With next Monday and Tuesday being national holidays (Respect for the Aged Day and the Autumnal Equinox Day, respectively), we’re looking at a four-day-long weekend with a (hopefully) cooler weather and a few extra opportunities to leave the house and take a well-deserved break. That’s right, the “Silver Week” is just around the corner and it’s time to get properly ready for it. For those looking to take this opportunity to get out of the city, all while maintaining social distance, of course, here are a few suggestions for the perfect day trips from Tokyo that’ll leave you refreshed and re-energized!
Technically speaking, you won’t be leaving Tokyo by heading to Okutama, but you’ll be leaving the “city” for sure. If what you’re looking for is an escape to the outdoors, Okutama will most definitely do the trick. You might want to do some glamping for a day or just make your way through the many hiking trails for a bit of forest healing.
This Tochigi Prefecture city is only an hour away from downtown Tokyo, but you’re looking to get in on some delicious food (namely gyoza) and a little bit of culture, it can be a great destination for those interested in going a tad more local. Utsunomiya also has an interesting history with many sightseeing spots to hit while you’re there.
This is the only entire prefecture we’ve included on this list, but it’s because it’s really the only way to explore Chiba: whole-heartedly. Whether it’s exploring Narita (no, not the airport) or riding along the Kominato Railway, it’s the closest and easiest way for Tokyoites to experience the Japanese countryside. Rental car recommended! For more Chiba inspiration, read this travel guide.
A stone’s throw from Tokyo, Kawagoe, in neighboring Saitama Prefecture, is an easy destination to add to your list. It’s easily accessible by train or car and there’s plenty to do when spending a day there. Of course, you can’t miss walking down its famous Edo Street. It truly feels like a leap back in time, full of shops selling traditional Japanese food and crafts. Even if the old architecture isn’t your thing, there are a handful of beautiful coffee shops to check out in the neighborhood. Overall, it’s just a really great destination for when you just want to wander.
Provided you don’t already live in Yokohama, the port city can be a great simple day trip for those living more downtown or inland. Whether it’s wandering around the dozens of shopping malls or down the main street of Chinatown, Yokohama is full of good eateries. Perfect if you want to go for a long, long walk, the area always takes a magical turn in the evening. Quite a romantic sight, if you ask us.
You’ve been many times already, we’re sure. But there’s always something new to see in southern Kanagawa. Whether you’re looking to squeeze in a beach day into your holiday week or simply want to revisit a place that’s loved by many, you can’t go wrong with Kamakura. Even if you aren’t doing the traditional rounds of Daibutsu, bamboo forest and shrines, you can enjoy everything the city itself has to offer, from cool coffee shops to delicious restaurants serving dishes with local produce. If you’re going near the water, Enoshima also has a modest aquarium or you can set off to climb to the top of the island for a bit of cardio with some magnificent views as a reward.
Yokosuka, located on the Miura Peninsula, is famous for its Japanese and American naval bases, which makes this port town especially interesting to visit, with historical museums, including the Mikasa Historic Memorial Warship for those interesting in modern Japanese history. Yokosuka also has a trendy shopping center for those in the mood to spend a little money on next season’s trends in the latest city developments.
Especially easy to access for people living in Yokohama, Odawara offers a more rural approach to the port life. With a castle that doesn’t cease to impress and cultural activities for every family member, this town is a relatively no-fuss option for those traveling in groups or parties that want to avoid a lot of train time. See our complete day trip guide to Odawara here.
Hakone has always been a popular choice for both holidays and day tripping. From hiking to onsen hopping, there’s a little bit of everything for those who might simply be looking to bring out their inner tourist for a couple of hours. See our full guide to spending a day in Hakone here, travel information included!
10. Izu Peninsula
Those looking to go a bit further than Tokyo’s immediate surroundings should head beyond Kanagawa to the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture. This coastal region is rich in beaches, hot springs and warm-weather activities, making it the ideal destination for a weekend getaway. But with only 50 minutes of travel time in shinkansen to Atami, it’s perfectly reasonable to cut your day there to a single day.
Looking for a mountain to climb? Check out our guide to the best hikes near Tokyo.
Feature image by Pasu Ratprasert / Shutterstock.com