Tokyo is a huge metropolis and full of amazing things to do. But, I know, sometimes we all need a break from the city life and chaos, and what better that go on a getaway and discover some new spots nearby?
In this post I’m going to tell you about 5 places you should visit. They are not so far from the Japanese capital and might be a good idea for a day-trip!
(Yokosuka Line - from Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station - about 1 hour)
Right on the Pacific Ocean, Kamakura is the ancient capital of Japan and very famous for the second biggest Buddha’s statue of Japan. The town is plenty of temples which worth a visit: the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (10-minute walk from JR Kamakura station) is the most visited temple in Kamakura and very popular at New Year’s Eve for the locals too. My suggestion goes also for the Zeniarai Benten (about 20-minute walk from JR Kamakura station), the temple of the water deity. It’s said that if you wash your money with the spring’s water you’ll find here, your money will multiple in folds. Also, Hase-dera (5-minute walk from Enoden Hase station) is a popular for its 11-headed wooden Kannon and from here you can enjoy a stunning view on the Pacific Ocean and Yuigahama Beach. Finally, I highly suggest to take a walk in the Bamboo Forest (a mini version of the Kyoto’s Arashiyama forest) of the Hokoku-ji (2-minute walk from Jomyo-ji Bus Stop). Here you can also take a break enjoying a cup of delicious matcha tea and a traditional Japanese sweet!
At the end of the day, I suggest you to move to Enoshima Island, which I’m going to tell you about in the next point.
(Enoshima Dentestu Line - from Kamakura Station - about 25 minutes)
If you want to spend some time surfing the waves of the Ocean or just sunbathing, you definitely go to Enoshima. From the Enoden Station, you walk a bit down the shopping path and reach the ocean shore. Then, at sunset time, I suggest you to cross the bridge to Enoshima, a mountainous island, to see the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen in Japan. The island is completely pedestrian, with stairs going up and down and some hidden temples here and there. The island is also famous for the numerous cats. You’ll have two options to see the sunset: one is from Enoshima Tower, hosting an acquarium and allows to have a 360° view on the bay from the top; the other one is the best, in my own opinion. You just have to cross the island and reach the opposite part. Here I swear you can enjoy a wonderful sunset and, if you’re luck, you can also see the Mount Fuji in the background!
(Saikyo Line - from Shinjuku Station - 1h
Fukutoshin Line -from any station on Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line - around 1h
Tobu-Tojo Line- From Ikebukuro Station -30 min)
Located in Saitama Prefecture, Kawagoe is the typical Japanese town of the Edo period. You should go there if you want to dive into the Japan of the past. What makes Kawagoe so special? The city center, undoubtedly. The wooden buildings host very interesting shops, selling mainly typical food, tsukemono (Japanese pickles) and sweets. The road of sweets is very famous indeed. If you end up here during cherry blossoms season, I suggest you to take part of a very romantic boat ride on Shingashi River, which is pinked up by the fallen petals of sakuras! However, hundreds of tourists may be there to take the cruise, so you are asked to queue and wait.
(Keihin-Tohoku Line - From Shinagawa or Tokyo Station - 45 min
Fukutoshin Line -from any station on Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line - about 1h)
Even if Yokohama is the second largest city of Japan, it is totally different from Tokyo. Everything is more relaxed year. Yokohama' Minato Mirai (JR Sakuragicho Station) is the best part: a long long pedestrian boulevard offers a fantastic view on the Sea, as well as an amusement park (with rollercoaster!), parks and shopping malls. Here there is also the Yokohama Landmark Tower, with the third fastest elevator in the world. If you are hungry, in Yokohama you'll have also a lot of choices! The city has one of the biggest China Towns of Japan, where to try a lot of original Chinese Dishes, as well as, the typical and famous Japanese Ramen. The Yokohama's Ramen Museum (not far from JR Shin-Yokohama station) is quite popular among tourists and you can discover the history of food and taste the varietis from all over the country. And, have you ever eaten the instant cup noodles? The Cup Noodle Museum (Minato Mirai station) is fun and you can even make your own customized cup noodle to bring at home!
(By Bus from Shinjuku Busta - about 2 h - Reservation Required)
Bored of skyscrapers, cars and concrete? Do you want to see the Mount Fuji? FujiKawaguchi-ko is one of the Mount Fuji's five lakes. It is very calm and you can relax yourself at the onsen, the Japanese hot springs, or taking a walk around the lake. I strongly suggest to catch the Kachi-Kachi cable car to reach the top of the mountain. From here you'll have a direct view on Mount Fuji, if you are lucky. Wll, we all know that Fuji-san is very shy sometimes!
After we meet at our bike location, we take off as a group to our first stop called "Yoshikien", a garden gathering 3 styles Japanese gardens in a unique location; a way to enjoy and rediscover the place at every season. Then, we stop by "Nandaimon gate" to admire the Buddhism style building and walk around the place, petting and feeding the deers.