10 Easy Day Trips from Tokyo

There are plenty of things to do in Tokyo but once in a while, we are looking for some nice places we can enjoy outside of the city without the hassle of the long travel. Whether you like dipping in hot springs, hiking some nature trails to see cherry blossoms or foliage leaves, enjoying the view of Mount Fuji, eating delicious food or just chilling on the beaches, here are 10 day trips from Tokyo that you can easily take during the weekends.

day trips to kawagoe

Kawagoe

This tiny town in Saitama prefecture is known as Little Edo due to its preserved traditional town. The historical area called Kurazukuri Street or Warehouse District is filled with craft shops, cafes, shrines and the iconic Bell Tower which make you feel like you are traveling back to the 17th century. There is even a Starbucks cafe in a traditional building!

After a short walk, you should also visit Kashiya Yokocho, a candy alley where you can try the local specialties such as sweet potato chips, manju, many types of hard candies as well as savory dishes like grilled onigiri with bonito flakes and eel skewers. The whole Kawagoe old town is so pretty that you can see many Japanese people or tourists dressed in yukatas and take some snaps of their outfits which is a nice experience you shouldn’t miss.

From Tokyo: Tobu Tojo Line, Seibu Shinjuku or JR Saikyo/Kawagoe Line, 30-60 minutes

day trip yokohama

Yokohama

The second largest city in Japan and the capital city of Kanagawa prefecture, there are plenty of things you can do in Yokohama. It only takes around half an hour from Tokyo to travel to this famous port city, making it one of the most popular and easiest day trips from Tokyo.

Yokohama has one of the biggest Chinatowns in the world with hundreds of delicious restaurants serving authentic Chinese food. Not far from there, you can spend some money in Motomachi Shopping Street, get nostalgic for the gigantic Gundam at Yamashita Pier and take a picture at Osanbashi Terminal. You can enjoy the night view at Minatomirai, a seaside area where you can see the skyscraper view of Yokohama, the Ferris Wheel and the famous Red Brick Warehouses.

From Tokyo: Tokyu Toyoko Line, JR Keihin Tohoku, JR Tokaido Line, 20-40 minutes

Karuizawa

A lot of people might know Karuizawa as its Prince Shopping Plaza is one of the most famous outlet malls in Japan. Besides shopping here, you can stroll around the old town area and explore Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza, a shopping street filled with shops, cafes and restaurants as well.

Besides shopping places and the lovely city center, Karuizawa also offers many natural attractions such as Shiraito Falls, Kumoba Pond and Mount Asama, which is extremely beautiful with foliage leaves in autumn. You can also ski and snowboard here in winter as Karuizawa Prince Ski Resort is one of the ski resorts with easy access from Tokyo.

From Tokyo: JR Hokuriku, 45 minutes

Kamakura and Enoshima

Dated back to the 12th century, this coastal town was an important political center during the Kamakura Shogunate for more than 200 years. Nowadays, Kamakura is famous for its beautiful ancient Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. You can pay respect to the famous Daibutsu or the Great Buddha statue in Kotoku-in or enjoy beautiful hydrangeas at Meigetsu-in in July.

You can also take an Enoden, an electric train from Kamakura to Enoshima, a tiny offshore island with a beach town vibe. Here you can hang out on the beach or in trendy cafes, visit the aquarium, pay respect at the famous shrine, explore the cave, see the panoramic view from the observatory or even watch Mount Fuji when the sky is clear.

From Tokyo: JR Yokosuka Line, 60 minutes

Izu Peninsula

The Izu Peninsula is only less than an hour away from Tokyo by train which makes it one of the most famous day trips from Tokyo for people who like to escape the capital city and enjoy themselves in nature. As a gateway to the Izu Peninsula, Atami is a seaside town that is famous for its onsen which is believed to have healing power. You can also enjoy the earliest bloom of plum trees in Japan at Atami Baien.

Further down the peninsula is Kawazu where you can enjoy the Kawazu-zakura, the cherry blossom species which blooms in February. You can walk along the river to see the flowers up until the hiking trail to see the beautiful Seven Waterfalls. There are several more towns on the peninsula such as Ito where you can walk around the top of the extinct volcano called Mount Omuro. You can also head to Shimoda and visit Shirahama Beach where you can chill on the white sandy beach, do some surfing or check out a torii gate on top of the rock on the beach.

