Travel

Find Peace at Top 5 Relaxing Day Trips From Tokyo!

Day Trips from Tokyo
How was your week?
Misoko
Miso Dog
It was so long! But I have next week Monday off!
That’s great! What do you plan on doing?
Misoko
Miso Dog
I’m not sure. I am thinking of getting out of Tokyo for a day and maybe do something relaxing. Do you have any ideas?
Since you had a hard work week, let me tell you my top 5 relaxing day trips from Tokyo. Maybe you’ll find something interesting for next Monday.
Misoko

Top 5 relaxing day trips from Tokyo

1. Yokohama – Experience food and shopping with great sights to see!

Yokohama is a large Japanese city a stone’s throw away south of Tokyo. The area is famous for being near the sea and was one of the first ports to start trading foreign goods. Nearby the station, you will find many things to do and see, easily spending a day in the city. Among its attractions are shopping centers, food museums, great sightseeing spots, and even Chinatown! Check out the Ramen Museum and the Cup Noodles Museum to learn about one of Japanese people’s favorite food! There are also sometimes events taking place in the area. With an abundance of places to visit, you can easily spend a day or two in Yokohama!

A few popular spots in Yokohama:
  • Chinatown - Experience a taste of Chinese cuisines and atmosphere at Yokohama Chinatown or Yokohama Chukagai. This is Japan’s largest Chinatown and boasts streets of delicious Chinese foods and snacks.
  • Minato Mirai 21 - With the name “harbor of the future,” the area features many skyrises, a harbor, and recreational activities, including a small amusement park to enjoy your time. One of the highlights of the area is the Landmark Tower, which was Japan’s tallest building between 1993 to 2014.
  • Sakei-en Garden – Looking to spend a peaceful time in Yokohama? How about visiting a traditional Japanese garden? Experience the tranquility of Kyoto nearby Tokyo, with quiet ponds, greenery, and flowers surrounding you. Traditional buildings and several tea houses complete the atmosphere and will lead you to peace of mind in your busy schedule.
How to get to Yokohama (Yokohama Station):

There are several methods to get to Yokohama from central Tokyo. Below are a few ways to get to Yokohama from Tokyo’s major stations without having to transfer trains. For JR Pass holders, you might want to take advantage of the JR trains.

From Tokyo Station:

  1. Keihin-Tohoku Line Rapid train (JR) / 36 min / 480 JPY
  2. Tokaido Line Rapid or Local train (JR) / 26 min / 480 JPY
  3. Yokosuka Line (JR) / 32 min / 480 JPY

From Shinjuku Station:

  1. Shonan-Shinjuku Line Limited Express train (JR) / 31 min / 570 JPY

From Shibuya Station:

  1. Shonan-Shinjuku Line Limited Express train (JR) / 25 min / 400 JPY
  2. Toyoko Line (Tokyu Railway) / 27 min / 280 JPY
Link

Yokohama Official Visitors Guide

2. Kawagoe – Take a trip to the past and experience traditional Japanese culture

About an hour away train ride from Tokyo, Kawagoe boasts an atmosphere reminiscent of Kyoto and traditional Japan. With its historical streets and buildings, you will feel like you stepped in a time machine and traveled back to little Edo (Ko-Edo), or Little Tokyo. The city is well preserved, retaining the feel of the Edo-period, 17th-19th century Japan. You can enjoy the entire day taking in the traditional Japanese warehouses, snack shops, shrines, and temples. Partake in local specialty foods such as eel (unagi) and sweet potatoes! There is more than enough to do to fit an entire day’s worth of excitement.

A few popular spots in Kawagoe:
  • Kurazukuri Street – The warehouse area of Kawagoe, view traditional Japanese warehouses that line the street. Do not mistake them for your ordinary warehouses. These feature unique and exquisite architecture.
  • Candy Alley – Known in Japanese as Kashiya Yokocho, this street is a showcase of Japanese sweets ranging from traditional sweets to more modern candies. Feel like a kid again and indulge yourself in the mountains of sweets available here!
  • Toki no Kane – An old bell tower from about 400 years ago, this structure is the symbol of Kawagoe. Ringing 4 times every day at 6 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, and 6 pm, you can keep track of your time in Kawagoe. View this magnificent structure and enjoy the simple bell sound ringing throughout history.
  • Hikawa Shrine – This is Japan, so I must suggest a shrine to visit while in Kawagoe! This shrine is approximately 1,500 years old and exists alongside the Shingashi river. If you are looking for love, you found the right place. This shrine is known for its good luck, and its specialty is love and marriage. Younger visitors come to Hikawa Shrine to pray for love, and couples visit to pray for their future together. With a large giant “torii” gate, you cannot miss the shrine and can easily see it from a distance. Why not dress in a yukata and visit this shrine with your loved one? Or perhaps pray that you will meet Mr./Ms. Right soon?
How to get to Kawagoe (Kawagoe Station):

