10 Best Day Trip Destinations from Tokyo
Adding one or a few day trips to outside Tokyo to your travel itinerary, definitely adds variety to your Tokyo travel. Today I’d like to explain what kind of destinations are possible for a day trip from Tokyo, and easily accessible for international visitors, with information of how long it takes to get to those destinations and the cost of the trip.
I also talk about what kind of train ticket you can get.
You can also watch this contents on my Youtube channel. 10 Best Day Trip Destinations from Tokyo
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Let’s start from destinations that is closer to Tokyo, first one is Kamakura.
Kamakura is a town in the west of Tokyo, by the Pacific ocean. The town once used to be a capital of Japan around the 13th century, it has a variety of Temples such as Meigetsuin, Kenchoji, and the great buddha.
For people in Tokyo, Kamakura is also a destination for the beach. Even during the winter, you see the coast line of the Pacific Ocean and Mt.Fuji on sunny day.
It’s a great break from busy Tokyo, and it’s a good place to visit especially if you are not visiting Kyoto or Nara in your itinerary.
🚃Access: You can access there by regular JR lines, and there are direct trains
⏰Time: It takes about 1 hour from Tokyo Station, or Shinjuku Station.
💲Cost: 940Yen (Tokyo-Kamakura) 1880 Yen (round trip from Tokyo to Kamakura)
Kawagoe is a suburb town in the north west of Tokyo. The town remains an historical commercial street called Ichibangai, that keeps old period buildings.
You can enjoy the scenery of the old town, and eat local sweets.
Seibu Shinjuku – Hon-Kawagoe 1010 Yen for limited express, including fare. This is the most convenient way as the train goes into the heart of the town, but runs less frequently.
Tobu Tojo line from Ikebukuro 480 Yen and runs more frequently.
💲Cost: 2020 Yen (Seibu Shinjuku – Hon-kawagoe round trip by Koedo)
Mt.Takao is a mountain in the west of Tokyo city center. The mountain has Yakkoin Temple / Shrine on the mountain that enshrine Tengu, that you can see the religious site. Mt.Takao is more known as a day hike destination that you can enjoy the light walk and head to the peak of the mountain. The mountain is only 599 meters high, so it’s not that high, and you can access there by cable car and lift chairs. * You still need lots of walk above the mountain.
🚃Access: Keio Line (private railway) Shinjuku to Takao Sanguchi
💲Cost: 390 Yen (Shinjuku – Takao sanguchi) , 780 Yen
If you are not really into nature or tradition, but still want to make some day trips, you have a choice of going to outlet malls. The popular outllet malls are Gotenba near Mt.Fuji, and Kisarazu across the Tokyo Bay.
4. GOTEMBA Premium Outlet
Gotemba Outlet has 290 shops, and the largest outlet mall in Japan.
You can enjoy the view of Mt.Fuji as you shop.
There is a highway bus from Tokyo to the mall directly, and it take 95 minutes from Shinjuku, and the cost is 3300 yen round trip.
🚃Access: Direct highway bus or Odakyu’s limited express to Gotenba station.
⏰Time: 95 min. From Shinjuku Station.
💲Cost: 3300 Yen round trip from by highway bus from Shinjuku.
5. KISARAZU Mitsui Outlet
Kisarazu Mitsui Outlet Mall is located on the other side of Tokyo bay Aqualine, which goes across
the Tokyo bay. You can access there by highway bus directly, and it takes 54 minutes from Shinjuku West Exit, and the cost is 3000 Yen round trip.
🚃Access: Direct highway bus from Shinjuku WEST Exit.
⏰Time: 55 min. From Shinjuku Station. So the bus riding time is short for this one.
💲Cost: 3000 Yen round trip from by highway bus from Shinjuku.
From here is a popular tourist destination that can be either one night or day trip.
Hakone is a hot springs town located in the west of Tokyo. Hakone is a good place to enjoy the different scenery of volcano, lake Ashinoko, and of course, you can enjoy hot-springs experience. Hakone is attractive because of the seamless tourists route with Hakone mountain railway, cable car, ropeway, and ferry are all connected, so you can travel easily without using car or bus.
Hakone is probably the most popular tourist destination as a one night trip, but you can also do a day trip. If you like to experience Japanese style Ryokan, staying there one night would be better. But there are some hot-springs spa and hotels that are open for day trip users.
Some visitors think Hakone is a place to see Mt.Fuji, but since Hakone is surrounded by caldera mountains, you cannot see Mt.Fuji from most of Hakone. If you like hiking, you can go up to Mt.Kintoki for the amazing view of Mt.Fuji.
🚃Access: The most common tourist route to Hakone is Odakyu’s Romance car from Shinjuku. In case you use JR pass, you can take Shinkansen to Odawara station, and take Hakone mountain railway.
⏰Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes or so from Shinjuku to Hakone-Yumoto station by Romance Car.
Hakone-Yumoto to Togendai (where the ferry on Lake Ashinoko is ) takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes total by mountain railway, cable car, and ropeway.