From Tokyo: JR Tokaido Line or JR Odoriko, 60 minutes

ashikaga flower park day trip from tokyo

Ashikaga Flower Park

If you are a fan of flowers, especially the beautiful purple wisteria, this gigantic flower park in Tochigi prefecture is a place you shouldn’t miss. It takes around 2 hours to travel from Tokyo by train but it’s totally worth it.

The park is open all year round and the entry fee depends on the season. However the peak time of the year would be between early April and mid-May as the wisteria trees take over the park. You can enjoy various colors of wisteria as well as a gigantic hundred-year-old wisteria tree. There are also lightning at night highlighting their beauty in a different way. Even though there are fewer flowers in winter, the park is still very famous for its massive winter illumination where everyone can enjoy the LED lights, light shows, and light tunnels.

From Tokyo: JR Ryomo Line or JR Utsunomiya, 60 minutes

Nikko

When it comes to autumn leaves, Nikko is definitely one of the top destinations from Tokyo that everyone thinks of. You can see colorful foliage leaves on the mountain contrasting with the road curves along the way. On top, you can take a ropeway to observe Kegon Falls among the forests before going down to Lake Chuzenji where you can walk around and enjoy a beautiful view.

Besides nature, Nikko is also home to Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site where dozens of buildings are decorated with extravagant wood carvings and gold leaves. This is where Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate who ruled over the Edo period for 200 years enshrined.

From Tokyo: JR Tohoku Shinkansen and JR Nikko Line, 100 minutes)

Hakone

Even though Hakone is famous for traditional onsen baths (there is even an onsen theme park called Yunessun where you can try baths filled with wine or coffee.), this small town is also famous for the view of Mount Fuji on a clear day.

You can take a bus or a ropeway to Owakudani, the active volcanic crater where you can check out the view of Hakone and Mount Fuji while trying the black eggs which are boiled in water containing sulfur. After that you can head down to Lake Ashi, get on the pirate ship and stop by Hakone Shrine, which torii gate stands magnificently in the lake.

From Tokyo: JR Tokaido or JR Shonan Shinjuku Line, 70-90 minutes, Odakyu Hakone Highway, 120 minutes

Hitachi Seaside Park

Another day trip from Tokyo that flower lovers shouldn’t miss is Hitachi Seaside Park in Tochigi prefecture. The park has various types of flowers, cycling paths, and even amusement parks that everyone can enjoy.

The highlight of the park is Miharashi Hill, the seaside slope covered in different flowers in each season. In spring, the blue nemophila blooms beautifully like a blue sky while pink cosmos and red Kochia vividly take the area in autumn making this park one of the most photogenic spots in Japan.

From Tokyo: JR Joban Line and bus, 120 minutes

kawaguchiko daytrip from tokyo

Kawaguchiko

As one of the most famous places to watch Mount Fuji in Japan, Kawaguchiko is always on the top list of day trips from Tokyo. You can either take a bus or a train and it takes only around 2 hours to visit this beautiful town where you can enjoy the view of the famous volcano, a beautiful lake as well as a delicious local dish called Houtou.

Kawaguchiko is beautiful in every season. You can enjoy sakura viewing in spring, climb Mount Fuji in summer, watch foliage leaves in autumn and see the snow-capped Mount Fuji in winter. In the area, there are also onsen baths, Oshino Hakkai ponds surrounded by traditional villages, as well as Fuji-Q Highland where you can ride one of the fastest and scariest roller coasters in the world.

From Tokyo: JR Chuo Line and Fujikyu Railway Line, 100 minutes or Fujikyu Bus and Keio Bus, 2 hours

Don’t wanna go out of Tokyo?

Technically, you don’t really have to go out of Tokyo to have a nice day trip. You can go hiking or trail running in Japan. The west side of Tokyo has plenty of mountains that you can enjoy such as Mount Takao in Hachioji and Mount Mitake in Okutama. As it takes around an hour from central Tokyo to these mountains, it can be extremely crowded on sunny days as well as during sakura and foliage seasons.

However, places outside Tokyo are probably less English-friendly (less English menu and fewer people who can speak English), so it’s good to know some basic Japanese phrases. If you want to truly improve your Japanese language skill, we recommend taking part-time lessons at Coto Academy.


Would you like to study Japanese in Japan?


Realize your dream of moving to Japan and becoming fluent in Japanese.

Move to Japan