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9 Best Day Trips From Tokyo You Need To Know About

The best day trips from Tokyo will take you to the mountains, to the Pacific Ocean, to ancient temples and shrines, and so much in between. Tokyo has incredible energy and endless activities, but take a day trip out of the Capital to discover what else Japan has to offer.

If you venture just 1-2 hours outside of Tokyo, you’ll feel like you are in a completely different world. Japan’s stunning nature and rich history are my favorite parts of the country, and the best way to experience these are through heading out of the busy metropolis. Some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world are just a quick train or bus ride away from the thrumming downtown areas of Shibuya and Harajuku.

In this guide, I will share my favorite day trips from Tokyo.

What are the best day trips from Tokyo?

The best day trips from Tokyo are:

  1. Mount Nokogiri

  2. Okutama

  3. Kamakura

  4. Zushi

  5. Enoshima Island

  6. Jindaiji

  7. Fuji-Q Highland

  8. Kawagoe

  9. Jogasaki Coast

Mount Nokogiri

The famous cliff of Mount Nokogiri jetting into the blue skyline.

A bit more than 2 hours outside of Tokyo, Mount Nokogiri in Chiba Prefecture is home to two massive Buddha statues, sparkling views of the coast, and the famous “View to Hell” cliff edge.

On Mount Nokogiri, you will find the oldest place of worship in the Kanto Region: Nihonji Temple. This temple complex has one of the largest Buddha statues in Japan along with several hundred other small statues of deities.

You can either take a ropeway to the top of the mountain or hike about 50-60 minutes through the forest. At the peak, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of Chiba’s Boso Peninsula and even Tokyo Bay on a clear day.

For people who love to hike and also want to dive into Japanese history, Mount Nokogiri is one of the best day trips from Tokyo.

Read my guide about visiting Mount Nokogiri for more details for planning your perfect day trip.

Okutama

A statue of a dog at Musashi Mitake shrine in front of a brown building

Okutama is an incredible day destination to escape the bustle of Tokyo. This mountainous region to the west of the Capital has lush forests, access to Tama River, and ancient temples and shrines.

You will find dozens of different hiking trail options that lead to waterfalls, historical worship sites, and scenic mountain views.

One of my favorite activities in the area is visiting Sawanoi – Ozawa brewery, a large sake brewery on the banks of Tama River. A trip here makes for a great gift for a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion.

Find more details about visiting Okutama in my comprehensive guide.

Kamakura

Waves slowly landing on the sand at Kamakura Yuigahama Beach

Kamakura is a coastal town about an hour south of Tokyo and is one of the most popular day trip destinations in the Kanto Region.

This seaside city has one of the most iconic Buddha statues in Japan, wide beaches, hundreds of top restaurants, and is one of the best places to view cherry blossoms in the springtime.

Kamakura is an incredible day trip to get a variety of different activities in a short time period. You’ll see historical temples and shrines, enjoy the Pacific Ocean, and sample many local and international cuisines. It’s also a popular destination for surfers from around the world.

For the full recommended itinerary, check out my article about a day trip to Kamakura.

Zushi

Wind surfers at Zushi Beach

Zushi is a small beach town with a European feel just south of Kamakura (find more details here). The area has parks overlooking the ocean, waterfront restaurants, sleep fishing streets, and one of the best beaches for windsurfing and paddle boarding in Japan.

In the summer, temporary shacks are built on the beach to sell food and drinks as you relax on the sand.

Enoshima Island

The main street of Enoshima island seen through green leaves

Enoshima Island is a small island south of Tokyo rich with natural beauty and religious history.

The original site of the island’s main shrine, Enoshima Shrine, dates back to 552. Follow a network of caves and you can see the ancient statues from that period.

Today, three shrines comprise Enoshima Shrine. The complex exemplifies the Shinto and Buddhist syncretism which is common throughout most of Japan.

Even if you aren’t a history buff, you’ll enjoy the lush forest, rugged cliffs, and ocean views of the island. You can even surf from one of the surrounding beaches, which offer some of Japan’s most popular casual surf spots.

Jindaiji

A hand holds up a stick of golden dango as a few passerbys slowly walk past a small street in Japan

Jindaiji Temple is an under-the-radar Buddhist temple in the west part of Tokyo that makes for the perfect half- or full-day trip. As one of the oldest temples in the area, the grounds and surrounding village area will transport you back to Edo-era Japan.

The village has a great variety of vendors and stalls where you can sample traditional Japanese treats or pick up a unique souvenir. The town is also known for its handmade soba, so be sure to try that for lunch.

In the spring, the nearby Nogawa River has a long promenade where you can see hundreds of blooming sakura trees.

Fuji-Q Highland

A rollercoaster in FujiQ

Fuji-Q Highland is a well-known amusement park in Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture. The Fuji-Q rides are not for the faint-of-heart: many hold records as the most extreme roller coasters in the world.

You can catch a direct bus to Fuji-Q from Shinjuku Station or Shibuya Station and spend the day screaming on thrilling rides and enjoying carnival treats.

The Yamanashi area is home to much more than this intense amusement park! You can easily spend a weekend exploring the stunning nature of Japan’s wine country. Read more in my ultimate weekend guide to Yamanashi.

Kawagoe

Kawagoe main street

While relatively well known amongst local Japanese people, Kawagoe is often overlooked as a day trip option by international visitors.

This historic town offers Edo Period architecture, a castle, and ancient shrines and temples. The main shopping street features excellent restaurants and boutiques carrying local Japanese goods.

Discover specific recommendations for your day trip to Kawagoe in my detailed guide.

Jogasaki Coast

Jogasaki Coast inlet seen through the leaves

Take a train for less than 1.5 hours out of Tokyo and you’ll find yourself hiking the dramatic landscape of the Jogasaki Coast. The trail hugs the coastline and offers sweeping views of the Pacific the entire time.

If you are looking for a (literal) breath of fresh air, the Jogasaki Coast on the Izu Peninsula is the perfect day trip from Tokyo. Find all the details to plan your trip here.

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