nice 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. A few of this has been because of the passing of time and publicity to nature. And a number of the injury – the place it’s apparent the statue was beheaded – was because of anti-Buddhist actions through the Meiji Restoration.
Those that are 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. Word: though the cable automotive takes guests to the highest, there may be nonetheless quite a lot of strolling up/down steep stairs to get to the most well-liked viewpoints.
- Finest Suited For: Outside adventurers with sturdy legs who’re prepared to place in effort to get to a really gorgeous cultural treasure.
- From Tokyo: One of the simplest ways to entry it’s to take a practice from Tokyo to Keikyu-Kurihama. Stroll the brief distance to Kurihama Harbor and catch a 40-minute ferry to Chiba (¥1600 round-trip). The ferries run commonly, are spotlessly clear, and are a enjoyable strategy to cross Tokyo Bay.
Kurihama, a part of Kanagawa Prefecture, is a stunning place to spend a morning or afternoon. Kanagawa is thought 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. Learn extra: Thoughts-Blowing Information about Japan
Kurihama Flower Park
Lower 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 Might, the poppies are particularly pretty. Tons of 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.
On the prime of the hill stands what’s arguably Kurihama Flower Park’s most well-known attraction: a 9-meter (27-foot) Godzilla slide. What’s the “King of Monsters” doing at a good looking flower park?
Based on 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.
Nevertheless, native companies and personal people missed the beloved monster and raised funds to carry 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.
Though solely kids beneath 12 can go up Godzilla and slide down his huge tail, he’s nonetheless value a go to.
- Finest Suited For: These desirous about historical past and politics (Perry Park), and people looking for a soothing afternoon at a stunning park. Though the ascent up Kurihama Flower Park is steep, for just a few hundred yen the park’s “Flower Prepare” will transport visitors the place they need to go.
- From Tokyo: It’s 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. Each parks are freed from cost.
Yokohama is lower than 20 miles from Tokyo. Though 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 turned 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 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 language delicacies. One of many greatest attracts at Yokohama’s Chinatown is a cease at Kanteibyo temple, devoted to the Chinese language god of prosperity and enterprise.
Different fashionable areas to take a look at whereas in Yokohama are the historic Crimson Brick Warehouses close to the harbor. Initially used as customs buildings, they now carry out the perform 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.
Put up World Struggle II, Momofuku Ando invented the cup of noodles in 1958 as a means to offer cheap, flavorful meals for a contemporary staff. His invention would go on to grow to be one in every 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 quite a lot of substances to design your individual bespoke cup of noodles. It’s a enjoyable memento to take house.
- Finest Suited For: Those that love Chinatown or wish 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 Journey – Nikko
Whereas 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 might probably simply be visited in a brief day. In case you drive, it’s even higher to discover a number of the prime locations in Nikko.
Most individuals come to Nikko to see its superb UNESCO World Heritage Websites, the Nikko Temples and it is likely one of 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 probably 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 likely one of the most essential shrines in all of Japan.
Proper subsequent door to Tosho-gu Shrine is the Buddhist temple of Rinnoji. Be sure to attempt the Zen Meditation expertise on this temple. If you wish to plan an extended itinerary in Nikko see our information at Full Nikko Japan Journey Information – 18 Issues to do and Locations to See
- Finest Suited For: Individuals desirous about Japaneses historical past and tradition and to do some out of doors adventures.
- From Tokyo: Catch the Tobu Specific 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 the event you choose.
And these are some superb day journeys from Tokyo. Japan is a shocking nation to go to, so make certain to get out of town to benefit from the stunning and numerous countryside. It has extra out of doors areas and forests that you just’d count on!
- Learn extra about Japan Journey