Tokyo is great — there’s no doubt about that — but sometimes you just want to escape and see another side to Japan. And we’re here to help you do just that with these easy day trips from Tokyo.
The skyscrapers can be suffocating in the summer heat and isolating in winter, but don’t limit yourself to this metropolis. From river-boat journeys to vineyards, mountain ranges to island hikes, a day trip from Tokyo can be a whole mini-holiday in itself. If you’re keen to see what else is out there, then here, in no particular order, are our top 25 easy day trips from Tokyo to make your feet itch! Note that all prices listed are estimates.
Pro tip: Before buying your train tickets, see if the JR Tokyo Wide Pass will save you some money.
1. Kamakura1 hour from Shinjuku Station
¥950 (one way)
One of the more popular spots, Kamakura is well known for its traditional Kyoto style, with temples and shrines galore. There are great light hiking options, as well as plenty of delicious local street foods to try. You can easily cover the area in a day, with hikes taking you to see the famed giant Buddha, as well as beautiful shrines with bamboo forests, teahouses, and more.
For a full run-down of what’s on offer, see our Kamakura mega guide!
Pro tip: There are some really good guided tours of Kamakura available.
2. Odawara City1 hour 30 minutes from Shinjuku Station
¥910 (one way)
See one of the closest castle keeps to Tokyo. Odawara is a great day trip with a beautiful castle carefully restored from Edo-period drawings. You can also enjoy the fishing port for a slap-up lunch of freshly caught fish in a donburi (rice-bowl dish) at the Odawara Fish Market Den. Stroll in the relaxing Tsujimura Botanical Gardens to round off your afternoon before heading back to the big city!
Read about more castles near Tokyo.
Tip: Let a knowledgeable guide show you the sights, and then sit down to dinner with a geisha as part of a special Odawara tour.
3. Ibaraki’s Ushiku Daibutsu1 hour 30 minutes from Tokyo Station
1 transfer (bus)
¥1,690 (one way)
An unusual day trip takes you to see the second largest Buddha in the world — and to explore its rather surreal insides. Situated in the nearby prefecture of Ibaraki, the statue stands as a perfect excuse for a day in the country, plus a picnic. You can venture inside the Buddha to practice calligraphy, see 3,000 golden Buddhas, have your shrine book signed, and enjoy views from the observation deck. The surrounding gardens have a petting zoo, koi pond, and flower displays, which change with the season.
Have a look at the full Ushiku Daibutsu article if you fancy scaling the beast.
4. Enoshima1 hour 10 minutes from Shinjuku Station
¥650 (one way)
As one of the most popular Tokyo beach resorts (also see neighbor Kamakura), Enoshima offers sands to lie on and a stunning island to explore. You can walk to the island easily from the station and visit shrines, an observatory, and gardens, before cooling off in the caves on the other side. Be warned, there are quite a few steps, but you can also explore the island by boat.
Take your pick from the various Enoshima options in our article, as well as different transport options.
Tip: Combine Kamakura and Enoshima in a one-day bus tour from Tokyo.
5. Kawagoe30 minutes from Ikebukuro Station
¥590 (one way)
Nicknamed Little Edo, Kawagoe is a charming town that has preserved the Edo feel with traditional buildings and plenty of great food. A 15- to 30-minute walk from Kawagoe Station, Kurazukuri Street is lined with preserved warehouse buildings characterized by clay walls and tiles. There are over 200 in the surrounding area and many have been turned into cafes and restaurants. There are plenty of great traditional (and reasonable) lunch sets with the specialty being eel.
Ed’s note: Eel (unagi) is endangered, so you may want to think twice before ordering it.
There is also a whole street dedicated to sweets. If you go on the 18th of the month, you’ll see plenty of kimono-wearers (and can wear one yourself if you like) as discounts are given to those sporting the traditional outfits.
See if this is the day trip for you with our comprehensive Kawagoe guide.
6. Kawasaki15 minutes from Tokyo Station
¥320 (one way)
Smaller and not as well known as Kanagawa Prefecture‘s largest city (Yokohama), Kawasaki is still a lovely location with plenty to explore. While it might be best known for a certain festival, Kawasaki has other attractions, including the rather massive Daishi Temple, the Doraemon Museum, and the Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum to stroll around (known as the Nihon Minkaen). Unfortunately, Kawasaki’s famous dystopian warehouse amusement arcade has now closed.