There are several methods to get to Kawagoe from central Tokyo. Below are a few ways to get to Kawagoe from Tokyo’s major stations. For JR Pass holders, you might want to take advantage of the JR trains.

From Tokyo Station:

  1. Marunouchi Line to Ikebukuro (Subway) -> Transfer at Ikebukuro to Tobu-Tojo Line Kawagoe Limited Express to Ogawamachi / 48 min / 680 JPY
  2. Ueno-Tokyo Line Local train to Takasaki -> Transfer at Omiya Station to Kawagoe Line Rapid Train / 58 min / 860 JPY

From Shinjuku Station:

  1. Saikyo/Kawagoe Line Rapid train to Kawagoe (JR) / 61 min / 770 JPY
  2. Saikyo Line Rapid Train (JR) -> Transfer at Ikebukuro to Tobu-Tojo Line Express Train to Shinrinkoen / 42 min / 640 JPY
  3. Yamanote Train to Ikebukuro/Ueno (JR) -> Transfer at Ikebukuro to Tobu-Tojo Line Express Train to Shinrinkoen / 39 min / 640 JPY

From Shibuya Station:

  1. Fukutoshin Line Commuter Express train to Kawagoe (Subway) / 59 min / 610 JPY
  2. Fukutoshin Line Commuter Express to Kawagoeshi (Subway) -> Transfer at Asakadai Station to Tobu-Tojo Line Kawagoe Limited Express to Ogawamachi / 52 min / 610 JPY
Link

Koedo Kawagoe Tourist Association

3. Kamakura – Hike the samurai path while enjoying the tranquil atmosphere

Looking to get away from Tokyo? How about a trip to this coastal town in Kanagawa Prefecture? It is just a short 1 hour or so away from Tokyo! At one point, Kamakura was the political center of Japan. The area boasts a balance between nature and greenery, and bustling tourism filled streets and vendors. In addition to these, there are many temples and sacred spots to explore while in Kamakura. Let's go and visit the giant bronze Buddha statue and feel the history of the area in the air. With all of these places to check out, Kamakura is a great relaxing day trip from Tokyo.

A few popular spots in Kamakura:
  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu – This shrine is the main shrine for the city of Kamakura. The shrine is easy to find, as the main road in the middle of Kamakura leads directly to it. The shrine houses two ponds and other shrine structures on the grounds. From the main street, you can see the temple and the grand stairway leading to the temple's entrance.
  • Great Buddha of Kamakura – This large bronze Buddha is one of Kamakura's symbols and was, at one point, the second tallest bronze Buddha in Japan and remained so for many years. View this giant Buddha in tranquility, surrounded by lush greenery and peacefulness.
  • Hase Temple (Hase-dera) – Situated above the coastal city on a hill, you can see pleasant views of the surrounding areas and the city. Hase Temple is related to the Jodo Sect and is known for the eleven-headed statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The temple grounds also house other structures and statues and a small restaurant where you can enjoy a meal and drinks.
  • Beaches and nature – Two beaches are only a short walk away from Kamakura Station. If you would instead like to take a naturistic hike around the area, Kamakura features several walking trails originally traveled by samurai in the past that run through the nearby hills and residential areas. A perfect place for nature lovers!
  • Komachi Street (Komachi-dori) – Are you looking to engage in some local Japanese cuisine? Then this is the place for you! This street offers an abundance of sweets, Japanese meals, and even local souvenirs. Let your stomach guide you as you explore the area and side streets.
How to get to Kamakura (Kamakura Station):

There are several methods to get to Kamakura from central Tokyo. Below are a few ways to get to Kamakura from Tokyo’s major stations. For JR Pass holders, you might want to take advantage of the JR trains.

