Planning a day trip from Tokyo? Within just 1 or 2 hours by car or train, there are plenty of amazing spots to explore. Whether you’re looking for a romantic drive date or a fun family getaway, there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget about the stunning natural scenery that will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed !
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1. Hitachi Seaside Park / Ibaraki
Visit Hitachi Seaside Park and immerse yourself in the beauty of flowers all year round. Don’t miss the enchanting nemophila in spring and the vibrant kochia in autumn, covering the expansive Miharashi Hill. The sight of endless blue nemophila is like stepping into a fairy tale, while the changing colors of the thick kochia, deepening into red, create a stunning contrast against the crisp autumn sky.
- Travel time by car :Tokyo (Shinjuku): About 1 hour 45 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station : About 1 hour 30 minutes by train + about 20 minutes by bus
- price: Adults450 yen, Children (junior high school students and younger):
Free Please check the official website for details.
- business hours March 1st – July 20th: 09:30 – 17:00, July 21st – August 31st: 09:30 – 18:00, September 1st – October 31st: 09:30 – 17:00, November 1st to the end of February: 09:30-16:30, closed on Tuesdays
2. Kamogawa Sea World / Chiba
Imagine yourself at an incredible aquarium, with the vast Pacific Ocean stretching before you. The real star of the show here is the mighty killer whale, the true king of the sea. Prepare to be mesmerized by their thrilling performances, making a big splash that will leave you in awe. Don’t forget to watch the adorable sea lions with their amusing antics, the beluga whales, known as the “sea canaries,” and the exciting feeding time for the fish.
- Travel time by car : Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 1 hour 40 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station : About 1 hour 50 minutes by train + about 10 minutes by bus
- price: Adults 3,000 yen Children (elementary and junior high school students): 1,800 yen Infants (4 years old and over): 1,200 yen
- business hours 09:00-17:00, 09:00-16:30, 09:00-16:00, 08:00-17:00
*Business hours vary depending on the day. Please check the official website for details.
3. Ashikaga Flower Park / Tochigi
The star attraction is a 150-year-old wisteria trellis covering an area equivalent to 600 tatami mats. Additionally, there’s an impressive 80-meter tunnel made up of 23 white wisteria trees, recognized as a natural monument of Tochigi Prefecture. During the prime season from mid-April to early May, the wisteria trees are illuminated at night, casting a spellbinding ambiance. Furthermore, the winter illumination event known as “Hikari no Hana no Niwa” has received recognition as one of Japan’s top three illuminations.
- Travel time by car :Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 1 hour 20 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station: About 2 hours by train
- price: Adults 300 yen to 1,900 yen Children (4 years old to elementary school students): 100 yen to 900 yen
*Prices vary depending on how the flowers bloom. Please check the official website for details.
- business hours: Regular season: 09:00-18:00, Summer/Winter: 10:00-17:00, Fujinohana period: 08:00-20:30, Illumination period: 15:30-21:00 (on weekdays) 20:30)
4. Lake Ashinoko in Hakone / Kanagawa
When you visit Hakone, there’s a spot you absolutely can’t miss. From Lake Ashinoko, you’ll be treated to a magnificent view of Mount Fuji. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the lake itself, whether it’s indulging in a luxurious experience at a lakeside restaurant with a stunning lake view or taking a leisurely boat ride and letting the serene scenery wash over you. And don’t forget to make a stop at Hakone Shrine, a revered place known for bringing good luck. It’s a great opportunity to take a stroll and rejuvenate yourself amidst the positive energy of the area.
- Travel time by car : Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 1 hour and 40 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station: About 55 minutes by train + about 30 minutes by bus
5. Nagatoro Town/Saitama
Nagatoro is a popular tourist spot near the city center, offering a wide range of attractions to enjoy. You can partake in thrilling outdoor activities like rafting and line rafting amidst the stunning natural surroundings. Afterward, you can relax in the soothing hot springs or treat yourself to some exquisite shaved ice made from natural ice. One of the town’s special highlights is the Iwadatami, a unique rock formation surrounding the Arakawa River, which has been designated as a special natural monument. The uplifted crystalline schist creates a striking rocky landscape, and during the fall foliage season, the rocks take on a beautiful red hue, adding to the enchantment of the area.
- Travel time by car: Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 1 hour 35 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station: About 2 hours and 30 minutes by train
6. Mt. Nokogiri / Chiba
Situated on the border of Futtsu City and Kyonan Town in Chiba Prefecture, this mountain is a must-visit attraction in Uchibo. From the mountaintop observatory, if the weather is clear, you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Mount Fuji and the Miura Peninsula. To reach the summit area, you can take a ropeway that will whisk you there in about four minutes. Once at the observatory, a short walk will lead you to “Jigoku Nozoki,” a rocky ledge that juts out from the cliffside.
Don’t forget to check out the towering stone statue of Daibutsu, one of the tallest in Japan. It’s definitely a sight you won’t want to miss.
- Travel time by car: Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 1 hour and 20 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station: About 2 hours 25 minutes by train + about 10 minutes on foot
7. Kawagoe / Saitama
Kawagoe is a charming little town that has preserved the nostalgic atmosphere of an Edo-period castle town. As you stroll through the streets lined with traditional kurazukuri buildings, don’t miss the hidden side streets that lead you to Kashiya Yokocho (Penny candy lane). This quaint street is home to around 20 sweet shops, enveloping you in the delightful aroma of old-fashioned treats and offering a glimpse into the Showa era. While exploring, make sure to visit Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine, renowned for its matchmaking powers. It’s a must-see attraction located nearby, completing your visit to this enchanting town.
To Hikawa Shrine
- Travel time by car :Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 55 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station: About 45 minutes by train + about 10 minutes by bus
The only natural island in Tokyo Bay that can be reached in about 10 minutes by ferry from Mikasa Pier in Yokosuka. It was once used as a fortress by the Japanese army, so even today there are remains of ammunition depots and gun battery ruins, making it an adventurous place to visit. It is also attractive to enjoy various outdoor activities such as fishing, BBQ on the beach, and swimming in the sea.
- Transportation time by car: Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 1 hour 5 minutes + 10 minutes by boat
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station: About 1 hour 5 minutes by train + 10 minutes by boat
Kamakura is a city with many attractions, such as historical temples and shrines, Komachi Street where you can enjoy Kamakura gourmet, and the retro-looking Enoden (train) that has appeared in dramas, movies, and anime! While walking along Komachi Street heading for Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, you can fill your stomach or have lunch at a stylish restaurant. While enjoying the scenery from the train window, you can take the Enoden and take a leisurely stroll around Kamakura’s Great Buddha and Hase-dera, which is famous for its hydrangeas. It is a sightseeing spot where you can enjoy various ways.
To Komachi Street
- Travel time by car :Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 1 hour 10 minutes
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station : About 1 hour by train
10. Nikko Toshogu Shrine/Tochigi
It is a shrine where Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined, and is one of Japan’s leading power spots. The highlights are beautiful sculptures and gorgeous architecture. There are many animal sculptures, including the famous “three wise monkeys” from “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil”, “sleeping cat” and sparrows, so it’s fun to walk around looking for them. The “Yomeimon”, which was opened to the public after the major repairs in the Heisei period, is also a must-see!
- Travel time by car : Tokyo (Shinjuku): about 2 hours
- Train travel time from Tokyo Station: About 1 hour 45 minutes by train + about 10 minutes by bus