Looking for the best day trips from Tokyo to add to your Japan itinerary? Or perhaps you’re looking for a quick overnight trip not too far from the city? There are some really exciting places to visit from Tokyo. Here are 11 Tokyo day trips that are each unique in their own way and well worth a visit.
If you’re planning your first trip to Japan, then you will most likely spend some time in Tokyo. Tokyo is not only an incredible city in its own right, but it’s also a great base to explore some of the surrounding destinations on a day trip, while still enjoying the conveniences that a city offers.
From the scenic mountains and hot springs of Hakone, Nikko, or Mount Fuji to beautiful gardens in Kanazawa or Ashikaga, and so much more. There are plenty of amazing options of places to visit near Tokyo that are sure to leave you speechless.
So, grab your daypack and camera, and let’s explore some of the best day trips from Tokyo together!
Here are 11 Highly Rated Places to Visit from Tokyo on a Day Trip!
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In This Post:
Tokyo Day Trips – At A Glance
Don’t have time to read the full article now? No worries, you can add it to your reading list and save it for later. But in the meantime, here’s a brief rundown of the 11 places we recommend visiting on a day trip from Tokyo:
- Mount Fuji
- Mount Takao
- Hitachi Seaside Park
- Izu Peninsula
- Ashikaga Flower Park
Related articles you may be interested in:
11 Incredible Places to Visit from Tokyo
#1 | Hakone
Hakone is a picturesque mountain town region located in the Kanagawa Prefecture. It’s one of our favourite places to visit near Tokyo because it’s really close to the city but is still kind of a hidden gem. We always recommend Hakone to our friends as one of the top places to visit Japan for the first time, which is why we’ve placed it number one on this list.
In terms of short trips from Tokyo, Hakone is one of the most easily accessible (about 1 hour by train), which makes a Hakone day trip quite easy to do if you have an extra day in your Tokyo itinerary. However, we highly recommend spending a night or two in Hakone to really experience its true magic.
Hakone is known for its natural hot springs, stunning views of Mount Fuji, and traditional Japanese inns, or “ryokan,” making it a great place for travelers seeking relaxation and a taste of traditional Japanese culture.
You can enjoy a scenic boat ride on Lake Ashi, take a ride on the Hakone Ropeway for panoramic views of the surrounding forest and mountains, or hike on one of the many trails in the area.
Hakone is also home to several museums and galleries, showcasing a wide variety of contemporary and traditional art. We highly recommend a visit to the Hakone Open Air Museum, famous for its Picasso exhibit!
How to Get There: If you have a JR Pass, take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station to Odawara Station (approximately 35-50 minutes). Once you arrive at Odawara Station, you’ll need to purchase a Hakone Freepass (we recommend purchasing here beforehand to avoid the queues). Transfer to the Hakone Tozan Line, which will take you to Hakone-Yumoto Station. From Hakone-Yumoto Station, you can use the Hakone Freepass which provides unlimited use of various modes of transportation in the Hakone area.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit in terms of weather is during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) when temperatures are mild and pleasant. We personally loved autumn in Hakone, as the mountains were a blanket of red, yellow, orange, and green hues. It can get very crowded during late March to early April and during the summer months. Avoid weekends, as Hakone is one of the most popular weekend trips from Tokyo for locals.
Recommended Tour: Mount Fuji and Hakone one day tour from Tokyo
Read More About Hakone: A Complete Guide to Visiting Hakone, Japan
#2 | Mount Fuji
Possibly the most popular one day trip from Tokyo is taking a visit to Mount Fuji, a prominent landmark in Japan and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This majestic mountain is located just 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo and is the highest peak in Japan at 3,776 meters. The mountain is famous for its symmetrical cone-shaped peak and is often depicted in Japanese art and literature.
It’s possible to hike to the summit of Mount Fuji during the climbing season, which runs from early July to mid-September, and usually involves an overnight stay in a mountain hut. Otherwise, you can admire the stunning views from afar.
One of the best places to view Mount Fuji is from the shores of Lake Kawaguchiko, one of the Fuji Five Lakes, or from the famous Churito Pagoda, or from the top of the Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway.
With its breathtaking scenery, a Mount Fuji day trip from Tokyo is one of the most popular things to do in Japan, especially during cherry blossom season.
How to Get There: Take the Fuji Excursion Limited Express train from Shinjuku Station to Otsuki Station, then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway line to reach stations such as Fuji-Q Highland Station, Kawaguchiko Station or Shimoyoshida Station near Mount Fuji. The Fujikyu Railway line is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass, so you’ll have to purchase a separate ticket. The entire journey takes around 2-3 hours.