From Tokyo Station:

  1. Yokosuka Line to Zushi (JR) / 57 min / 940 JPY
  2. Ueno-Tokyo Line Local train to Odawara -> Transfer at Totsuka Station to Yokosuka Line Rapid Train to Zushi / 56 min / 940 JPY

From Shinjuku Station:

  1. Shonan Shinjuku Line to Zushi (JR) / 58 min / 940 JPY
  2. Saikyo/Sotetsu-Jr Chokutsu Line to Ebina (JR) -> Transfer at Nishi-Oi to Yokosuka Line to Zushi / 62 min / 940 JPY

From Shibuya Station:

  1. Shonan Shinjuku Line to Zushi (JR) / 53 min / 940 JPY
  2. Saikyo/Sotetsu-Jr Chokutsu Line to Ebina (JR) -> Transfer at Nishi-Oi to Yokosuka Line to Zushi / 57 min / 940 JPY
Links

Official Visitor Guide Kamakura

Kamakura Visitor’s Guide

4. Nokogiriyama – Travel the mountainside and experience the greener side of Japan outside of Tokyo

Approximately one and a half hours to two hours away from Tokyo, this is an excellent place for those looking to escape the concrete jungle to a more relaxing and spiritual place. Nokorgiriyama is a mountain that houses an intricate temple complex and many structures and statues. The mountain can be accessed by the bottom and working your way up to the temple and structures, or you can take a ropeway straight to the top. There are several exceptional sightseeing spots, but the two that take the cake are a jagged rock cliff known as Jigoku-nozoki, or Hell Lookout, and a giant 31 feet Buddha statue.  Also, there are 1500 Buddhist disciple statues that line the hiking trails around the mountain, and Hyaku-Shaku Kannon, a large statue carved directly into the mountain, in remembrance of those killed during World War II. If you are considering relaxing day trips from Tokyo, this is a must for nature lovers!

A few popular spots in Nokogiriyama:
  • Jigoku-Nozoki or Hell’s Lookout – A rather terrifying to look cliff that overlooks the entire mountainside and Tokyo Bay, providing a fantastic view for those brave enough to go to its edge and snap a picture. Fear not though, there are rails to protect the visitors. However, do practice safety when visiting this spectacular cliff.
  • Ishidaibutsu – About twice the size of the Buddha in Kamakura, this stone Buddha basks in the sunlight surrounded by nature and beauty. With its healing specialty, this Buddha is a popular stop for individuals looking to protect themselves from illness.
  • Hyaku-Shaku Kannon – A very imposing statue, the Hyaku-Shaku Kannon is carved into the mountain and stands 30 meters tall.
  • 1500 Buddhist disciple statues – Placed all around the temple complex of Nokogiriyama, are statues of Buddhist disciples that have withstood the test of time. These statues range in all different sizes and shapes and help convey the spiritual nature of the area and share their teachings with those who trek along the mountain paths.
  • Nihon-ji Temple – With many Buddha structures and statues, there must be a temple nearby. With a long history of over 1300 years, the temple and surrounding complex have experienced both good and bad history.
How to get to Nokogiriyama (Hama-Kanaya Station):

Besides traveling by car, only a few other options remain to reach the mountain by public transportation. There are several methods to get to Kamakura from central Tokyo. Below are a few ways to get to Nokogiriyama from Tokyo. For JR Pass holders, you might want to take advantage of the JR trains.

From Tokyo Station:

  1. Sobu Line Rapid train to Kimitsu (JR) -> Transfer at Kimitsu to Uchibo Line Local train to Tateyama (JR) -> Get off at Hama-Kanaya Station / 2 hrs. 9 min / 1980 JPY
  2. Bus options are available. You will need to catch the bus to Kimitsu Station. From there, you can get to Hama-Kanaya Station by train / 2 hrs. 16 min / approx. 2250 JPY

From Shinjuku Station:

  1. Yamanote Line to Shibuya/Shinagawa (JR) -> Get off at Shinagawa Station -> Yokosuka/Sobu/Uchibo Line (Same train) to Kimitsu (JR) -> Get off at Kimitsu Station -> Uchibo Line to Tateyama (JR) / 2 hrs. 44 min / 1980 JPY
  2. Bus options are available. Take a bus to Kisarazu or Kimitsu Station. From Kimitsu Station, catch the train to Hama-Kanaya Station / 2 hrs. 30 min / approx. 2190 JPY

