5 easy must-do weekend trips from Tokyo

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Weekend trips from Tokyo

Tokyo is one of the most beautiful and impressive cities in the world, and you can easily spend many days visiting tourist attractions in this lovely place. However, there are also lots of very cool weekend trips from Tokyo that you might want to consider taking so that you can experience the area around the city as well. From hot springs to a weekend trip to places where Mount Fuji is very visible, there are lots of very nice locations close to Tokyo which can easily be accessed for a weekend adventure.

No matter which of these weekend trips from Tokyo you decide to take, you will want to lighten up your load of luggage before you head out. Let Bounce take care of your bags while you enjoy an express train ride, a visit to a world heritage site, or soothing hot springs. Adventures that include trips from Tokyo will be a lot more fun if you are not lugging around heavy bags with you all day long.

Many of the best weekend trips from Tokyo are easily reached by using train station access points. Your best bet is to use Tokyo Station or Tokyo's Shinjuku Station for your trips from Tokyo. You can also drive to most of the places around Japan that you want to see, but cars often add a layer of complexity to traveling in this part of the world that is not worth the trouble.

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Weekend getaways from Tokyo to Kamakura

Kamakura

Kamakura is one of the best weekend trips from Tokyo that you can take. Consider at least staying overnight when you visit so you can make the most of this area. This seaside town was the political heart of Japan during the medieval years of the Japanese Empire, and there are lovely historic sites to see as well as things like art galleries and historical exhibitions to enjoy. This is a top weekend getaway option if you love history. Some people plan overnight trips from Tokyo to this spot because of the nightlife scene and the fact that this coastal town is so close to Tokyo.

Kamakura distance from Tokyo

Head to Tokyo Station and take a short 50-minute ride to Kamakura. You can also drive, but it will take you about an hour.

Our activity recommendations

Make sure to see the Great Buddha of Kamakura as soon as you arrive. This huge statue is over 11 meters tall and is said to be the likeness of Amida Buddha. The Buddha is located in Kotokuin Temple, which is another lovely historic location to see when you are in the city.

One of the other reasons that people choose Kamakura from among the weekend trips from Tokyo is because this port city offers access to Shichirigahama Beach. You can't swim here, but you can sunbathe, and this lovely stretch of the coast is one of the most popular destinations for those who live in central Tokyo for this reason.

If you have the time, you should consider riding the Enoshima Electric Railway to Fujisawa along the coastline. This little train has been running since 1902, and the views of the water as well as the experience of riding this amazing piece of history, are very memorable.

Best season to visit Kamakura

If you love cherry blossoms, the best time to head here is March. Fall can also be a great time to visit so that you can enjoy the beauty of the fall colors all around you.

Hot springs weekend trips from Tokyo

Takaragawa Onsen Hot Spring Baths

There are hot springs all over Japan that you might want to take a weekend trip to. These tourist attractions are very relaxing, and you can easily justify this choice among the options for weekend trips from Tokyo. Taking a hot spring bath is very memorable, and some of these locations also offer you amazing views of Mount Fuji while you bathe.

Takaragawa Onsen Hot Springs distance from Tokyo

This hot springs location is about two hours from downtown Tokyo by train.

Our activity recommendations

This is one of the best weekend trips from Tokyo that you can take, and you will actually be spending time in the area of Minakami. The Takaragawa Onsen baths are actually a hotel as well as a hot springs location. You will probably choose to stay here, but you can easily head into the city to enjoy the nightlife and really delicious dining.

Lovers of history should visit Tobe House to learn about the Edo period in Japan and see the historical exhibitions about daily life on a farm during this period. This is one of the most thorough treatments of the topic in any of the museums around Japan, and the views from the house are beautiful as well.

Consider enjoying a tea ceremony at the hot spring as well during your stay. This is one of the loveliest and most authentic tea ceremonies offered in this area, and it can add a unique experience to your weekend trip.

Best season to visit Takaragawa Onsen Hot Spring Baths

The fall and the winter are the best seasons to visit the hot springs. Enjoying the warmth of the hot springs while the snow falls is one of the most incredible experiences that you can enjoy while you are visiting Japan.

Odawara Castle weekend trip from Tokyo

Odawara City

This charming city is very close to Tokyo, and it is a great place to see Edo-era buildings and enjoy really good food and drink. There are lots of walking tours in the area as well, and you will have access to lovely shopping markets and comfortable accommodations. This place feels like it was pulled right from a postcard scene, and its charm is a huge draw for those who choose to visit.

