With so much to do in Tokyo, it may be hard to carve out a few days to see other parts of the country. For those who are able to find the time to do so, day trips to surrounding areas in Japan offer a rewarding experience sure to offer you a more well-rounded view of Japanese history and culture.
Once you fly into Tokyo, traveling to surrounding areas is as easy as jumping on a train. Extensive railway systems connect Japan’s four major islands making transportation in Japan seamless and reliable.
Here are a few ideas for a day trip from Tokyo.
Kamakura Offers a Spiritual Retreat
An hour south of Tokyo is Kamakura, a city known for its many shrines and temples. The most famous attraction is the Great Buddha at Kotokuin Temple. If you’re adventurous, enter the Great Buddha for an inside look at history. At Hokokuji Temple, you will find a bamboo garden with stalks that stretch into the sky. Be sure to say or write a prayer at the various shrines you’ll encounter along the way. At a special ceremony, your tablet is burned and your prayer released to the gods for granting.
Have Loads of Fun in Yokohama
One can hardly think of Japan without thinking of ramen, and you’ll be sorry if you miss a visit to the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum. More like an amusement park than a museum, you’ll enjoy learning about the history of ramen and sampling variations of this popular dish. Another amusement park you don’t want to pass up is Sea Paradise. Must-dos while here include walking through the aquarium tunnel and riding the roller coaster that goes over the ocean. Yokohama is one of the most popular destinations from Tokyo and you’ll find more than enough activities to keep you busy.
Nikko is A Natural Beauty
Your mouth will drop in awe at first sight of the Toshogu shrine and mausoleum. It’s Japan’s most extravagantly decorated shrine and the entrance to stunning Nikko National Park. Take a hike along the park’s various trails and experience one of the most beautiful natural locations in Japan. Nikko is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which means that it is designated as an area of high international and cultural importance. The two and a half hour ride from Tokyo is definitely worth it.
World Wonders are Found in Nara
If you have a thing for animals, you’ll be thrilled to visit Nara Park and see the Sika Deer walking about. Buy deer crackers to feed them and get an up-close view of these revered creatures. Next, visit Todai-ji Temple to get a look at the tallest wooden building in the world. It’s hard to believe this magnificent structure has burned down twice and the present structure is only two-thirds the size of the original. Inside you’ll find magnificent bronze statues of Buddha.
Tokyo is central to several exciting locations in Japan. Take a few days to explore this amazing city before jumping on a train to see what other surprises the country has to offer.
Photo by Kunal via Trover.com