From Yokohama Station:

  1. Keikyu Line to Keikyu Kurihama (Keikyu) (35 min) -> Get off and catch the bus to Kurihama Tokyo-Wan Ferry Port (10 min) -> Catch the ferry to Port Kanaya to Nokogiryama (40 min) -> Walk to Nokogiriyama Ropeway Station (10 min) / 1 hr. 35 min / 630 JPY (Train + Bus) + 500/250 JPY (Ferry One-way: Adult/Child)
Link

Nokogiriyama Ropeway

5. Nikko – Visit the tranquil greenery lying outside of Tokyo and immerse yourself in Japanese religion and culture.

Nikko lies approximately 2 hours from Tokyo and boasts greenery mixed with deep Japanese religion. Amongst nature, the area is filled to the brim with Japan’s ancient spiritual energy. Relatively easy to access, you can view some of Japan’s most sacred temples and intricately designed architectures. Hidden in Nikko and its surrounding area are a few of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. During the spring and summer, the area is perfect for walking, hiking, and even bicycling. In the winter, visitors can visit the nearby lake and mountains for some water activities and skiing. Plunge yourself in traditional Japanese culture and surround your mind and body in Nikko's vast pure environment!

A few popular spots in Nikko:
  • Toshogu Shrine – Enshrining Ieyasu Tokugawa, Japan’s first shogun during the Edo period, this intricately designed shrine and its surrounding structures were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The detailed paintings and carvings draw visitors from all over to visit, particularly the three monkeys and sleeping cat figures.
  • Rinnoji Temple – As Nikko’s most important temple, the grounds consist of the main temple building, Sanbutsudo, the temple’s treasure house, and Shoyoen, the temple’s photogenic Japanese garden. Within the main building are beautifully designed statues of the manifestations of Nikko’s three mountain deities.
  • Futarasan Shrine – This shrine is dedicated to the gods of the three sacred mountains in Nikko. The shrine was founded by the Buddhist monk who introduced the religion to the area in 782. Hidden in the forests of Nikko, the shrine exudes the traditional Japanese spirit and atmosphere.
  • Kegon Falls – Considered one of Japan's three most beautiful waterfalls, the 100-meter-tall falls provide magnificent scenery, with its surrounding trees and leaves changing colors throughout the year. About 40 minutes by bus from Tobu Nikko Station, be sure to plan your schedule if you consider visiting this waterfall!
How to get to Nikko (Tobu-Nikko Station or JR Nikko Station):

In addition to traveling by car, there are train options available to reach Nikko. Below are a few ways to get to Nokogiriyama from Tokyo. Check the Tobu Asakusa Station for tickets and discount passes for Nikko and its surrounding areas. For JR Pass holders, you might want to take advantage of the JR trains.

From Asakusa Station (Easiest):

  1. SPACIA Limited Express: Kegon (Tobu) -> Get off at Tobu-Nikko Station / 1 hr. 50 min / 2700 JPY ★Requires seat reservations

From Tokyo Station:

  1. Tohoku/Yamagata Shinkansen (Yamabiko/Nasuno trains) (JR) -> Get off at Utsunomiya Station and transfer to JR Nikko Line to Nikko Station (JR) / About 2 hrs. / 5680 JPY (Reserved Seat)

From Shinjuku Station:

  1. Shonan Shinjuku or Saikyo Line to Omiya Station (JR) -> Get off at Omiya Station and transfer to Tohoku Shinkansen (Yamabiko/Nasuno trains) to Utsunomiya Station (JR) -> Get off at Utsunomiya Station and transfer to JR Nikko Line to Nikko Station (JR) / About 2 hrs. 22 min / 5040 JPY (Reserved Seat)
  2. Shonan Shinjuku Line to Utsunomiya Station (JR) -> Nikko Line to Nikko (JR) / 2 hrs. 50 min / 2640 JPY
Link

Nikko Official Guide

Conclusion

Japan has a lot to offer besides the entertainment and business of Tokyo. There are mountains, temples, and much more just an hour or so outside of the concrete jungle. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of a few day trips that you can take from Tokyo! Enjoy these top 5 day trips from Tokyo!

Note: Information listed on this page may become outdated. Please use the information listed here as a base and research where you would like to go for the most up-to-date information.

-Travel

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