Tokyo is an attractive city as there are so many people who want to visit. There is lots to do and lots to see. However, if you have at least 1 or 2 days of spare time, you might explore somewhere else. Here are my suggestions for 8 destinations that are near Tokyo. If you check one of them out, you might be able to have special experiences which you could never have in Tokyo.
It takes less than 30 minutes from the center of Tokyo to get to Yokohama, so you should try to visit the city even if you don’t have a full day to spare. Yokohama is one of the best destinations for shopping and food lovers as there are so many restaurants and shops. There are also many places to go and sightsee, like the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse (Akarenga), Cosmo Clock 21 (a giant ferris wheel) and Yokohama Chinatown.Photo by fjt0318/Flickr
If you really like Japanese ramen, you should also try and visit the Ramen Museum in Shin-Yokohama. Here, you can enjoy a wide variety of ramen all in one place!Photo by knhiraoka/Flickr
It takes about 60 to 90 minutes from the center of Tokyo to reach Kamakura. Kamakura is a city in Kanagawa Prefecture well known as an ancient city for samurai. There are so many shrines and temples which are closely connected with the first samurai government in this area. If you visit Kamakura after visting the stylish and modern Tokyo, you can really feel the dramatic change of atmosphere in this historical city.
3. Nikko, Kinugawa area
Nikko is a city famous for the Nikko Toshogu (designated as a national treasure) which was built in the early 17th century (1617) for Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan). In Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, there are many shrines and temples, some of which are registered as World Heritage sites.
There is lots to see in this area, such as the Kegon Waterfall (one of the best waterfalls in Japan), Kinugawa Onsen (a historical onsen resort) and the Nikko Edo Wonderland, an Edo era (1603-1868) themed amusement park.Photo by *_* on Flickr
There are many options for taking part in tours to the Nikko and Kinugawa area from Tokyo. You can choose one day or two day trips, as well as tours by bus or train.
Hakone is approximately 2 hours away from Tokyo area by train. Hakone is famous for its hot springs (Hakone onsen), huge pond (Ashino Ko) and great view of Mount Fuji. There are many Japanese-style inns in this area and you can try onsen and traditional Japanese food along with a good night’s rest. As there are a variety of tours by bus and trains from Tokyo to Hakone, it would be very convenient for you to visit this area. If you would like to try a Japanese style hot spring, this place should be one of your choices!
5. Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and is also very well known for its beautiful shape. From Tokyo, there are many different kinds of tours to Mount Fuji. You can choose tours by bus, train, even Shinkansen (bullet train). For some of the tours, you can go up to 5th uphill station of Mount Fuji by bus. If you really want to climb Mount Fuji, please visit Japan in the summer time. You can enjoy climbing Mount Fuji with tour guides. It will be an unforgettable experience.
Karuizawa is a very popular destination as a summer resort in Japan. Karuizawa is in Nagano prefecture and it takes less than 1.5 hours from Tokyo. Shiraito waterfall, Sengadaki waterfall, Kumoba-Ike (called Swan Lake)…in Karuizawa, there are so many beautiful places to see and you can relax in its beautiful landscape. If you have plenty of time, you can stay at a Japanese style inn and enjoy the onsen too.
Izu Peninsula is very famous for onsen, in Atami city, Shimoda city, Ito city and so on. There are 1 day or 2 days tours from Tokyo to the Izu onsen area. As Izu Peninsula is surrounded by the sea, you can enjoy fresh fish at an onsen resort through the year. There are nice beaches, like Shirahama beach in the Izu area and this is a good place for a summer destination too.Photo by Nullumayulife on Flickr
Echigoyuzawa in Niigata prefecture is well known for ski resorts. In winter, you can try skiing and onsen in Echigoyuzawa. However this place is not only for winter experiences. As it has so many scenic places, it is good for enjoying autumn leaves or 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.Photo by * YUKO_M on Flickr