Every now and then, we all need to get out into nature.
A day excursion, especially for those who live in Tokyo, is a terrific method to reset our mood and refresh. Nature has a way of relaxing our brains, relieving our problems, and allowing us to enjoy the current moment. Here are some of Tokyo’s best calm day outings. Prepare for a relaxing ride.
10) Mount Tsukuba
Mount Tsukuba is accessible for hiking almost all year. Even for beginners, it’s a fantastic trekking experience. It’s known for its twin peaks and stunning panoramic vistas, and the surrounding area is lush with greenery. There’s a chance you’ll spot some wildlife. Mount Tsukuba, while not as well-known as Mount Fuji, is less crowded and closer to Tokyo.
Getting there: Take the Tsukuba Express from Akihabara Station to Tsukuba Station (approx. 45 minutes). Take the shuttle bus to Tsukuba Shrine from there (approx. 40 minutes). Get off at Tsukuba Shrine or Tsutsujigaoka bus station if taking the Mt. Tsukuba ropeway.
With a trip to Nagatoro in Saitama, you may go back to nature and explore a variety of outdoor sports. You’ll have little trouble filling your day with outdoor activities like paragliding, river cruises, and hiking. Starting your day with a river boat and ending it with a glimpse of the huge Chichibu mountains is one of the greatest ways to spend a day in Nagatoro.
Getting there: Take the JR Takasaki line from Ueno to Kumagaya Station, then change to the Chichibu line to Nagatoro Station (about 120 minutes).
Spend a day climbing up Nokogiriyama in Chiba if you’re feeling adventurous. Nihon Dera Temple, which can easily take a few hours to thoroughly visit, is home to Japan’s largest stone Buddha, a dramatic jagged overhang. Start your excursion by putting on your best hiking boots. After that, head to Nihon Dera Temple’s tea house to take in the scenery of the Japanese countryside while sipping some well-earned tea.
Getting there: Take the JR Sazanami Special Express from Tokyo Station to Kimitsu Station. Take the Uchibo line to Hama-Kanaya Station and get off. This journey takes approximately an hour and a half and costs $2870 one way.
Atami, a hot spring village less than 30 minutes from Ito, offers spectacular views of the Izu Peninsula shoreline. After you’ve had your fill of swimming, visit Atami Castle or the MOA Museum of Art to get your cultural fix. Ride the ropeway to the last stop and visit the Atami Adult Museum for something even more unusual (NSFW).
Getting there: From Tokyo Station, take the Odoriko or Superview Odoriko limited express train to Atami Station (90 minutes).
6) Kameiwa Cave
Consider a brief journey to Chiba’s Kameiwa Cave if you’re an early riser. Kameiwa Cave, which was originally built as an irrigation tunnel to water the adjacent rice fields, today draws visitors with its stunning cascading waterfall and brilliant seasonal colors. The water’s reflection makes a heart when the sun reaches the cave at just the right angle, earning it a National Geographic feature. The optimum time to visit the cave for that perfect Instagram image is between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. in the spring or fall.
Take the JR Kururi line to Kazusa-Kameyama Station to get there. The park is roughly a 30-minute walk or a taxi ride away.
Enoshima Island and its beautiful coastline are just a short distance from Kamakura. It also has one of Tokyo’s most easily accessible beaches. Walking along the coastline, or sampling the local specialty, shirasu, are all good ways to pass the time on the island. After all that exploration, soak your tired feet in the island’s natural hot springs or rejuvenate yourself at Enoshima Spa.
Getting there: Enoshima is accessible by rail in three ways: Taking the Enoden to Enoshima, the Odakyu line to Katase-Enoshima Station, or the Shonan Monorail to Shonan-Enoshima Station are all viable options.
Isn’t that a tattoo-friendly onsen? Ito, a Shizuoka hot spring town, is about two hours from Tokyo by train and offers a number of tattoo parlors. Check out Akazawa Onsen, which has baths with views of the sea. Ito also has lovely mountain views if you’re not too keen in going to the hot springs. You might even be able to glimpse Mount Fuji on clear days! They also have capybaras. What more could you possibly want?
Getting there: From Tokyo station, take the Odoriko or Superview Odoriko limited express train to Ito station (110 minutes). Take the Izu Kyuko Line from Ito Station to Izu Kogen Station, then take the bus to the seaside.
3) Mount Mitake
Mount Mitake is only a two-hour train ride from Tokyo’s central station. Besides Musashi Mitake Shrine, which sits atop the mountain, you’ll find waterfalls, strangely sculpted rock formations, and tranquil valleys to explore, all while listening to the sound of singing birds and running water.
Getting there: Take the Chuo line from Shinjuku Station to Ome Station, then change to the Ome Line to Mitake Station. From Mitake Station, walk or take Bus #10 to Takimoto Station, where you can trek or take the cable car up.
2) Mount Takao
Take a train to Tokyo’s western outskirts, and you’ll arrive at the foot of Mount Takao. It’s undoubtedly Tokyo’s go-to nature location for both tourists and locals. There are pathways for hikers of various abilities, as well as a ropeway for the less athletically inclined.
Yakuoin Temple, a monkey park, and an observation platform on the top of the mountain offer views of Mount Fuji. Make your way down to Keio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu, a hot spring near the station, for a well-deserved dip at the end of your journey.
Getting there: From Keio Shinjuku Station, take the Keio semi-limited express. The train’s final stop is Takaosanguchi Station, which is situated at the base of the mountain. The trip takes about 50 minutes and is the cheapest choice, costing $390 one way.
1) Todoroki Valley
Todoroki Valley in Setagaya is the place to go if you’re seeking for peace and quiet inside Tokyo’s 23 wards. With an easy one-kilometer walking track along the Yazawa River, you may stroll at your own leisure while taking in the lush foliage of the valley. Aside from the walking track, there are a few temples, two waterfalls, and a hidden teahouse with traditional delicacies to round out your day in this natural paradise.
Getting there: Todoroki Station on the Tokyu-Oimachi line is just a short walk from the valley. Take the Tokyu-Toyoko line to Jiyugaoka Station, then change to the Oimachi line.