Tokyo, as Japan’s bustling metropolis, boasts an abundance of attractions. However, to truly soak up Japan’s beauty, tradition, and culture, overnight and weekend trips from Tokyo are a MUST! Fortunately, destinations near Tokyo are just two to four hours away, promising less exhausting yet incredibly enjoyable adventures! Here are the Top 12 getaways around Japan from Tokyo that you can explore.

One of the best ways to explore Tokyo is to visit the local areas and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you want to explore local areas, we have created scavenger hunt adventures personalised to your interests, and filled with fun facts, clues, and puzzles. If you’re curious, you can check out the games on the link below!

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Overnight and Weekend Trips from Tokyo

1. Shosenkyo Valley

Overnight and Weekend Trips from Tokyo: Shosenkyo Valley

Just beyond Kofu City lies the stunning Shosenkyo Valley, a gorge brimming with natural beauty. Following the Arakawa River, this gorge has sculpted incredible rock formations. To reach the star attraction, Sengataki Waterfall, you’ve got two options: catch a bus from Kofu or opt for a more adventurous route by hiring a bike and hiking up a winding road alongside the babbling water. At the summit, you’ll find several shops and restaurants serving up the local specialty, hōtō – thick, flat noodles swimming in a delicious miso broth.

For jaw-dropping panoramic views, hop on the cable car above this natural wonderland. Autumn is the prime time to visit, when weekend road closures unveil three cliffs adorned in vibrant foliage.

Getting there: The nearest station, Kofu, is approximately 90 minutes from Tokyo’s Shinjuku station, with buses running directly from the station to the gorge.

2. Lake Kawaguchiko 

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Lake Kawaguchiko

Lake Kawaguchiko is a picturesque area nestled next to the iconic Mount Fuji, making it the ultimate spot for breathtaking views. Known worldwide for its iconic silhouette, Mount Fuji is conveniently close to Tokyo, offering easy access for visitors to admire its splendor. As part of the five lakes region surrounding Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchiko boasts awe-inspiring vistas, tranquil boat rides, and an abundance of traditional local cuisine, all steeped in Japanese culture. Many traditional hotels offer stunning views of Fuji for accommodation.

During the day, visitors can explore charming nature spots along the lakeside, such as Oshino Hakkai, or venture up Mount Fuji or take the Panoramic Ropeway for stunning views, whether day or night. For thrill-seekers, Fuji Q Highland offers exhilarating roller coaster rides, while Oshino Shinobi no Sato features a ninja history-themed park – perfect for families and kids. The Mount Fuji Pass is an excellent option for those looking to save money on transport and receive discounts on all tourist attractions in the area.

Getting there: Approximately one and a half hours away from Shinjuku via express train.

3. Nagano 

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Nagano

Nagano stands out as one of Japan’s most captivating and breathtaking destinations, making it the perfect choice for an overnight or weekend getaway. As the host city of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games, it boasts a picturesque mountainous landscape draped in snow, offering epic opportunities for skiing and snowboarding that promise unforgettable experiences and adventures.

For those keen on exploring museums, temples, and gardens, the warmer seasons are ideal. Must-do activities include visiting the Nishi-no-Mon sake brewery, indulging in onsen hot spring baths like the Omuro Onsen Makibanoyu, and exploring the Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum.

Getting there: About two and a half hours by train from Tokyo.

4. Kyoto 

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Kyoto

Kyoto, officially known as Kyoto City, stands out as one of Japan’s most beloved destinations, drawing in travelers from far and wide. Renowned as the cultural capital of Japan, it’s a paradise for history buffs, culture enthusiasts, and tradition seekers alike.

Here, you’ll discover a wealth of cultural treasures, from the mesmerising torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine to the iconic Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), as well as the vibrant entertainment district of Gion in the Higashiyama ward, famous for its Geisha performers.

Among the city’s major attractions are its traditional festivals, steeped in history and spanning over 1,000 years. Offering a mix of iconic, charming, and modern accommodations, Kyoto ensures a comfortable stay for every traveler. And let’s not forget Kyoto’s reputation for matcha-flavoured delights – making it an absolute must-visit for matcha lovers!

Getting there: Takes about three and a half hours by train from Tokyo.

5. Osaka

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Osaka

As the second-largest city and a vibrant entertainment hub, Osaka holds a prominent place among Japan’s most popular destinations. Renowned as a bustling port city, it’s celebrated for its delectable seafood, making it a haven for food enthusiasts. If you’re a true foodie, Osaka absolutely belongs at the top of your list. Among the city’s standout attractions are the Osaka Aquarium, Osaka Castle, Universal Studios, and the Bunraku Theater, where you can catch traditional Japanese puppet theater performances.

For a scenic escape, head to Minoo Park with its picturesque waterfall, or dive into the lively nightlife scene in the bustling Dotonbori area, filled with bars and live music venues.

Additionally, Osaka boasts a rich history, with archaeological ruins and the graves of significant figures like Prince Shotoku adding to its allure.

Getting there: A three-hour train ride from Tokyo.

6. Hakone 

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Hakone

Hakone ranks among the top day-trip spots to visit from Tokyo. While it may not be part of the ‘Fuji Five Lakes’ region, tourists can still enjoy distant views of Mount Fuji. Unlike many other sightseeing towns, Hakone is quite expansive, requiring extensive use of public transport, which can make navigating the area a bit complex. At the heart of Hakone lies Lake Ashinoko, the central attraction, featuring three distinct areas on its shores: Togendai in the north, Hakone-en on the eastern edge, and Moto-Hakone in the south.

