[2018 Edition] Things to Do in the Hot Spring Resort of Atami on a Day Trip from Tokyo
Thanks to its efficient public transport system, planning a day trip in Japan can be quite easy, even at the last minute. If you're in Tokyo, looking to get out of the busy city for a day, why not try Atami? Atami is famous for its onsen (hot springs), but it also has sandy beaches, green hills, and lots of fun things to do! Read on for some ideas of things to do in Atami on a day trip from Tokyo.
Oct 06 2018 (Sep 09 2020)
How to Get to Atami from Tokyo
Atami Station is less than 50 minutes away by shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station. If you want to save money, you could get the JR Tokaido Main Line, which will take just under 2 hours.
One way to save a buck is to make use of the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, which grants you unlimited rides on JR East trains for three days. Visit the JR East website for prices, sales locations, and other details.
Feeling a bit confused about the numerous railway companies and countless train lines of Japan? Make sure to check out these articles for a smooth journey!
Get Active in the Morning
Hopefully, you'll be visiting Atami on a nice and sunny day. Instead of sticking to indoor activities, why not do something more active? Here's a couple of amazing options!
Enjoy the Sun, Sand, and Sea at Atami Sun Beach
Sun Beach is a popular spot in the summer for swimming, but it's also a great place to visit at other times of the year. Enjoy the sea breeze and the sounds of the ocean as you take a leisurely stroll along the beach.
If you are lucky enough to be there at daybreak, you can witness a breathtaking view of the sun rising above the horizon!
By the way, firework displays are held at Atami throughout the year, not just in the summer. There are over 10 firework events held annually that can be seen from the Sun Beach. Check the Visit Atami website (linked below) to see if there's one on while you're there!
Want to know more about Japanese firework festivals? Check out the article below!
History Meets Illusions at Atami Castle and Trick Art Museum
Looking at the picture above, you might imagine that the castle has been standing for several centuries, enduring battles, political unrest, and natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons.
Well, you'd be wrong. The castle was actually built in 1959 as a tourist attraction!
Aside from exhibitions on real castles and ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), the castle also houses a foot bath, a game floor with arcade machines, and much more!
However, Atami Castle is probably best known for the panoramic views from its observatory floor. The glorious views of the ocean and mountains are even better on a sunny day!
Make your way down to the castle's basement to the Atami Trick Art Museum for some fun photo ops! Good times guaranteed for the entire family!
Fly Above the World with the Atami-touge Paraglider
Thrill-seekers, pay attention! Izu Peninsula is known for paragliding, and as the doorway to Izu, Atami attracts paragliders from all over Japan.
At Atami-touge Paraglider, you can experience tandem paragliding, even if you have zero experience. With an English online reservation system and English-speaking staff, you don't need to know any Japanese to enjoy this unique experience!
Floating above the rolling green hills and breathing in the fresh, chill air is the ultimate way to enjoy yourself on a day trip away from the bustling city of Tokyo!
For a list of other must-try activities in Japan, check out the article below!
Satisfy Your Hunger! It's Time for Lunch!
You're going to get hungry after all the fun and excitement, especially if you've opted to do a bit of paragliding. Atami has some great spots for lunch, and since it's located right on the coast, it is especially known for seafood.
This time, we'll be covering some great eats from two popular food spots: Nakamise Shopping Street (Nakamise Shotengai) and Heiwa-dori Shopping Street (Heiwa-dori Shotengai), both located right in front of Atami Station. You can easily walk around while sampling various offerings!
Maruten on Heiwa-dori Shopping Street has a vast array of isobe-age (deep-fried fish paste cakes), including squid, octopus, and cheese flavors. The photograph above shows their Sakura Shrimp Isobe-age.
You can find the above Atami Pudding just off Nakamise Shopping Street. They come in various flavors, in retro-looking jars!
One thing you have to eat while in Atami is onsen manju (steamed dumplings with a sweet bean paste filling). There are many shops selling them, so why not buy a few different ones and compare them?
If you're not up for too much walking, there are many restaurants on both streets. Since you're in Atami, why not try something with plenty of seafood, like the gorgeous seafood bowl in the above photograph?
Soak Away the Afternoon in an Onsen
When you've had your fill of the delicious food that Atami has to offer, it's time to soak in an onsen. Atami has been known as a hot spring resort since as early as the 8th century, so there are plenty of establishments to try.
Enjoy a Bath with a View at Hotel Micuras
Hotel Micuras is a resort hotel overlooking Sagami Bay. There are both indoor and open-air baths for men and women. The open-air baths offer a panoramic view of the ocean.
The hotel also has a spa, offering massages, facial treatments, and more, so why not pamper yourself a little?
If you decide to stay the night in Hotel Micuras, make sure to catch the sunrise from the open-air bath in the morning! They really know how to make bath time special in Japan!
Give Your Feet Luxury Treatment for Free at Ieyasu no Yu
Located in front of Atami Station, this is a foot bath that anyone can use for free. If you don't have the time to go to an onsen, make sure to at least soak your feet before catching your train!
The water used for the footbath is natural hot spring water. The water is drained everyday at 4:00 PM, and the bath is cleaned, so you can rest assured that it is hygienic. They have a vending machine with towels (100 yen each), so you can enjoy it even if you didn't plan ahead.
They even put yuzu (a type of Japanese citrus fruit) in the bath on winter solstice, a Japanese tradition that's been practiced since the Edo period (1603 - 1868).
Have a Whale of a Time at Marine Spa Atami
If you want to try an onsen, but you don't want to strip off in front of strangers, Marine Spa Atami has a solution! Swimwear has to be worn in their mixed-gender onsen, where you can experience 12 different types of baths.
If you tire of their hot springs, just head over to their impressive selection of swimming pools! You'll find a lazy river, 25m long pool, a children's pool, and even a 73m long water slide!
Their 2nd floor public baths with an ocean view offer a chance to relax. These baths are separated by gender, and swimwear cannot be worn in them. Perfect for anyone that wants to experience a more authentic style of hot spring.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with hot spring etiquette before you go. Here is a handy guide that summarizes the main points!
As you can see, Atami is more than just a hot spring resort. Whether you try out a couple of the activities listed here or move on to something more adventurous, we hope that this article has helped you plan a day trip from Tokyo!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.