Best Time to Visit: July to September is when the climbing season is open, and the mountain can be hiked. However, Mount Fuji can be visited year-round, and visitors can enjoy the scenic views from various spots around the mountain. Late March to early April is particularly special when the cherry blossoms around the mountain are in full bloom.
Recommended Tour: Mount Fuji Scenic Spots Day Tour from Tokyo
#3 | Nikko
One of the best places to go near Tokyo is the stunning historic town of Nikko. Located in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, approximately 150 kilometers north of Tokyo, Nikko is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a rich history.
You can spend the day exploring the colourful Toshogu Shrine, and the breathtaking Kirifuri Waterfall, which is surrounded by lush forests. It’s possible to go hiking through the Nikko National Park or visit the Nikko Edo Village, a recreated Edo period town that provides a glimpse into life in Japan during the 17th-19th centuries.
With its natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and easy access from Tokyo, Nikko is a popular day trip outside Tokyo for both Japanese locals and international visitors.
How to Get There: Hop on the JR Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Utsunomiya Station, and then transfer to the JR Nikko Line to reach Tobu-Nikko Station (approximately 2-2.5 hours one-way). Once at Tobu-Nikko Station, visitors can take a bus or taxi to the various attractions in the area.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to plan your Tokyo to Nikko day trip is from spring to autumn when the weather is mild, and the foliage is at its peak during the autumn months.
Recommended Tour: Nikko Cultural Day Tour from Tokyo
#4 | Kanazawa
For those who are looking for places to visit from Tokyo that are off the main tourist path, then you can’t go past Kanazawa – it’s one of Japan’s true hidden gems!
Kanazawa is a historic city located on the west coast of Japan’s Honshu Island. The city is known for its beautifully preserved traditional neighborhoods, well-manicured gardens, and exquisite craftwork.
Exploring the Kenroku-en Garden is a must-do activity in Kanazawa – this was possibly one of the best Japanese gardens we have seen during our multiple trips to Japan. It’s widely considered one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.
Other things to do in Kanazawa include visiting the Kanazawa Castle, a stunning example of Edo period architecture, visiting the Omicho Market, and wandering around the Higashi Chaya district, with its picturesque streets lined with old teahouses that are now home to souvenir shops and cafes.
How to Get There: Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station. The journey takes approximately 2.5-3 hours. Once at Kanazawa Station, visitors can take a bus or taxi to the various attractions in the area.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Kanazawa is during spring and autumn when the weather is mild, and the foliage is at its peak during the autumn months.
#5 | Kawagoe
If you’re looking for a taste of “old” Japan, then you should consider a day trip to Kawagoe. This charming little town has some of the most well-preserved Edo-era architecture, quaint streets, local handicrafts, and great food.
One of the highlights of Kawagoe is the Kura no Machi district, which features rows of historic storehouses that have been converted into shops selling local goods and souvenirs. Another must-see is the Toki no Kane bell tower, which has been ringing out the hours for over 400 years.
If you’re a foodie, be sure to try the town’s specialty snack, sweet potato fries! They’re absolutely delicious. All in all, Kawagoe is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and it’s one of the best day trips near Tokyo as it’s located just an hour outside of the city.
How to Get There: If you wish to use a Japan Rail Pass, you can hop on the JR Saikyo Line from Shinjuku Station to Kawagoe Station in about 30-40 minutes. Once you arrive at Kawagoe Station, it’s just a short walk to the town center.
Best Time to Visit: In my opinion, the best time to go is during the fall season, around October and November. The weather is cool and crisp, and the autumn foliage is absolutely stunning. The town is also less crowded during this time.
#6 | Yokohama
If you’re looking for a fun but slightly more unusual day trip from Tokyo, you should definitely check out Yokohama. It’s just a quick train ride away, and there’s so much to see and do in this eclectic and vibrant city.
One of the highlights of Yokohama is the waterfront area, where you can take a stroll along the scenic promenade, visit the Osanbashi Pier for some amazing views of the harbor, and even take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel at Cosmo World amusement park.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a foodie, then you won’t want to miss the famous Chinatown district, which is the largest in Japan and offers some fantastic dishes to try.
For the culture buffs, check out the beautiful Sankeien Garden, which features traditional Japanese architecture and stunning seasonal foliage.