Renowned worldwide for its breathtaking hot spring resorts, Hakone is the ultimate spa destination. Beyond the resorts, Hakone offers a diverse array of tourist attractions, including museums, halls, and gardens, ensuring travelers can immerse themselves in the best of what Hakone has to offer.

Getting there: A train ride of approximately two hours.

7. Nikko 

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Nikko

Nikko, nestled in Tochigi prefecture, is renowned for its expansive and diverse natural beauty, featuring numerous popular sightseeing spots like historical shrines and temples. Its wealth of ancient temples has earned it recognition as a World Heritage Site. The shrines and temples of Nikko constitute a vast complex comprising 103 buildings, spanning two Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple. Nikko National Park beckons with a plethora of tourist attractions, boasting scenic mountain landscapes, tranquil lakes, cascading waterfalls, rejuvenating hot springs, wild monkeys, and picturesque hiking trails.

Getting there: It takes about four hours from Tokyo by train.

8. Izu Peninsula 

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Izu Peninsula

Renowned for its resort area, rejuvenating hot springs, stunning coastlines, pristine beaches, temperate climate, and picturesque mountainous terrain, the Izu Peninsula is an idyllic vacation destination. Additionally, Mount Fuji majestically overlooks Suruga-wan (Suruga Bay), offering tourists a breathtaking backdrop. With its convenient train connections, the Izu Peninsula is the perfect choice for a quick and memorable weekend getaway. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, outdoor adventures, or simply to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Japan, the Izu Peninsula promises an unforgettable experience for all travelers.

Getting there: It can be reached in around three hours via a train from Tokyo.

9. Tokyo Islands 

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Tokyo Islands

Tokyo offers a beautiful collection of volcanic islands: Izu archipelago and Ogasawara islands. Izu archipelago consists of Oshima, Toshima, Niijima, Shikinejima, Kozushima, Miyakejima, Mikurajima, Hachijojima, and Aogashima. Ogasawara islands encompass Chichijima and Hahajima. Each of these 11 islands has its own attraction, nature, culture, and local products. These islands are only accessible by ferry (boat) or helicopter and aeroplane.

Getting there: You can reach them by ferry in 6-10 hours or by aeroplane in 1 hour.

10. Yokohama

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Yokohama

Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city, lies just 32 kilometres from Tokyo, serving as the gateway to the world as the country’s premier harbour city. Notably, Minato Mirai 21 stands out as a vibrant seaside urban area in central Yokohama, boasting a modern atmosphere, excellent shopping opportunities, and a plethora of dining options to indulge in. It would also be a great idea to explore the iconic Big Wharf, also known as Osanbashi Pier, which offers stunning panoramic views of the bay. What’s more, Yokohama is rich in historical walking gardens, serene parks, architectural marvels, captivating museums, and notable landmarks, all contributing to its allure as a must-visit destination.

Getting there: You can get there by train from Tokyo in 45-50 minutes.

11. Tateyama (Chiba)

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Tateyama (Chiba)

Situated in the Chiba prefecture, Tateyama offers a resort-like atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing weekend getaway from Tokyo. Visitors flock to Tateyama for its charming flower parks and delightful strawberry farms, which are among the area’s main attractions. Additionally, Tateyama boasts several must-visit tourist spots, including the historic Tateyama Castle, intriguing underground tunnels, the engaging City Museum, and the captivating Museum of Nagisa. With its serene ambiance and diverse array of attractions, Tateyama provides the perfect opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate amidst natural beauty.

Getting there: You can get there from Tokyo by train in just two hours.

12. Kamakura and Enoshima

Overnight trip & weekend trip ideas from Tokyo Kamakura & Enoshima

Enoshima and Kamakura offer not only stunning coastlines but also rich historical sites where visitors can immerse themselves in Japanese culture through its architecture, arts, and cuisine. With numerous shrines and temples, including the iconic Great Buddha of Kamakura, the area is abundant in cultural heritage. While Kamakura boasts cultural relics, Enoshima is renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Alongside exploring the shrines and temples, visitors can relax on exquisite beaches or take peaceful walks, allowing for quiet reflection. On clear days, lucky travellers may even catch glimpses of the majestic Mount Fuji in the distance. With their wealth of attractions, Kamakura and Enoshima are perfect destinations for a memorable day trip from Tokyo.

Getting there: It’s just a one-hour train ride from Tokyo.

Escaping Tokyo with These 12 Enchanting Destinations for Weekend Wanderlust

Go on a journey beyond the bustling streets of Tokyo to discover 12 enchanting destinations for a picture-perfect getaway! From serene lakeside retreats to historic cultural landmarks, each destination promises a unique experience that will leave you captivated. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, these overnight and weekend trips offer the perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Pack your bags, set out on an unforgettable adventure, and create lasting memories in the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultures waiting just beyond Tokyo’s borders.

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Find out more about Japan travel: shopping in Japan, the best souvenirs to buy in Japan, nature in Japan, camping in Japan, overnight & day trips from Tokyo, top museums to visit in Tokyo, local neighbourhoods in Tokyo, and beaches near Tokyo.