8 Exciting Day Trips from Tokyo, Japan

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Need a break from the big city of Tokyo? Consider taking one of these exciting day trips from Tokyo, Japan in order to explore more of what Japan has to offer!


Tokyo is one of those cities where it would be very difficult to get bored, even after spending several days there. Despite being full of amazing things to do, after awhile, you may find yourself wanting a break from the buzzing metropolis. Lucky for you, there are so many amazing day trips from Tokyo you can take!

With the help of some of my travel blogging friends, I have put together a list of some of the most exciting day trips from Tokyo. These day trips are all traveler-recommended and perfect for both newbie and experienced travelers. Whether you’re looking to get a magnificent view of Mount Fuji, hang out with snow monkeys at an onsen, or take a deeper dive into Japanese culture, there’s a day trip here for you!

Many of the best day trips from Tokyo are accessible via a guided tour. If you’re a more independent traveler, all of the day trips on this list are accessible via Japan’s excellent public transportation system (and if you have a JR Pass, many of the trains you’ll take for the day trips are free!).

Are you ready to escape the big city buzz? Keep reading for a guide to some of the best day trips from Tokyo, Japan, including how to get there, what to do, where to eat, and more!

A World in Reach contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you! Read my full disclosure here.

Mount Fuji and cherry blossoms which are viewed from lake Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan

Day Trips from Tokyo: Fuji Five Lakes and Kawaguchiko

Contributed by Rhonda of Travel? Yes Please!

The Fuji Five Lakes is a popular area for viewing Mt. Fuji and can easily be visited on a day trip from Tokyo, either by guided tour or independently. For independent travelers, buses leave Tokyo from Shinjuku and arrive at Kawaguchiko in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Lake Kawaguchiko and Mount Fuji in Japan's Fuji Five Lakes area
Photo by Rhonda from Travel? Yes Please!

Kawaguchiko is the main, most developed lake in the area. Here, you can rent a car for a few hours or board the Retro buses for hop-on-hop-off sightseeing service.

There are many interesting places to visit and things to do around the lakes, far more than you can experience on a day trip, so you’ll have to be selective. Of course, you’ll want to see Mt. Fuji, which can be enjoyed from several locations in and around Kawaguchiko. Other main attractions are the Mt. Tenjo Ropeway, Chureito Pagoda, and the sacred ponds and thatched-roof buildings at Oshino Hakkai.

Kawaguchiko also has several great restaurants serving a variety of cuisine including Japanese, Korean, and Italian. The local specialty is Houtou, a miso soup with udon noodles and pumpkin, and can be tried at the restaurant Hoto Fudou Kita-Honten.

GETTING TO KAWAGUCHIKO FROM TOKYO:

Take the bus from the Tokyo Station Yaesu North Exit to Kawaguchiko Station (approximately 2000 yen).

TOURS OF KAWAGUCHIKO FROM TOKYO:
Mount Fuji Full-Day Scenic Bus Tour from Tokyo
Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi Scenic 1-Day Bus Tour from Tokyo
Mt. Fuji 5th Station, Lake Kawaguchi, and Fruit Picking (from Tokyo)


Kamakura Day Trip

Contributed by Lena from Nagoya Foodie

Kamakura is an amazing day trip from Tokyo. The city is located only an hour from Tokyo, there are multiple trains you can use to reach Kamakura Station. From Tokyo Station, I recommend the Yokosuka Line which costs 940 yen one-way.

Photo by Lena from Nagoya Foodie

The most famous sight in Kamakura is probably the Great Buddha of Kamakura, but there are other amazing temples and shrines worth a visit such as Hase Dera close to the Buddha, Hokokuji with its little bamboo grove and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu, the most important Shinto shrine in Kamakura. Because of the many temples and shrines, Kamakura is often referred to as Little Kyoto.

Other activities not to be missed in Kamakura are swimming at Yuigahama Beach, shopping at Komachi Dori shopping street, and of course trying all kinds of delicious foods.

