Is Japan one of the countries that you want to visit in the future? Or have you visited Japan before? Whatever your answer is, we can definitely say that recently Japan is one of the most popular countries for travelers from all around the world. Whether it’s unique themed cafes, beautiful gardens, modern markets, spectacular theme parks, or even traditional shrines and temples, you can find it all in Japan!
Although you can find many interesting places in Tokyo (we know 99,99% tourist will come to Tokyo, especially for first-time visitors!), there are also many tourist attractions outside of Tokyo, which are just as mesmerizing as the famous capital. Make sure to take 1 or 2 day trips from Tokyo to explore great neighbors, especially if you like to explore new places! We have some recommendations for the best day trips outside of Tokyo that can make you feel like you are “Dora the Explorer” 😂! These places are quite easy and affordable to reach from Tokyo, so you don’t have to spend too much time and energy travelling there. In just a couple of hours, you can experience somewhere completely different!
Yokohama is Japan's second largest city with a population of over three million which makes it not quite as bustling as Tokyo. Located only less than half an hour south of Tokyo by train, Yokohama has one of the world's largest Chinatowns. If you go to Yokohomana, we have listed three things that you should definitely do there:
- Shop and have a culinary trip in Chinatown
- Stroll around Yamashita park
- Visit The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
Kawagoe is probably the easiest day trip to visit from Tokyo. Only 30 minutes from Central Tokyo (Ikebukuro Station), this gem of a place is lined with quaint little storehouses called from the past Meiji era. Going here will surely make you feel as if you are transported back to the 1800s!
Kawagoe is actually a tiny place, so you can take your time and have a relaxing day in Kawagoe. Here’s our top 3 things to do in Kawagoe:
- Visit the symbolic bell tower named Toki-no-Kane
- Relax at Chisana-tabi Kawagoe Onsen
- Have a cup of coffee at Japanese traditional style Starbucks.
Only an hour and a half from Tokyo, Hakone can be accessed through the Hakone-Yumoto station via the Odakyu Line. You can see a great view of Mt. Fuji from Lake Ashi, making this a popular stop for both locals and tourists. Hakone is most famous for its hot springs galore, onsen eggs, mountains and teahouses. The 3 things that everyone must do in Hakone:
- Visit Amazake-chaya, a rustic little teahouse
- Visit Hakone Open Air Museum
- Eat black egg at Owakudani Valley
Echigoyuzawa in Niigata prefecture is famous for the beautiful ski resorts. In Winter, you can try skiing and going to an onsen. Although it’s better known for the Winter attractions, you can definitely still enjoy it in other seasons too! You can enjoy sightseeing Autumn leaves or go fishing in the river and you can even try Summer skiing on artificial grounds in this area. It takes about 75 minutes by Shinkansen from Tokyo to Echigoyuzawa. What to do in Echigoyuzawa:
- Go skiing and snowboarding (there are many ski resorts here, make sure you have booked it first)
- Sip more than 115 kinds of sake at Ponshukan Sake and Rice Museum
- Hike the Kiyotsu Gorge on a cool summer day for the beautiful nature of Echigo Yuzawa.
Kamakura, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, is well known as an ancient city for samurai. Although it’s only a small city, it has become a very popular tourist destination nowadays. Sometimes called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan, Kamakura offers numerous temples, shrines and other historical monuments which can both entertain and educate you about Japanese culture. If you visit Kamakura in Summer, you get a bonus of Kamakura’s beautiful sand beach! Take note that you will need 60-90 minutes to reach Kamakura from the center of Tokyo, plenty of time to rest while you’re on the way! Here’s what you must do in Kamakura:
- Visit The Great Buddha of Kamakura bronzed statue
- Tour around Kamakura's most important Shinto shrine, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
- Have a beach day at two Kamakura's two most popular beaches: Yuigahama and Zaimokuza
The recommendations listed above are for trips that takes less than 2 hour to reach. Also, Japan is well known to have a fabulous public transportation system so you can travel around easily with the train! There are still many other cities that you can visit, other than the lists above. We can say for sure that you need a lot of time to explore the beauty of Japan 💗!
Which trip that you want to try the most? Do you have suggestions what you want to know about Japan next in YumeTwins? Let us know in the comments below!
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