Tokyo’s day trips: Some of Japan’s most stunning temples, hiking trails, and natural wonders are only a few hours away from Tokyo.
Gunma Prefecture (群馬県)
One of only eight landlocked prefectures in Japan, Gunma is the north western most prefecture of the Kantō plain.
Misato Pink Moss Park (みさと芝桜公園)
Misato moss phlox Park is a park known for its moss phlox that blooms all over the hill. 260,000 moss phlox flowers bloom on a 2.9-hectare site.
Gunma where you can enjoy strawberries fresh from the farm and pick them yourself at locations. Don’t miss out on Gunma’s original brand of strawberries, Yayoihime, as well as many other delicious varieties.
Known as the “Niagara of Japan,” Fukiware Falls or Fukiware no Taki, is in Numata City, Gunma Prefecture. The lovely Katashina River turns into an impressive series of falls that drop from 7-meters high and span 30-meters wide.
Kawagoe, also known as Koedo or Little Edo, is an Edo-period (1603-1867) castle town with well-preserved medieval streets and buildings that have maintained its old-fashioned ambience.
Many of the ancient buildings and warehouses have been turned into charming stores and restaurants, making Kurazukuri Street a must-see. When you see the Toki no Kane bell tower, which stands 16 meters tall, you’ll know you’ve arrived. At 6 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m., the bell rings four times a day.
Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is a short walk from the town’s main street and organizes several festivals throughout the year. This so-called “love shrine” conducts a wind chime festival in the summer, where you can walk through a tunnel of tinkling furin chimes. The river returns in the spring.
If you want to get out of Tokyo without spending too much time on the train, Yokohama is the place to go. Yokohama, located just south of Tokyo in the Kanagawa prefecture, is famed for its ocean vistas and wonderful Chinese food in Motomachi-Chukagai, popularly known as Chinatown.
At Yokohama Landmark Tower and Plaza, Minatomirai is a modern waterfront with a high-rise observation deck and elegant boutiques.
Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県)
Landlocked Yamanashi Prefecture (山梨県, Yamanashi-ken) is located immediately west of Tokyo in the Chubu Region. The northern half of Mount Fuji and the Fuji Five Lake region are located in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Chureito Padoga is part of Arakura Sengen Shrine and is located close Shiomyoshida Station. Visitors must climb a nearly 400-step stone staircase to reach the pagoda, but in doing so, they will rise above the town below and be treated to a spectacular view of Mount Fuji.
Mt. Jinba (人馬)
Mt Jinba, on the border of western Tokyo and Kanagawa, is a less crowded alternative to Mt Takao. The trip to the summit is better suited to advanced hikers: at 857m, Mt Jinba is taller and has a greater diversity of pathways than Mt Takao’s more predictable, not to mention shorter, trails. If you really want to work up a sweat, climb Mt Takao, then veer off to Mt Jinba, snap a fast photo of Mt Fuji and the strange-looking horse statue at the summit, then descend Mt Jinba and reward yourself with fresh soba noodles and beer. Don’t worry, the hiking pathways are well-marked, and most of the signs are in English.
Zushi Beach (逗子海岸海水浴場)
Zushi is a popular beach destination that is less than 90 minutes from the center of Tokyo. There are a lot of people who come (as seen in the video) and have a good time.
The Zushi coast is a beautiful beach in Zushi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, distinguished by shallow and calm waves. It is well-known as a family beach suitable for families, and it is very crowded in the summer. There are also many beach houses, as well as a large number of free children’s life jackets and play equipment rentals.
Oktuma River (奥多摩町)
Okutama is a beautiful natural area just a short drive from Tokyo, where you may relax and unwind, as well as get a great feel for the countryside of Japan. Swimming, fishing, camping, and BBQ are all available here. You don’t even need a car to get there. You should go at least once during the summer.
Enoshima Island and its beautiful coastline are just a short distance from Kamakura. It also has one of Tokyo’s most easily accessible beaches. Walking along the coastline, visiting Enoshima Shrine (dedicated to the goddess of love), or sampling the local specialty, shirasu, are all good ways to pass the time on the island (whitebait).
The Moominvalley Park (ムーミンバレーパーク)
The Moominvalley Park is a theme park based on the Moomin characters developed by Tove Jansson, a Finnish novelist and illustrator. The theme park, which opened in March 2019 around 40 kilometers northwest of Tokyo in Saitama Prefecture, is the first outside of Finland and gives tourists a glimpse into the author’s world. A Japanese animated TV series made the hippopotamus-like figures particularly popular in Japan, among the various programs and films about the Moomins that have been created over the years.
Tobu World Square (東武ワールドスクウェア)
Everything from the Great Pyramids to the Burj Khalifa can be seen at 1:25 scale in this theme park. Models of 102 famous structures from around the world, 46 of which are World Heritage sites, are on display, all created with impressive craftsmanship and attention to detail. Over 20,000 real bonsai trees and plants dot the park, allowing you to experience the changing seasons, and in the colder months, the models are beautifully illuminated after dark.
Hakone Mountain is just 90 minutes by train from Tokyo, making it a popular day trip or weekend vacation destination. It has a long and distinguished history as a hot spring town, with its name appearing in Edo-era (1603-1868) rankings of the best onsen in Japan. But there’s a lot more to Hakone than bathing. It has it everything, from world-class art institutions to an active volcano, as well as a breathtaking vista of Mt Fuji on clear days.
Mount Takao (高尾山)
Take a train to Tokyo’s western outskirts, and you’ll arrive at the foot of Mount Takao. For foreign and native Tokyoites alike, it is undoubtedly the de facto go-to nature spot. There are pathways for hikers of various abilities, as well as a ropeway for the less athletically inclined.
Yakuoin Temple, a monkey park, and an observation deck on the top of the mountain offer views of Mount Fuji. Make your way down to Keio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu, a hot spring near the station, for a well-deserved dip at the end of your journey.
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