Kamakura is famous for Shirasu, a tiny white fish. They are served either raw, cooked, or deep-fried on rice and you can find a Shirasu Don at every corner in Kamakura. I recommend a visit to a restaurant called Akimoto. It serves the best Shirasu and vegetable Tempura set I have ever had. The restaurant is very popular and it is not uncommon to wait for hours to get a table.

Other things I recommend are purple sweet potato soft-serve ice cream, a local specialty, and the flavored peanuts at Mameya.

GETTING TO KAMAKURA FROM TOKYO:

From Tokyo Station, take the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station (940 yen; included with JR Pass).

TOURS OF KAMAKURA FROM TOKYO:
Temples Tour to Kamakura with Kimono Makeover

FUN THINGS TO DO IN KAMAKURA:
Kamakura 5-Hour Nature and History Walking Tour
Kamakura History & Heritage Tour by Rickshaw


Day Trip to Hakone from Tokyo

Contributed by Sean from Living Out Lau

If the walls of people at Shibuya or the weird things in Akihabara has proven to be too much for you, why not take a day trip to Hakone? Hakone is a small town located about 1.5 hours away from Tokyo by train. Situated next to the active volcano Hakone, many people come here to enjoy the natural scenery, go hiking, or relax in one of the onsens (hot springs).

Photo by Sean from Living Out Lau

There are tons of great things to do in Hakone to keep you busy on your day trip. When you are in Hakone, you cannot miss the Hakone Ropeway, which is a cable car that connects the city of Hakone to the nearby volcanoes. At the top, there is a shop that sells black boiled eggs, a special attraction in Hakone. The eggs are boiled in water filled with minerals such as iron and sulfur, resulting in eggs so nutritious they can give you an extra 7 years of life. So don’t eat too much unless you want to live forever!

After you are done with the cable car, either spend the rest of your time relaxing at the famous onsens in the area or at Hakone Shrine. The onsens in Hakone are some of the best in Japan and they have both outdoor and indoor ones. My favorite was definitely the Tenzan Onsen.

If you don’t like getting naked (not completely) or if you have tattoos, then head over to the Hakone Shrine. Hakone Shrine is an important religious monument situated right on Lake Ashi. The views there, especially at sunset, are unforgettable.

After your visit, you’ll definitely find that Hakone is one of the best day trips from Tokyo.

GETTING TO HAKONE FROM TOKYO:

From Tokyo Station, take the Shinkansen (Kodari or Hikami) to Odawara. From there, take the Hakone Tozan Bus from Odawara Station to Oohiradai Station.

TOURS OF HAKONE FROM TOKYO:
Hakone Fuji Day Tour: Cruise, Cable Car, and Volcano
From Tokyo: Hakone and Mount Fuji Day Tour
Hakone: Komagatake Ropeway, Pirate Ship & Gotemba Outlets (from Tokyo)


Yokohama Day Trip from Tokyo

Contributed by Kay from The Awkward Traveller

Yokohama is the perfect day trip from Tokyo, and it actually turned out to be one of my favorite days in my week-long trip to Tokyo!

You have a few options to visit Yokohama. If you have a JR pass, you can catch the JR Tokaido line from either Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station. If you don’t have the JR pass (I didn’t), then head over to my favorite Tokyo district for Shibuya Station and take the Tokyu Toyoko Line! Either will take you straight to Yokohama in about 45 minutes!

Yokohama, Japan Chinatown gate
Yokohama Chinatown

I’d recommend heading out earlier in the morning to grab a bite at Eggs N Things before the legendary lines start to form. Then, walk off your breakfast by strolling through Yokohama’s multicultural area near Motomachi shopping street (yay shopping!) and Yamashita Park. If you’re in Japan during the cherry blossom season, you can find the perfect viewing spot at Mitsuike-Koen, a lake surrounded by over 1,600 cherry blossom trees!