Odawara City distance from Tokyo

This lovely area is about an hour and a half from Tokyo by train. You will use Tokyo Station to get you out to this part of the area surrounding Tokyo proper.

Our activity recommendations

Head to Odawara Castle to see one of the most beautiful castle locations in Japan. You will only pay 500 yen to enter the castle, and they will allow you to wander around and get up close and personal with artifacts and various lovely exhibits inside the castle itself. There is even a ninja museum which is a huge hit with most tourists.

One of the other cool things to do in this area is Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. This is the most-visited national park in Japan, and you will love the hiking trails and included informational sites that are located within the park. This location actually includes access to Mount Fuji if you want to get closer to this well-known mountain.

Odawara Wanpaku Land is another huge hit with tourists, particularly those traveling with small kids. This lovely park area is quite extensive and offers play structures, walking trails, and beautiful views.

Best season to visit Odawara City

Early summer is the best time to head to Odawara City because of the Hojo Godai Matsuri annual festival that is held during this time. You will also have better weather to enjoy all the outdoor activities offered here if you make sure to visit when the weather is warm.

Weekend trips from Tokyo to Kawagoe

Kawagoe

Often called Little Edo, this former industrial town has been converted into a tourist town. You will want to head here if you love nightlife and you like to eat well. There are more than 200 warehouses in the main part of town here, nearly all of which have been converted into eateries, shopping locations, and other interesting sites. This lovely little village will welcome you with open arms, and you can spend a very fun weekend here with ease.

Kawagoe distance from Tokyo

Kawagoe is just an hour away from Tokyo by train.

Our activity recommendations

Kurazukuri Street is the famous warehouse district in this city that has been converted into shops and restaurants. This is right at the heart of the town, so you can easily wander through this area each day, finding new things to do. You will also head here for the nightlife opportunities that Little Edo has to offer.

Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is a beautiful spot that is known for its wind chimes and cherry blossoms. This lovely shrine is a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property and is the inspiration for the Reitaisai Festival. This celebration is said to be the inspiration for the Kawagoe Festival, which is very well-known.

The aforementioned Kawagoe Matsuri Kaikan is the museum that was created to commemorate and teach about the local festivals that are at the heart of Kawagoe's history. These are some of the most influential festivals in Japan, and you will be able to learn all about the history of Kawagoe as well as its culture as you wander through the museum. There are translated tours for you to access as well, so you will not miss out on any of the detail related to the explanations in the exhibit.

Best season to visit Kawagoe

Spring can be a bit busy here, but it is easily the best season to have fun in Kawagoe. This is when the weather is the best, and since you will probably be doing a lot of walking around here during your stay, you don't want to be treated to gloomy skies and rain all day long.

Osaka weekend trips from Tokyo

Osaka

This large port city is one of the most famous locations in Japan, and you can get to it easily if you have the funds to get a ticket on the bullet train. The train ride alone is worth choosing this location, and you will find that Osaka is very special as well. The street food and nightlife in Osaka are the main draws to the area, but there are lots of historic sites you can see as well.

Osaka distance from Tokyo

If you take the bullet train, you can get to Shin-Osaka Station in just over two hours.

Our activity recommendations

Osaka Castle is one of the most famous buildings in all of Japan, and it was central to the Azuchi-Momoyama period when the unification of Japan took place. The grounds of the castle are more famous than its interior, and the cherry blossom season is when they are at their best.

If you love Japanese culture, you will want to check out the Japanese puppet theater plays that are held near Osaka Castle. These are usually located in Minoo Park near the waterfall. These are charming exhibitions that teach about Japanese culture and fables.

Osaka Aquarium and Universal Studios are two other key draws to this area. You will have your pick of these kinds of mainstream attractions here in Osaka, and those traveling with kids will want to take advantage of these offerings.

Best season to visit Osaka

Osaka is the most enjoyable in the fall and the spring. The winters can be quite cold and the summers quite hot.

Best weekend trips from Tokyo

Conclusion

Visiting these amazing places that are close to Tokyo can help you to make really special memories that you would otherwise be missing out on. Japan as a whole is an incredible place to visit, and you will never regret diversifying your time in this gorgeous part of the world. If you only have three days in Tokyo, it's probably best to stick to the city itself. If you can squeeze in one or two day trips from Tokyo, you should go for it.

Planning the perfect weekend trip is easy with the help of this guide, and you will be able to make all kinds of special memories during your time in Japan. Planning a weekend getaway or a longer trip in this part of the world can be a piece of cake with the help of the right tips and tricks.

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