Ideas for a Day Trip from Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan is one of the largest and most fascinating cities in the world, with a bizarre, futuristic, and unique culture and everything from modern technology to ancient temples to explore. You could spend a lifetime in this great city and still not have seen everything there is to see in this fast-paced metropolis. However, a trip to Tokyo is also a great opportunity to take a trip out of the city and experience a different part of Japan. As a major transportation hub, this city is a great base for taking many Tokyo day trips out into the surrounding region of Kanto. There are many popular destinations which are only a short distance away but offer you a completely different experience. Here are some suggestions for great day trips that you can take from Tokyo.

Top 3 Tokyo Day Trips  Destinations

Tokyo street view. Tokyo Day Trips.
Tokyo street view. Photo via Pixabay


This small town is located to the north of Tokyo, in the Tochigi Prefecture. The last wish of the dying Shogun Tokugawa in 1616 was to have a shrine in Nikko built for him. The shine which was built is not the Mausoleums of the Tokugawa Shoguns, which are an officially designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. These temples and shrines are unique within Japan, as they are much more gaudy and ornate than the traditional Japanese style.

Nikko temple. Tokyo day trips
Nikko temple. Flickr: Albert / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Nikko is also home to the famous carving of the “three wise monkeys”, which are well known as “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The many temples in Nikko offer several other impressive carvings which are worth seeing, and the surrounding Nikko National Park is also a beautiful natural area for hiking. If all the hiking and temple viewing makes you thirsty, stop into the Nikko Brewery for a refreshing sample of locally made Nikko Beer.

Nikko National Park. Tokyo day trips
Nikko National Park. Flickr: Steve Simmonds / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


This city, located just outside of Tokyo, is home to the only medieval castle in the greater Tokyo area. It can be easily reached from downtown Tokyo which makes it one of the greatest Tokyo day trips destinations, and the beautiful 1447 castle is a sight worth seeing. It is constructed in the Hirayama style and was a very important line of defense during the Kamakura period for the Doi clan. There is a museum display of ancient weapons and tools within the castle, and an excellent view from the tower. If you visit during the springtime, the cherry blossoms give the scene a magical storybook atmosphere.

Odawara Castle. Tokyo day trips
Odawara Castle. Flickr: Agustin Rafael Reyes / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Izu Islands

Are you getting overwhelmed by the big city bustle of Tokyo? Why not escape to this beautiful chain of volcanic islands south of Tokyo? You can get there on a ferry from Takeshiba Terminal or on a helicopter commuter flight offered by Toho Air. Each of these peaceful islands has their own unique character, and they are all incredibly scenic in their own way. While you are here you can enjoy your choice of watersports such as scuba diving, surfing, fishing, swimming and more.

Traditional Izu architecture. Tokyo day trips
Traditional Izu architecture. Flickr: Ippei & Janine Naoi / CC BY-NC 2.0

These are just a few of the other regions of Japan that you can explore on Tokyo day trips.

About Kelly Dunning


A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word. She and her English boyfriend Lee run, packed full with travel guides, stories and inspiration for those who dream of travel. They have been location independent and travelling the world digital-nomad style for the last three years, with no address, no car and no fixed schedule.

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One Response

  1. Things to Do for an Authentic Japan Experience - Holiday Japan - Go4Travel Blog

    […] There is a magnitude of history, heritage and culture to emerge yourself in, not to mention some unique experiences you don’t want to miss! Tokyo is a must, of course, but there’s so much to see beyond the city. […]


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