For lunch, head over to gorge yourself at Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum in Yokohama, the world’s first foodie amusement park featuring – you guessed it – RAMEN!! Here you can try ramen from all over Japan, represented by nine famous restaurants from different regions of the country. And, it’s all in one convenient location! The entrance is free for children under six and only about $3 USD for adults. Next, head over to Yokohama Chinatown for more shopping and, let’s be real, photo ops! But if you’d rather fancy a pint, you can go to the Kirin Brewery Company which offers free tours (and sampling!) of its facilities!

My favorite thing to do in Yokohama was checking out the Cup Noodles Museum! Yes, ramen again, BUT YOU’RE IN JAPAN! You’ll learn the history of instant noodles as well as make your OWN flavor! It’s rad. Then, before you head back to Tokyo, end the day at Cosmoworld, a small theme park (about four rides) that used to have the highest Ferris wheel in Japan. It’s all really cute and not too expensive either!

GETTING TO YOKOHAMA FROM TOKYO:

If you have a JR Pass, take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station to Yokohama Station (48 minutes).

If you don’t have a JR Pass, take the Tokyu Tōyoko Line from Shinjuku Station to Yokohama.

THINGS TO DO IN YOKOHAMA:
Yokohama Private Welcome Tour with a Local
Yokohama Bay Cruise with Buffet Lunch or Dinner


Kawagoe

Contributed by Mayi of Secret Moona

If you are looking for great day trips from Tokyo, Kawagoe is a really good option. Nicknamed Little Edo due to its close relationship with Edo (former name of Tokyo), Kawagoe is a great place to visit and offers lots of things to do. The history of the former merchant town, as well as its preserved architecture, are a delight for visitors.

Preserved Japanese architecture in Kawagoe, Japan - a great day trip from Tokyo
Photo by Mayi from Secret Moona

The best way to reach Kawagoe is by getting the Tobu Railways Kawagoe Discount Pass which offers a round trip between Ikebukuro station and Kawagoe station, access to buses in town, and discounts at selected shops.

The first thing to do when you arrive in Kawagoe is to head to the Warehouse District, a charming street lined with Edo style merchant warehouses. Admire the bell tower while exploring and sampling some traditional sweets in Penny Candy Lane. Kawagoe is known for its sweet potatoes so be sure to head over to Bromagee where you will be able to taste an amazing chocolate and sweet potato fondant cake. Do not miss out on a visit to the Buddhist temple of Kita-in where you can admire a collection of 500 stone statues of Buddha’s disciples. The temple is home to the only remaining structures of the former Edo Castle.

GETTING TO KAWAGOE FROM TOKYO:

To get from Tokyo to Kawagoe, get a Kawagoe Discount Pass (610 yen for adults). This pass includes a round-trip ticket from Tokyo’s Ikebukuro Station to Kawagoe Station.

THINGS TO DO IN KAWAGOE:
Kawagoe Walking Tours


Day Trip to Nikko National Park

Contributed by Emma of Emma Jane Explores

Nikko is a beautiful town and national park located in the mountainous region north of Tokyo and is one of the best places to visit in all of Japan. It is famous for its revered natural scenery, but also for its elaborate and historic Buddhist and Shinto shrines that lie in the area. The park is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and for good reason. The pristinely preserved temples and shrines in the area date back to the 1600s and are still in immaculate condition.

The red Shinkyo bridge over a stream in Nikko, Japan
Photo by Emma from Emma Jane Explores

The most famous shrine here is the Toshogu Shrine, which is incredibly decorative, ornate and expansive. In particular, take a moment to observe the beautiful wooden carvings all over the Yomeimon Gate. Also located in Nikko is a famous photo opportunity with the very famous Shinkyo bridge which curves over a picturesque stream. If you’re a waterfall lover, like me, you’ll also want to check out Kegon No Taki which is one of Japan’s most well-known waterfalls.