How to Get There: Getting to Yokohama from Tokyo is super easy via JR lines. Catch a train from Tokyo Station on the JR Tokaido Line, and it’ll take you there in around 30-40 minutes. Once you arrive at Yokohama Station, you can easily get around the city on foot or by using the local buses or trains. If you’re heading to the waterfront area, you can even take a water taxi for a unique and scenic experience.
Best Time to Visit: Yokohama can get very crowded during peak tourist season, which is from late March to early April and during the summer months. To avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the off-season or on weekdays.
#7 | Mount Takao
If you’re looking for a fun outdoor adventure near Tokyo, you’ve got to check out Mount Takao. This place is one of those slightly “off the radar” places to visit around Tokyo, that will be sure to leave you speechless.
It’s just an hour train ride away, and it’s one of the best places to go hiking in the area. The hike up to the summit is challenging but doable, and the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. Plus, there are tons of different trails to choose from depending on your fitness level, so it’s great for both novice and experienced hikers alike.
Along the way, you’ll pass by beautiful forests, waterfalls, and there’s even a monkey park where you can see some cute Japanese macaques up close. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like hiking all the way up to the summit, you can take a cable car or chairlift from the station to the halfway point. From there, it’s just a short hike to the summit.
How to Get There: Head to Shinjuku Station take the Keio-Takao Line to Takaosanguchi Station (not covered by JR Pass). The journey takes about an hour and costs around 390 yen each way. Once you arrive at Takaosanguchi Station, you’ll be right at the base of the mountain and can start your hike right away or jump on the cable car. Alternatively, if you want to use your JR Pass most of the way, you can catch the JR Chuo Rapid Line from Tokyo or Shinjuku Station to Takao Station, then transfer onto the Keio Line to Takaosanguchi Station.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit is definitely during the fall season, when the leaves on the trees start to change color, and the entire mountain is covered in a beautiful blanket of red, orange, and yellow hues. Plus, the weather is generally mild and comfortable for hiking.
#8 | Hitachi Seaside Park
One of the best side trips from Tokyo for nature-lovers is a visit to the Hitachi Seaside Park.
One of the park’s main attractions is the huge field of blue nemophila flowers, which bloom in late April and early May and create a stunning blue carpet across the landscape. Another great reason to visit is to see the bright red Kochia balls in late October to early November.
There are also plenty of other flowers and plants to enjoy throughout the park, as well as walking trails and bike paths that wind through the gardens. Hitachi Seaside Park is one of the best places to visit with kids, as there’s a playground and a Ferris wheel that offers great views of the park and the surrounding coastline. There are also plenty of food stalls and restaurants to grab a delicious snack.
How to Get There: Take the train from Tokyo Station to Katsuta Station (about 80 minutes ride), then transfer to the Ibaraki Kotsu Bus which will take you directly to the park (about 20 minutes).
Opening Hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm (hours may vary seasonally)
Entrance Fee: 450 yen
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Hitachi Seaside Park really depends on what you’re hoping to see and experience. The park is open year-round, and each season offers something unique and special.
In the spring (late April to early May), the park’s famous nemophila flowers are in full bloom, creating a stunning sea of blue that is truly breathtaking. This is definitely the most popular time to visit, so be prepared for crowds.
In the fall (September to November), the park’s foliage starts to change color, with the grass and leaves taking on shades of red, orange, and yellow. It’s a beautiful time to visit, and the cooler temperatures make for a comfortable day outside.
In the winter (December to February), the park is decorated with millions of LED lights, creating a magical winter wonderland. There’s an ice skating rink, a snow sledding hill, and other seasonal activities to enjoy.
Recommended Tour: Oarai Isosaki Shrine and Hitachi Seaside Park Tour from Tokyo
#9 | Izu Peninsula
The Izu Peninsula is a true hidden gem in Japan that is often overlooked by tourists, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for some off the beaten path places to explore. One of the main attractions of the area is the hot springs, which are said to have healing properties. You can relax in the hot water while enjoying the stunning views of the ocean and mountains.
If you’re into nature and hiking, then the Izu Peninsula is a great place to visit from Tokyo. There are many scenic hiking trails that will take you through forests and mountains, past waterfalls and rivers, and along the coastline. One popular trail is the Jogasaki Coast, which offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
For a great view of the Jogasaki Coastline and surrounding Amagi Mountains, you can hike up to the top of Mount Omuro (or take the chair lift). Mount Omuro is a grass-covered, conical-shaped mountain formed by a volcano thousands of years ago. From the top, you can walk around the rim of the now-extinct volcanic crater.
