When asked about mandatory destinations when visiting Japan, the city of Tokyo is the answer. In this metropolitan city, you can feel the harmonious blend of history, culture, and modernity.
You can walk through various magnificent historical temples, watch kabuki shows, watch sumo matches, enjoy futuristic architecture like in Odaiba, or hunt for the latest gadgets in Akihabara.
However, moving just a little outside of Tokyo, you can enjoy another side of Japan and get the sensation of traveling around Japan. No need to check out from your accommodation in Tokyo, because these ten tourist destinations can be done in a day. Anything?
- Tokyo Disney Resort
This is one of the most popular Disney Resorts in the world because it is considered different from the others. You can get here in just 15 minutes from Tokyo Station. Tokyo Disney Resort attractions consist of two thematic parks Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, Ikspiari Shopping Mall, and several resort hotels.
Tokyo Disneyland, which is more popular with children, has seven thematic rides with a magical atmosphere. Meanwhile, Tokyo Disneysea contains challenging rides that trigger adrenaline, so it is preferred by adult visitors.
Kawagoe is located in Saitama Prefecture which can be reached in just 30 minutes from central Tokyo by train. The former castle town was once inhabited by many merchants and to this day the atmosphere of the old town from the Edo period (1603-1867) has been preserved so that Kawagoe is nicknamed “Ko-Edo” or “Little Edo”.
The main street is lined with Kurakuzuri buildings or fire-resistant clay-walled warehouses. Part of Kurakuzuri has been converted into shops and restaurants. Some shops sell traditional handicrafts that can be used as unique gifts. There’s also Kashiya Yokocho, a street dedicated to traditional sweets shops.
The capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture is the second largest city in Japan after Tokyo. Just 30 minutes from Shibuya Station, you can arrive at this modern port city.
Some of the attractions that you can visit are the classic Japanese garden Sekien Garden, Yokokohama Chinatown which is the largest Chinatown in Japan, Yamashita Park to enjoy harbor views, and Minato Mirai which is the best location to enjoy city views at night.
- Mount Takao
For hiking enthusiasts, you can visit Mount Takao which is the closest natural recreation area to the center of Tokyo. In just 50 minutes from Shinjuku Station, you can arrive at a location that is perfect for enjoying the beauty of cherry blossoms in spring and the colorful leaves in autumn.
This 599-meter-high mountain has several hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty. If you want to save time, you can take a cable car or chairlift that takes you from the foot of Mount Takao to halfway to the top.
Along the way, you can meet some beautiful temples accompanied by magnificent statues. There is also an onsen and a museum about the ecology around Mount Takao.
Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, this coastal city is 1 hour from Tokyo. Kamakura is nicknamed the Kyoto of East Japan because it is home to many Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and historical monuments.
Some of the best attractions in Kamakura are the Kotoku-in shrine which is home to the Daibutsu, a 13-meter-tall giant bronze Buddha statue. There is also the Hasedera Shrine, the main attraction of which is a 9-meter-high wooden statue of the Goddess Kannon. Then there is Tsurugaoka Hachiman, the most important Shinto shrine in Kamakura.
In addition, there is also the Hokokuji Temple located in the middle of a thick bamboo forest where you can enjoy matcha and traditional sweets. For those who are adventurous, there are several hiking trails that you can choose to explore the various temples and nature of Kamakura.