Located in the northern Tochigi Prefecture of Japan’s biggest island, Honshu, Nikko is usually a few degrees colder than Tokyo, so if visiting in winter, then be sure to rug up as you brave the elements outside. For my money, I’d recommend visiting in the Autumn foliage season as there’s nothing more spectacular than seeing the national park lit up in the flaming red Japanese maple leaves.

Nikko is one of the most perfect day trips from Tokyo as it is easily accessible via train in less than 2 hours. If you’re eligible for a Japan Rail Pass, then you’re travel to Nikko will be covered by the pass. If not, the train travel cost one way is just under 3000 yen.

GETTING TO NIKKO FROM TOKYO:

To get to Nikko from Tokyo, take the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Utsuyomina (from 1700 yen; free with a JR Pass). From there, take the JR Line to Nikko (from 650 yen; free with a JR Pass). The journey will take a little over 2 hours.

TOURS OF NIKKO FROM TOKYO:
UNESCO Shrine and Nikko Scenic Spots Bus Tour
Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Kegan Waterfalls Tour (from Tokyo)
From Tokyo: Express Train to Nikko with Sightseeing Bus

FUN THINGS TO DO IN NIKKO:
Edo Wonderland Samurai and Ninja Cultural Theme Park


Day Trips from Tokyo: Kawasaki

Contributed by Alexander of Gourmand Trotter

Kawasaki is not one of the most popular day trips from Tokyo, but it’s an easy one to make by train. It’s a city in the Kanagawa prefecture and a part of the Greater Tokyo Area. It has a population of 1.5 million people and offers a very local experience.

The Kawasaki, Japan skyline at night

Kawasaki is famous for Kawasaki Motorcycles, which originated here. However, the city is also worth visiting for a lot more things. Some of the main attractions include Nakagawa stable (sumo wrestling), Kawasaki Daishi (a very popular temple in the Kanto region), and Kanayama Shrine, which is the site where the famous Kanamara Matsuri Penis Festival takes place every year.

It’s easy to get here from Tokyo, and the city is located between Tokyo and Yokohama and is very well-connected by train. I recommend eating at Genki Sushi when visiting Kawasaki, it’s a nice sushi chain with reasonable prices and a central location. Furthermore, there are various ramen and curry places where you can eat as well. Kawaski is also home to a Koreatown and has the largest concentration of Koreans in Japan, after Osaka. Here, you can find a good selection of K-Beauty as well as getting the latest K-Pop Idol goods.

GETTING TO KAWASAKI FROM TOKYO:

Tokyo to Kawasaki is just a 17-minute train ride, making it one of the easiest day trips from Tokyo. Take the JR Line from Tokyo Station to Kawasaki.


Jigokudani Monkey Park

Contributed by Caroline of CK Travels

For a truly incredible and unique experience, head to Nagano to visit the beautiful Japanese Macaques (snow monkeys) at Jigokudani Monkey Park.

Nagano is located north-west of Tokyo and is 80 minutes away by bullet train. Once you reach Nagano Station you can purchase a Snow Monkey Pass for 3,500 yen – this pass includes transportation to the park using either a local train or bus, plus the 800 yen entry fee to the park. We would recommend taking the express bus journey (which takes 40 minutes) and then walking a lovely uphill trail path through the cedar forest for a further 25 minutes to reach the monkeys.

Snow monkeys in the water at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan

Once you arrive at the top, you will find a large natural onsen next to a river with many wild snow monkeys playing or bathing in the hot waters.

The park is open all year round but the best time of year to visit Jigokudani Monkey Park is during the winter months (December to March) as it is more scenic with snow-capped trees, and the monkeys are more likely to be bathing.

You will need to allow yourself around 5-6 hours for the entire experience (the return journey, the walk to the park, and time spent with the Nagano snow monkeys) but it is a bucket-list worthy experience not to be missed!

GETTING TO JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK FROM TOKYO:

Take the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station. From there, purchase the Snow Monkey Pass (3500 yen), which includes transportation to the park via train or bus as well as admission to the park.


As you can see, there are so many amazing choices when planning your day trips from Tokyo.