💲Cost: From Shinjuku 6,100 Yen, From Odawara 5000 Yen (for 2 days. 3 days pass also available)
If you like to see Mt.Fuji, Kawaguchiko is another popular destination.
Kawaguchiko is one of the 5 Lakes of Mt.Fuji, and the most accessible tourism destination around Mt.Fuji.
The main objective of going to Kawaguchiko is seeing the beautiful shape of Mt.Fuji, and it’s also has a theme park called Fujikyu highland.
You can visit the several spots to see Mt.Fuji, such as the mountain by the lake, Chureito, and Oshino Hakkai where you can see beautiful stream from Mt.Fuji.
Entry to Fujikyu highland is free, so you can just walk around and also visit day spa called Fujiyama onsen in the park. Mt Fuji is only open in the summer to climb up, but to see from far away, late fall to springs is recommended because Mt.Fuji has snow
And it more look like the image you have about Mt.Fuji. If you like to see there in early morning, you can also stay at hotels in the area.
🚃Access: There are several different way to access Kawaguchiko. There are frequent bus service from Shinjuku for under 2000 yen one way.
You can also take JR Chuo line and Fujikyu railway. JR also has limited express called Fuji Excursion, and it cost 4130 yen one way. So it’s more expensive than the bus and takes a little longer than the bus, but the bus can get in traffic especially coming back to Tokyo.
The part of the line is a private railway, so in case you use JR pass, you need 1740 yen oneway in addition. If you have Tokyo Wide Pass, it’s free.
⏰Time: 1 hour 45 min. (BUS) 1 hour and 55 min. （富士回遊）
💲Cost: 3700 Yen round trip (BUS) 8260 Yen round trip (JR) Local train 5020 Yen, 3 hours
Nikko is located in the north of Tokyo.
Nikko has the world heritage Toshogu shrine, and nature scenes such as Kegon falls and Lake Chuzenji.
It also has hot-springs by Yunoko lake.
🚃Access: Tobu limited express OR JR pass is via Utsunomiya.
⏰Time: 2 hours one way
💲Cost: 4780 Yen for Nikko Pass, and 3000 Yen for limited express. So minimum cost is around 8000 Yen. In case you do other day trips in consecutive days, there are way to save more which I explain later in this video.
It takes 2 hours from Tokyo, and you need to use bus at the destination, so it’s not the easiest place to visit for a day trip. For more details, please also check my video of my trip to Nikko .
These are the popular place from Tokyo but if you use Shinkansen, you can access to many destination quickly, that makes it possible to do a day trip to the much further destinations. Especially if you carry a valid JR Pass, you can visit many places without additional cost.
9. Yuzawa and Gala Yuzawa
In winter, Echigo Yuzawa is a recommended day trip destination. It is located in Niigata Prefecture, separated from Tokyo by high mountains. As you soon as you go across the tunnel, you’ll be surprised Tokyo side was sunny, but the other side of tunnel can be heavy snow.
If you want to experience Skiing or Snowboarding, there is a Shinkansen station only opens in winter, called Gala Yuzawa. The station is connected directly to the ski park, and you can take the ropeway from the Shinkansen station. So you can go directly to the ski park fro Tokyo Station.
In Summer, it might be nice to visit Karuizawa, located in the highland of Nagano. The town has developed as summer escape destination, and you can enjoy biking in the beautiful forest.
It’s easily accessible from Shinkansen station too.
JR Tokyo Wide Pass is Good for Day Trips
The pass outline: Price is 10,180Yen for 3 days. You can get on any JR trains and private lines that JR trains run. (eg. Fujikyu’s Fuji Excursion, Tobu Spacia from Shinjuku, Izu Kyuko for Odoriko)
To do the long distance day trip, I recommend this JR Tokyo Wide Pass which only non-Japanese passport holders can purchase. It’s 10180 Yen, and you can get on any limited express train and Shinkansen (not all) of JR East. The great part of this pass is, you can get on some private railways that is connected with JR. For example, Fuji Excursion cost is more than 4000 yen for one way, and JR Pass users need additional 1740 yen, but it’s free if you have JR Tokyo Wide Pass.
Also, Nikko is on Tobu private railway, but they have only one direct limited express from JR Shinjuku station, and you can get on that without any additional cost too. But it’s not usable for JR tokai train. So if you do 3 day trip to Nikko (8160yen) and Kawaguchiko (8260 yen) , Gala Yuzawa (14040 Yen), if I try to do the same route i need to pay 30460 Yen, but you can go for 10180 Yen.
There are so many more destinations, but those were the spots I recommend. For Any destinations, I recommend you check timetable before you visit, and leave Tokyo as early as possible if you are doing a day trip.
I’ve been made actual trip footage for Kamakura, Nikko, Mt.Takao already on YouTube, and I’m covering some other destinations in coming months.
I hope you find your favorite destinations. Thank you for reading. Have a great week!