7. Takasaki1 hour 45 minutes from Shinjuku Station
¥1,980 (one way)
Takasaki is a laid-back city in Gunma. It has an off-the-beaten-track feel as it is a rarely-visited gem. The city is the home of Daruma — the angry-faced figures you will no doubt have seen on your travels who bring good luck in accomplishing goals. A large majority of them are made here and you can find plenty for sale as souvenirs. There’s also the Takasaki Daruma Ichi, a market full of Daruma held on January 6 and 7.
You can visit the Jigenin Temple complex to see Daruma of every shape and size, which also happens to be near one of the biggest Kannon statues in Japan. The White-Robed Kannon stands at 40 m tall and you can enjoy views from the top for ¥300. Combine that with a walk along the traditional Ishiharamachi Shopping Street and you’ll have a grand day out!
8. Nikkō1 hour 50 minutes from Asakusa Station
2-day pass available: ¥2,120 (round trip, does not incl. limited express fare)
Easily extended into a weekend trip but great for a busy day too, Nikkō is famed for its stunning scenery and numerous temples and shrines. You can explore the cultural spots or escape into nature, such as the nearby waterfall or lake. Make sure to visit the incredibly elegant Toshogu Shrine, dedicated to the founding rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
9. Atami1 hour 40 minutes from Tokyo Station
¥1,980 (one way)
Atami is an onsen resort and a brilliant day trip from Tokyo — it has plenty of unusual attractions to keep you entertained. As well as soaking in salt-water hot springs, laying on the beach, and enjoying the views, you can also visit a fake castle, which actually houses displays about real castles (seems harsh), enjoy the trick art museum, and even get the gondola up to the sex museum aka Treasure House (that actually makes it weirder?).
Plus, there is an excellent art museum with a mixture of Eastern and Western pieces, including work by Monet, Rembrandt, and Ogata Korin. It’s also a good destination for divers and plum blossom lovers.
Tip: For the non-Cheapo in a hurry, you can take the Shinkansen to Atami and slim the journey time down to 40 minutes.
10. Kawaguchiko2 hours from Shinjuku Station
¥2,200 (one way)
Mount Fuji is probably pretty high on your list, and unless you’re climbing it, a view of the world-famous volcano is hard to beat. Enter Kawaguchiko. Here you can choose from views across fields of moss phlox, clear lakes, or lavender — in fact, there aren’t many places that won’t have Fuji-san somewhere in the background. With annual flower festivals, plenty of museums and nature spots, onsen, and more, Kawaguchiko is an easy day trip from Tokyo with lots to choose from.
Take a look at our full Kawaguchiko day trip guide for all the info, especially on how to get there as highway buses may be a better option than trains for some visitors.
Pro tip: This day trip tour, which includes a visit to the fifth station of Mount Fuji, plus a ride on the Mt. Fuji Panoramic Ropeway and a stop-off at Lake Kawaguchi, all for ¥11,900, is a good-value way to see the sights.
11. Nokogiriyama2 hours 5 minutes from Tokyo Station
¥1,980 (one way)
For a real escape into nature, Nokogiriyama aka Sawtooth Mountain is an amazing hike filled with quarry drops, stunning views and plenty of Buddhas. The Nihonji Temple complex is stretched out across the mountaintop and has plenty to explore. From the largest cliff-carved Buddha to a 30-meter Goddess of Mercy with 1500 (mostly decapitated) arhat in between, you’ll be kept busy with the stairs carved into the mountain. The famous View to Hell is really incredible, both to look at and enjoy yourself, and is right by the Goddess of Mercy, which might allay some vertigo fears.
Check out our guide to getting to hell and back!
12. Mount Takao55 minutes from Shinjuku Station
¥390 (one way)
Easy to get to, fun to hike, and home to a monkey park, Takao is a brilliant day trip for hikers and is only an hour from Tokyo! There is the lovely Yakuoin Temple around halfway up the mountain, with a creepy bird-faced Tengu standing guard. Once you reach the top there are amazing panoramic views of Tokyo and Mt. Fuji to enjoy, as well as a wild plant garden and the aforementioned monkey park. Check out our guide to hiking routes near Tokyo including Takao.
For more details on Takao, how to get there, and what to do once you’ve arrived, check out our full Mount Takao article.
13. Okutama2 hours from Shinjuku Station
¥1,110 (one way)
A beautiful natural haven filled with mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and plenty more — Okutama is perfect for a long weekend or a quick escape. There are full-day hiking trails like this one, which takes you across three mountains, or you can try some of the more relaxed wanderings in the valleys. The upper reaches of the Tama River are a brilliant place to relax away from the sweltering city heat in summer and also offer a wide range of water sports. You can also visit Nippara Cave—the longest in the Kanto region.
