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Now you are in Tokyo and you had a blast gallivanting around your listed itinerary. You got so excited that you have finished it all in less than the amount of time you anticipated making you carve out an extra available day before flying back home.
Where will you spend that last full day to end your wonderful and unforgettable Japan trip?
Surely, you wanted to end the trip with a bang, yes? One of the many wonderful things about Japan is its efficient transportation system. You can easily go anywhere from Tokyo using their trains and buses. Here, I have listed nine short day trips you can do in a day.
1. Nikko City, Tochigi
Aside from the stunning Eastern architecture that serves as feasts for the eyes, Nikko city attracts numerous locals and tourists due to its spectacular colours particularly in the autumn season. You can see the gradual change in season starting from the higher areas of the Yumoto Onsen in early October to the central town of Nikko in mid November. Apart from the famous shrines like Taiyuinbyo, Rinnoji Temple, Tamazowa Villa, Kamangafuchi Abyss, Botanical Garden and Shinkyo Bridge, day visitors can enjoy the naturally beautiful environment with rocky landscapes, waterfalls, lakes and hot springs.
Distance from Tokyo: 2 hours.
Train station: Tobu-Nikko or Nikko Station.
- Nikko’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple and Futarasan Shrine)
- The Sacred Shinkyo Bridge
- The Kanmangafuchi Abyss’ mysterious Bake Jizo statues
2. Lake Kawaguchi, Yamanashi
Easily accessible through train and bus from Tokyo, Lake Kawaguchi is voted as the top destination among the Fuji Five lakes. The easiest and most convenient way of exploring the surrounding areas of Mt. Fuji is through a 1-Day Bus Tour Package which includes a roundtrip transportation from Tokyo, then a tour to Lake Kawaguchi, Oshino Hakkai’s Eight Ponds, Oshino Ninja Village, and Mt. Fuji’s 5th Station.
Distance from Tokyo: 2 hours from Tokyo.
Train station: Kawaguchiko Station.
3. Enoshima Island, Kanagawa
An island connected to the mainland by a bridge, Enoshima Island requires only a brief train ride from Tokyo. By purchasing an Enopass for 1000 yen at various tourist information desks, you can have access to the island’s most popular spots and the use of escalators. Being off the coast, it has a various attractions to offer including Enoshima Shrine, Samuel Cocking Garden, Enoshima Island Spa, Iwaya Caves and the Love Bell. For a brief water activity, tourists can go swimming and surfing in the beaches on either side of the island.
Distance from Tokyo: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Train Station: Katase-Enoshima Station.
4. Kamakura, Kanagawa
A popular coastal town in Kanagawa, you can get to Kamakura from Tokyo in less than an hour. As a very busy tourist destination, it boasts numerous temples, shrines and monuments. The most visited is the Great Buddha; the second largest bronze Buddha statue in Japan located at the Kotokuin Temple. If you are not into temple hopping, then you can spend your day at Kamakura’s sand beaches which charms a lot of visitors. Here visitors can sunbathe, swim and surf to their hearts’ desire.
Distance from Tokyo: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Train station: Start from Hase Station.
5. Hakone, Kanagawa
Only an hour and a half from Tokyo, Hakone in Kanagawa can be accessed through the Hakone-Yumoto station via the Odakyu Line. With the view of Mt. Fuji greeting the visitors, a great number of attractions have been the reason why this place is popular to both locals and tourists. Here you can visit Lake Ashinoko, which was formed in the crater of the Hakone Volcano, the stone Buddha and towers near Moto-Hakone, Susuki-sogen or the silver grass field in Sengokuhara or the wonderful and scenic cedar trees in the Kyu-Kaido street.
Distance from Tokyo: 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Train station: Hakone-Yumoto Station.
6. Yokohama, Kanagawa
Next to Tokyo, Yokohama is Japan’s second largest city. Being one of the first ports to engage in foreign trades, it has a large Chinatown with numerous Chinese restaurants in the port. It is popular among visitors for its Sankei-en Garden, a small community with traditional Japanese style. Among the many attractions, the ponds, streams and footpaths are equally famous with the many different buildings from different Japanese era from all over Japan. Between the countless sites, ten buildings inside the Sankei-en Garden have been declared as an Important Cultural Property in Japan.
Distance from Tokyo: Less than an hour.
Train Station: Start exploring from Motomachi-Chukagai Station.
Must See: 21 Best Places and Things To Do in Yokohama
7. Odawara, Kanagawa
Probably the easiest place to visit, Odawara is a transportation hub, being the meeting point of major railways such as the Odakyu Line, JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line and the Hakone Tozan Line. Odawara Joshi-koen Park, the most visited attraction in Odawara is famous for both cherry and plum blossoms. If you are into role-playing, you can even rent some samurai clothes or kimono at the Honmaru Hiroba of the castle to complete the experience. After having fun in the castle square, go grab some fresh seafood at the Odawara harbour.
Distance from Tokyo: 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Train Station: Odawara Station.
- Odawara Castle
- Daiyuzan Saijo-ji Temple
- Gyokuho-ji Temple and Five Hundred Disciples of Buddha
8. Kawagoe, Saitama
Pressed with time? Then better visit Kawagoe in Saitama. Only 30 minutes from Central Tokyo, this gem of a place is lined with quaint little storehouses from the past era. Take a walk in the stone paved tiny streets with stunning glasses, which will make you feel as if you are transported back to the Meiji era. Visit the temples, dine at the authentic Japanese restaurants and enjoy the many traditional candy shops that makes sweet in the same manner as the old days. While you are at it, experience wearing the traditional Japanese kimono by renting it at some of the shops around the area.
Distance from Tokyo: 45 minutes.
Train Station: Hon-Kawagoe Station.
Must See: 21 Best Places and Things To Do in Kawagoe
9. Boso Peninsula, Chiba
With about 30 minutes train ride to Kisarazu with the JR Uchibo Line, the Boso Peninsula is a popular destination for fresh local seafood, hiking, and of course, the beach. For sight-seeing, head to Tateyama where the Nirvana Statue of Mantokuji Temple is among the largest statue in all of eastern Asia. For gastronomic visitors, satisfy your cravings with the freshest fish while eating with a great view of Tokyo Bay at the Kyonan Town, a port area locates at the west of Boso Peninsula. You can also go to Mt. Nokogiri for numerous Buddhist statues.
Distance from Tokyo: 30 minutes.
Train Station: Various!
- Nirvana Statue of Mantokuji Temple
- Shibazakura of German Village
- Tateyama Castle
There you go, those are the 9 places you can enjoy a day trip in Japan, all easily accessible from Tokyo. Just make sure to know which stations to alight, and you are good to go!