Tokyo is a world-class metropolis. However if you happen to want a break from the fast-paced metropolis life, think about 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 attractive in all 4 seasons. So, escape 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’ll be able to hire a automotive as nicely. It will provide you with extra freedom and adaptability to discover these superb locations.
In case you are on the lookout for 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 cause why this metropolis is named a “Little Kyoto” – it’s bursting with historical past, tradition, and non secular buildings. With 65 temples and 19 shrines, it is rather simple to get temple/shrine overload. For that cause, it’s greatest to restrict the variety of temple/shrine excursions to 3 a day.
For those who’re solely in Kamakura for someday, three very particular non secular websites are nicely price 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 legendary for its 11-headed picket statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The attractive grounds embody ponds full of colourful fish, and wonderful landscaped areas.
Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine
Probably the most distinctive shrines in Japan, Zeniarai Benzaiten dates again to 1185. Guests come right here to scrub their cash within the shrine’s particular waters. In keeping with legend, when you spent your washed cash, your luck and fortune would multiply. Though the money-washing legend is an plain draw, the shrine’s website could be very particular: you entry it by passing by way of a tunnel cave.
The most well-liked temple in Kamakura, the Massive 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 be well-known for wonderful purchasing and all kinds of worldwide cuisines. For those who’re seeking to attempt a neighborhood specialty, Kamakura is legendary for shirasu – whitebait. There are various methods to eat shirasu – dried, uncooked, or boiled. If that is exterior your consolation degree, one factor is definite – at Kamakura, you’ll have a number of scrumptious choices to select from.
- Finest Suited For: These all in favour of 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 attractive 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’s even a shrine devoted to the dragon, together with a temple devoted to the goddess.
Though 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) workers will current you with a candle to discover the caves and see historic statues. The candle isn’t actually vital 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 entails lots of bodily exercise. For those who love Japanese meals, it is 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 points of interest. The value of tickets relies on how excessive up you want to go.
Given its romantic historical past, it’s simple 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 gentle cream in a cone.
- Finest Suited For: These on the lookout for a one-of-a-kind island expertise. Because of 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 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 understood for having one in every of Japan’s high tuna hauls. No matter dish you wish to attempt, relaxation assured – the standard shall be top-notch.
Misaki can be identified for its fish market. Whereas it’s presently closed as a consequence of COVID, guests usually have the chance to view the tuna public sale course of by way of the glass home windows available on the market’s second ground.
Close to Misaki Harbor is Jogashima Island, accessible both by way of bridge or a brief boat trip.
Whereas Enoshima Island is a vacationer vacation spot filled with caves and must-see temples, Jogashima offers off a relaxed getaway vibe. The sparsely populated island has a number of wonderful climbing trails. Probably 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 unimaginable set menu that features miso soup, a bowl of rice and tuna, and inexperienced tea will possible run roughly ¥1600 ($11).
- Finest Suited For: Outside fanatics and maguro lovers.
- From Tokyo: It’ll 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 might 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.
Today, town hosts each the Japan Maritime Self Protection Pressure 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 consider it. And Japan’s tackle a U.S. Navy burger is nothing in need of beautiful.
On U.S. Navy ships, Wednesdays are affectionately referred to 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 often function tourism campaigns highlighting these two genuine “Sailor” dishes.
Whereas it’s a lot simpler to get recent merchandise at sea right now, 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 consequence of scurvy, many Japanese Sailors died as a consequence of B1 deficiency (beriberi) led to by a scarcity of thiamine. With out this significant vitamin, Sailors would possibly exhibit signs reminiscent of psychological confusion, lack of muscle perform, and paralysis.
Kanehiro Takaki, an excellent Japanese naval medical officer, performed scientific experiments and realized that the signs had been diet-related. The Imperial Navy noticed the meals different Navies had been consuming and took a web page from British Sailors – who had taken the concept from India – in consuming curry, a dish filled with thiamine.
Japanese Sailors got here to like the dish, and introduced the recipe again residence. Over time, Kaigun Curry established itself as a well-liked dish. Enjoyable reality: every Japan Maritime Self-Protection Pressure 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 right now.
As one would possibly 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.
- 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 toes), 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 delicate expression and holds a drugs bowl in his hand.
A journey to Nokogiriyama is an element non secular pilgrimage, and half embracing your inside 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 among the harm – the place it’s apparent the statue was beheaded – was as a consequence of anti-Buddhist actions throughout 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 wonderful views. At a scenic overlook referred to as “Hell’s Peak”, the adventurous can enterprise to a railing on the fringe of a cliff and take images.
Have completely zero curiosity in a hike up a 300-meter mountain? Take the cable automotive from the bottom to the highest for ¥500. Observe: though the cable automotive takes guests to the highest, there may be nonetheless lots of strolling up/down steep stairs to get to the preferred viewpoints.
- Finest Suited For: Outside adventurers with sturdy legs who’re keen to place in effort to get to a very 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 often, are spotlessly clear, and are a enjoyable method to cross Tokyo Bay.
Kurihama, a part of Kanagawa Prefecture, is a stunning 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 international commerce.
It’s onerous to overstate the importance of this quiet, unassuming place reverse Kurihama Harbor. And but this doc gave rise to what would turn into fashionable Japan. Learn extra: Thoughts-Blowing Info 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. In case you are there in April or Could, the poppies are particularly pretty. A whole bunch 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 high 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 lovely flower park?
In keeping with the unique 1954 Godzilla movie, Godzilla first made land at close by Tatarahama seaside. A slide was initially constructed on the seaside, however over time degraded and wanted to be eliminated.
Nonetheless, 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 youngsters beneath 12 can go up Godzilla and slide down his huge tail, he’s nonetheless price a go to.
- Finest Suited For: These all in favour of historical past and politics (Perry Park), and people looking for a calming afternoon at a stunning park. Though the ascent up Kurihama Flower Park is steep, for a number of hundred yen the park’s “Flower Practice” will transport friends the place they wish 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 larger Tokyo space, Yokohama positively 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 international 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 outlets and eating places alternatives to expertise completely different styles of Chinese language delicacies. One of many largest attracts at Yokohama’s Chinatown is a cease at Kanteibyo temple, devoted to the Chinese language god of prosperity and enterprise.
Different in style 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.
Publish World Conflict II, Momofuku Ando invented the cup of noodles in 1958 as a manner to offer cheap, flavorful meals for a contemporary staff. His invention would go on to turn into 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’ll be able to choose from quite a lot of components to design your individual bespoke cup of noodles. It’s a enjoyable memento to take residence.
- Finest Suited For: Those that love Chinatown or want 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 could actually simply be visited in a brief day. For those who drive, it’s even higher to discover among the high 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 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 situated inside the Tosho-gu Shrine and is likely one of the most vital shrines in all of Japan.
Proper subsequent door to Tosho-gu Shrine is the Buddhist temple of Rinnoji. Make sure that 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: Folks all in favour of Japaneses historical past and tradition and to do some out of doors adventures.
- From Tokyo: Catch the Tobu Categorical practice from Asakusa Station or the Tokyo Sky Tree. Nikko is situated 157 km north of Tokyo. Locals drive to the area, so you’ll be able to drive too if you happen to want.
And these are some superb day journeys from Tokyo. Japan is a surprising nation to go to, so make sure that 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 anticipate!
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