14. Hakone1 hour 30 minutes from Shinjuku Station
¥2,470 (one way)
Home to hot springs galore, onsen eggs, mountains, and teahouses, Hakone is one of the most popular day trips from Tokyo. Perfect for a more nature-based escape, it has these three great hiking trails, as well as gondolas to volcanic valleys and pirate ships to traverse the beautiful lake. There are over a dozen museums in the area so you can take your pick from wandering around the Hakone Open Air Museum to Impressionist collections at the Pola Museum.
Read more about the things you can get up to in Hakone and other options to get there in our full Hakone guide!
15. Misaki Port Town and Jogashima Island1 hour 40 minutes from Shinagawa Station
1 transfer (bus)
¥1,210 (one way)
If you really want to escape, there’s nowhere better than an island to really feel like you’ve put some distance between you and Tokyo. On the Miura coast of Kanagawa, the small fishing town of Misaki (known as Japan’s “tuna town”) has its own fish market early in the morning and plenty of fresh fish to fill up on too. The official market finishes at 9 a.m., but most stalls remain open till late afternoon.
Feeling fancy? You can snag yourself a luxury overnight stay in Miura, complete with your own private sushi chef (it’s not as pricey as it sounds).
Jogashima Island is connected to Misaki Town and is rocky with some swimming spots, plus a hiking trail that takes you all the way around — a distance of about 3–4 km. If that seems like too much work, get off early at Miura-kaigan Station and head to Miura Beach or visit the early-blooming cherry blossom festival in March.
This day trip guide has more details on the Miura Peninsula.
16. Yokohama25 minutes from Tokyo Station
¥480 (one way)
The second biggest city in Japan with over 3 million people, Yokohama has plenty to keep you entertained if you’re after a city break from your city break. With stunning night views across the Minato Mirai waterfront area, not one but two ramen museums (the Cup Noodle Museum and the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum), an amazing art scene, the beautiful Sankei-en Gardens and a massive Chinatown, you can have a brilliantly busy day out in a more relaxed city!
Check out our sample itinerary of a full day in Yokohama.
17. Chichibu1 hour 20 minutes from Ikebukuro Station
¥1,700 (one way)
Known mainly for its shiba-zakura festival in spring, Chichibu is a small-ish city in Western Saitama with plenty to enjoy. Originally an industrial town, they are moving toward tourism, and with incredible mountains surrounding them, it shouldn’t be a difficult transition.
There are plenty of shrines and temples to visit as well as a pilgrimage route featuring 34 Buddhist temples. The city has long had a strong reputation for meisen, a special silk produced only in the city and highly lauded in Edo times. You can still visit the Meisenkan to see original looms and purchase some locally made silk.
18. Mito1 hour 5 minutes from Ueno Station
¥3,890 (one way)
The capital city of nearby Ibaraki Prefecture, Mito was once the stronghold of the Mito clan in the Edo period. It is now most famous for the stunning Kairaku-en Gardens, which are one of the top three in the country.
The gardens were designed by Tokugawa Nariaki, the ninth feudal lord of the clan as one of the first public gardens (even though it was only for samurai level and above). There are regular buses running from the station to the gardens and you can also enjoy the incredibly modern Art Tower and the Mito City Museum.
For a more nature-based day out, you could visit Lake Senba and cycle around as there are bike rental places nearby. If you’re there in spring, there’s a delightful plum festival.
19. Disneyland and DisneySea15 minutes from Tokyo Station
¥230 (one way)
Aside from just enjoying all the usual rides and Disney stuff, you can visit the only DisneySea, try the variety of popcorn flavors, and enjoy all the matching costumes (and this time we mean the guests, not the characters!). These two parks are (we’re told) the only ones in the world not wholly owned by Disney (although they do have creative control), so it is a great chance to see a Japanese twist on classics — although don’t worry, nothing key has been altered!
If you’re keen to head to the fun straight from the airport, check out our Narita to Disney guide. If you want pointers to good hotels in the area, check out our Disney accommodation guide, and for general tips on saving money at the theme park, read up here.
Pro tip: Book your Tokyo Disney Resort tickets online to ensure ease of entry.