How to Get There: Hop on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Atami Station (approx. 40 minutes). Then transfer to the Izu Kyuko Line, which will take you to various destinations on the peninsula.
Best Time to Visit: The Izu Peninsula is a popular destination in the summer months, which is a great time for hiking.
#10 | Matsumoto
Matsumoto is a charming city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It’s known for the spectacular Matsumoto Castle, one of the few remaining original castles in Japan, and the main reason why most people visit Matsumoto. But there’s more to Matsumoto than just the castle!
The city has a lively arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters showcasing local and international talent. The surrounding natural scenery is also breathtaking. If you visit during the winter, you’ll get a glimpse of the stunning Japanese Alps in the distance.
The local cuisine in Matsumoto is also out of this world (but that’s not hard in Japan, as there seems to be good food everywhere – one of the reasons we love Japan so much!). Matsumoto’s specialties include soba noodles and Shinshu beef.
With so much to offer, Matsumoto is totally underrated and in our opinion, one of the best Tokyo day trips for culture and history buffs, and those looking to get off the beaten path.
How to Get There: You can take the JR Limited Express Azusa or Super Azusa train from Shinjuku Station directly to Matsumoto Station, which takes about 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station and transfer to the JR Shinano Line, which will take you to Matsumoto in about 1.5 hours.
Best Time to Visit: Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are both popular times to visit. Cherry blossoms bloom in Matsumoto in early April. The Snowy season (December to February) is a great time to visit the nearby ski resorts and enjoy the winter wonderland scenery.
#11 | Ashikaga Flower Park
Ashikaga Flower Park is one of the prettiest tourist attractions near Tokyo and a must-visit destination for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts.
The park is famous for its breathtaking wisteria displays, which bloom from late April to mid-May. The wisteria tunnel, which stretches for almost 100 meters, is one of the park’s main attractions and is a popular spot for taking photos. Visitors can stroll through tunnels of wisteria blossoms in a variety of colors, including pink, white, and purple. It’s truly a magical experience that shouldn’t be missed!
Aside from the wisteria, the park is also home to a variety of other seasonal flowers that bloom at all different times of the year, including roses, hydrangeas, and cosmos. The floral displays throughout the park change with the seasons, so visitors are always treated to a stunning display.
During winter, which is from late November to early February, the park is decorated with millions of LED lights, creating a magical winter wonderland. Visitors can see light displays of flowers, trees, and even a replica of the Eiffel Tower. The park also holds various events and illuminations throughout the year, so it’s always worth checking their schedule to see what’s happening.
Overall, Ashikaga Flower Park is a wonderful destination for a day trip from Tokyo, and is sure to leave visitors feeling inspired and rejuvenated.
How to Get There: Getting to Ashikaga Flower Park from Tokyo is quite easy by train. Hop on the JR Ryomo Line from Tokyo Station to Ashikaga Station, which takes about 90 minutes. From Ashikaga Station, there is a shuttle bus o the park, which is about a 15-minute ride away.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 5 pm, year round
Entrance Fee: Entry cost varies throughout the year, from 500 yen up to 2100 yen during peak flower season.
Best Time to Visit: This depends on what you want to see. The famous wisteria flowers typically bloom in late April to mid-May. But the park has other flowers that bloom throughout the year. If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit the park on a weekday, as weekends can be very busy during peak bloom season.
Have we missed a spot? Can you recommend any other great places to visit from Tokyo for other readers to check out, let us know in the comments below!
Ready to Plan Your Trip to Japan?
We hope this list of Tokyo day trips has given you some inspiration for your planning trip to Japan. For more information to help you plan your own trip, check out these other helpful Japan travel blog articles:
More Japan Travel Guides
VIEW MORE RESOURCES & TIPS TO HELP PLAN YOUR JAPAN TRIP
Feeling inspired? Here are 10 amazing destinations you must add to your Travel Bucket List!
Planning a trip soon? Here’s a list of the websites we use for booking our trips:
- Skyscanner for the best flight deals
- Booking.com for the best rates on hotels
- HomeAway for the best price on apartment and home rentals
- Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals
- Luxury Escapes | Expedia for luxury package holiday deals and tours
- Get Your Guide | Klook | Viator for booking day tours and attraction tickets
- Tourradar for a wide selection of multi-day tours
- Safety Wing for the most comprehensive worldwide travel insurance
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