If you’ve had enough of the chaos and crowdedness in Tokyo and want to see some of its surrounding areas while avoiding other tourist traps like Kyoto and Osaka, the following 5 day trips from Tokyo will get you out of the city and into some more relaxing, picturesque, and authentic Japanese regions.
1. Mt. Fuji
Arguably one of Japan’s most iconic destinations, Mt. Fuji is located just about two hours southwest of Tokyo and is the nation’s tallest mountain.
Mt. Fuji attracts hikers from across the globe, and although this active volcano may seem like a challenging feat, it only takes the average person between 4-8 hours to complete. Not as bad as some may suspect!
Getting to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo
There are several ways to reach Mt. Fuji from Tokyo, with the most popular being bus or train.
There are highway buses that leave from Tokyo Station to Kawaguchiko Station and cost around $16 USD each way. You can book your reservation for a one-way ticket here, and purchase your return ticket here.
Another popular option to get to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo is by train. Travelers can take the JR Chuo Special Rapid Service to Mt. Fuji for around $22 USD each way. The train ride lasts around 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Insider Tip: If you want to climb Mt. Fuji, make sure to plan your trip to Japan at the beginning of July up until the end of August. The mountain’s climbing season is very short!
Just an hour south of Tokyo lies one of the most scenic day trips from the capital city — Hakone.
Part of Japan’s Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Hakone is known for its picturesque views of Mt. Fuji. If you don’t have enough time to make the more than two-hour trek to Mt. Fuji but still wish to catch a glimpse of Japan’s tallest mountain, then Hakone is a great alternative day trip.
For a unique activity in Hakone, be sure to make a pit stop at Amazake-chaya, a rustic little teahouse known for its warm, sweet, nutritional rice drink called amazake, paired perfectly with some homemade mochi, or sticky rice cakes.
Getting to Hakone from Tokyo
Getting to Hokane from Tokyo is made easy by taking the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station in central Tokyo.
For a more economical option, travelers can take the express train that transfers at Odawara Station, or ride on the limited express Romance Car for an extra $8 USD.
A seaside Japanese city just south of Tokyo, Kamakura was the political center of medieval Japan, which has since been converted into a modern-day resort town.
Kamakura’s most prominent landmark is indisputably the Great Buddha at Kotoku-in temple, a nearly 40-foot tall statue that survived a 15th-century tsunami and is a must-see when taking this day trip from Tokyo.
Besides Jotoku-in, Kamakura is overflowing with dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines, such as Engaku-ji, Zuisen-ji, and An’yo-in.
Getting to Kamakura from Tokyo
The KR Yokosuka Line connects Tokyo Station directly to Kamakura Station. The trip takes just under an hour and a one-way ticket costs around $8 USD.
The cheapest way of visiting Kurakama is by Odakyu’s Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass, which includes round-trip service from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo to Kamakura, along with unlimited usage of the Enoden train for a total of $13 USD. The Enoden train is a private railway in Japan, connecting Kamakura to Fujisawa, another noteworthy and charming town to visit when taking a day trip from Tokyo to Kamakura.
A stunning and quaint mountainous town, Nikko is an ideal day trip for those who want to venture outside of the urban sprawl of Tokyo without having to travel too far.
Nikko is situated less than two hours north of Tokyo and is part of the Nasu volcanic zone in the Tochigi Prefecture.
Nikko’s shrines and temples are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Toshogu being Nikko’s most iconic landmark. Toshogu is a famed Shinto shrine constructed in 1617 as a memorial for Tokugawa leyasu, the founding ruler of Japan’s Edo period.
Getting to Nikko from Tokyo
There are several ways to reach Nikko from Tokyo, but the fastest and most efficient is by taking either the Yamagata Shinkansen or the Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station.
After arriving at Utsonomiya Station, transfer to the Nikko Line (orange) and get off at Imaichi Station.
5. Kusatsu Onsen
If you’re looking for a relaxing day filled with plenty of pampering, take the less than four hour train ride from Tokyo north to Kusatsu Onsen.
Kusatsu Onsen is a hot spring resort located in the Gunma Prefecture, a popular tourist destination and day trip from Tokyo. It is one of the three most popular Onsens (hot springs) in Japan. Its 13 public baths are free for both locals and tourists and are managed by the townspeople themselves.
Getting to Kusatsu Onsen from Tokyo
There are two trains that will take you from Tokyo to Kusatsu Onsen, including the JR Limited Express and the Shinkansen.
The JR Limited Express leaves from Ueno Station, takes about three hours, and costs $53 USD for a one-way fare; the Shinkansen bullet train leaves from Tokyo Station, takes roughly two hours, and costs $72 USD for a one-way fare.
The Expressway bus is the most affordable option, leaving from Shinjuku Nishiguchi Bus Terminal for approximately $30 USD each way, though with a longer travel time of around four hours.
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo for a day or two, we hope we’ve given you some tantalizing possibilities! If you’re interested in more articles about Tokyo travel, check out Traveling To Tokyo, Japan: What To Know Before You Go and 10 Great Things To Do Outdoors In (And Around) Japan.