20. Nagatoro and the Arakawa River2 hours 15 minutes from Shinjuku Station
¥1,950 (one way)
If you really want to get back to nature, Nagatoro offers some of the most stunning, unspoiled nature in all of Japan, as well as the chance to get involved.
You can enjoy a riverboat tour through some surprisingly rapid waters, with over 200,000 visitors trying it every year. If you like a little danger, you can try white water rafting or paragliding, and if you don’t, there’s a riverside hiking trail too.
The small town is home to Hodosan Mountain Shrine and Iwadatami shopping street, which is filled with local produce. There’s an occasional steam train, the “Paleo Express” running on the Chichibu railway, which stops for a while and lets off steam at Nagatoro. Remember to try the local specialty of walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes, as well as locally made soba and udon.
21. Chiba City40 minutes from Tokyo Station
¥660 (one way)
One of the closest day trips from Tokyo, Chiba City is packed with all things traditional as well as some amazing modern creations too. The castle is a folk museum with plenty to learn, and Chiba Shrine is an impressive spot not to be missed. You can enjoy some great art at the Hoki Museum, which focuses on realism and has a variety of works. There is also the Chiba Museum of Art and the Science Museum, so no one is left wanting on the museum front.
To get around the city you can enjoy the world’s longest-suspended monorail which feels wrong, but is definitely safe. One of the most visited spots is the Chiba Port Tower, which was built to commemorate the population reaching 5 million in the 1980s, and offers a 360-degree view of the city and its surroundings. There are numerous parks and even a zoo complete with pandas — so you can balance your day perfectly!
22. Katsunuma2 hours 10 minutes from Shinjuku Station
¥1,980 (one way)
Fans of wine, look no further. Katsunuma is one of the top three wine producers in the country and is only a stone’s throw away in nearby Yamanashi Prefecture. Despite the humidity, wine has been successfully produced in Japan since the Meiji Period (with Emperor Meiji being a great fan himself). It does require a slightly different procedure compared to grapes grown in less humid countries, but is no less delicious!
With plenty of wineries nearby, you can enjoy unlimited tastings like the coin-operated wine machines from ¥100 at Budo no Oka, or just enjoy the hospitality of the different wineries on your route — although purchasing is recommended eventually. Along with the grapes, the area produces plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and you can easily pick up some delicious treats for dinner before heading home.
23. Shuzenji Onsen2 hours from Tokyo Station
¥4,640 (one way)
Grab a rickshaw, rent a kimono, and bask in the tranquility of this sleepy onsen town. Shuzenji Onsen is known for its crimson foliage in autumn, when many of the already beautiful local sights get a dust of gold. Here you’ll find one of the oldest hot spring baths in Izu, Tokko no Yu (look, don’t touch); a bamboo grove down a narrow path; a vermillion “lovers” bridge; and Shuzenji Temple, which often holds events throughout the year.
You can take the Odoriko train directly to Shuzenji Station from Tokyo, but the journey is even quicker — around 1 hour 30 minutes — if you grab the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station and change to the Izuhakone Tetsudo-Sunzu Line at Mishima Station. A special bus liner for only ¥2,000 operates during the autumn season.
24. Jōgasaki Coast1 hour 50 minutes from Tokyo Station
¥4,640 (one way)
This jagged coastal walk in Izu is for those who like getting out into nature. Its scenic ocean views, lighthouse, and suspension bridges show the rugged side of Japan.
Get off at Jōgasaki-Kaigan Station and walk around 20 to 30 minutes to the start of the Jogasaki Picnical Course. You can then follow the coast to Izu Oceanic Park and end by getting a bus to Izu-Kōgen Station, where you can head back to Tokyo. If you are feeling adventurous, you could extend your hike along the coast or grab a 30-minute bus (Bus No. 108) from Izu Oceanic Park to extinct volcano Mt. Omuro.
Consider spending more than a day in the Izu Peninsula and see what else it has to offer.
25. Ashikaga City1 hour 30 minutes from Asakusa Station
¥2,050 (one way)
Ashikaga City in Tochigi Prefecture is one of those cities that exists out of most people’s realm of knowledge, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. The best time to visit is in spring, when the flower festivals at Ashikaga Flower Park are in full vigor (see the Ashikaga Great Wisteria Festival), but the park also puts on a great illumination show in winter. The city also has Ashikaga Gakkō, Japan’s first organized school that includes an idyllic Japanese garden.
For a full look at what to do and how to get there, see our day trip to Ashikaga City guide.
First published in July 2017. Last updated in September 2023. All information is subject to change, including prices.