No matter which day trip from Tokyo you choose, you’re sure to have an amazing time filled with culture, food, and fun! Have you taken any day trips from Tokyo? Which one is your favorite?

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44 thoughts on “8 Exciting Day Trips from Tokyo, Japan

  1. Ashley says:

    Great post! I loved your pictures. Japan is one of my favorite places in the world. Thank you for the great tips on what to do in each city. I will definitely bookmark your page and come back the next time I am going to visit Japan.

  2. Mayi says:

    I have done all of these day trips except for Kawasaki and the monkey park. I love Japan so much that I would be a dream to experience the country during all four seasons. This is making me want to go!

  3. Erica says:

    Thank you for such a great post! I’m heading to Tokyo in April and wanted to do two or three day trips, so your post is perfect! I didn’t realize that I could visit the monkeys as a day trip from Tokyo. I’ll have to try to convince my travel buddy to make the journey!

  4. Claire Ramsdell says:

    Not surprisingly, all the food-related places really stand out to me haha. I’d love to go to the ramen museum and try all the different flavors! I had that purple yam ice cream at Wanderlust Creamery in Los Angeles, they have all kinds of special flavors from around the world, it was pretty good! Maybe not authentic though, I’d love to try the real thing.

    The naturey destinations are also piquing my interest. The last few years I’ve come to understand how beautiful Japan truly is as a hiking destination. I’d love to see the cherry blossoms, temples, and volcanos! Nikko National Park sounds so special. I’m a little anti-monkey though. Not sure I want to get too close to those lil guys.

  5. Meghan Emcee says:

    Great list I love all the details, I want to go on all of these! But I especially want to see the monkeys, I had no idea it was possible in a day from Tokyo. I remember seeing a photo a few years ago where a snow monkey was holding a phone in his hand as if he was using it (I guess someone had dropped it in by accident), wanted to visit them ever since!

  6. Whitney says:

    Wow! This is a great post. I’ve had Japan on my bucket list for YEARS and I keep pinning things to spark my wanderlust. This list is packed with ideas that I can explore over a longer period of time. Can’t wait for my trip! Thank you.

  7. Andrea Peacock says:

    I always love taking day trips out of the main city whenever I can. These all look like awesome options! The bridge over the water in Nikko National Park is beautiful. The whole park must be stunning!

  8. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam says:

    Typically when I visit a city with as much to do and see as Tokyo, I’ll stay in that city for up to a week. But I love the idea of taking several day trips from Tokyo. Kamakura is especially gorgeous, though I’d want to go to each and every one of these amazing destinations in Japan!

    • Sydney says:

      I’m usually the same way where I like to spend at least a week exploring a city, but I also love taking a couple of day trips in order to see a little more!

  9. Kemkem says:

    We only spent a week plus in Tokyo and didn’t get to do any day trips because there was so much to see and do in the city. This post makes me want to go back and do some. Saw Mt. Fuji for a brief second. I think l would like to do the day trip to Kawasaki because l used to ride that brand motorcycle.

  10. Andi says:

    I LOVE Tokyo and Japan. I have been to Tokyo a few times but have never ventured out of the city for any of my trips. My hubby and I want to do a big trip next year and are hoping to make it Japan, this list will come in handy!

  11. Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad says:

    This is perfect timing as I am just planning a trip to Japan!! I keep reading about Yokohama so I think we might try to get there on one of our days. But Hakone looks absolutely amazing too – that photo of the torii gate on the lake is enchanting! Might have to get there too lol.

    • Sydney says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’re planning a trip! Japan is one of my favorite places I’ve visited. More Japan posts will be up soon and also let me know if you need any tips or advice!

  12. Josy A says:

    Fantastic post! I have not been to Kawagoe (it looks goooorgeous!) but I love all the rest of these options. It’s so fab that Japan makes it so easy to escape the city on public transport.

    Have you been to Takao-san? That is one of my favourite spots at this time of year.

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