Tokyo Mothers Group
English-speaking support group for families in Tokyo
Day Trips out of Tokyo
There is plenty to see and do in Tokyo and you could spend days exploring and probably never get bored but if you want to get out of the city or are looking for some day trips then here are some of the more popular destinations. If you have any further suggestions or have more you think should be added let us know by emailing [email protected]
Located in Hachioji, Tokyo a 5 min walk from Takaosanguchi station on the Keio Line from Shinjuku
Mt Takao, while still in Tokyo, is still great for a day trip. It offers several trails for different levels, including one that is fully paved making it easy for families. Plus there is a cable car as well and from the cable car or chair lift you can get a great view of Tokyo on a clear day. Takao-san is especially popular in Autumn.
There is also a monkey park, which is great for the kids.
Okutama area is a bit over an hour from Shinjuku and is home to several mountains including Mt Kumotori which has the highest peak in Tokyo. Located near the Tama River, it offer lots of hiking and nature and a great way to get out of the city without having to actually LEAVE the city. Lake Okutama is a popular destination along with Mt Mitake (home to Musashi MItake Shrine) and the different waterfalls, valley’s and garden’s make for a popular day trip for nature lovers. There is also some limestone caves located quite close to the area.
Accessible by car or train. Ome Line takes you out to Okutama and other surrounding stations. Okutama is also a popular camping spot for families.
Kodomo no Kuni (Children’s Land)
A 240 acre park just outside of Tokyo with a farm and kids zoo, a locomotive train, playgrounds, BBQ facilities and a 100m long slide plus plenty of other attractions.
Accessible by train on the Kodomonokuni line (from Nagatsuta station on the Yokohama and Denentoshi Line) or parking is available for 900yen per day.
http://www.kodomonokuni.org/ (Includes an English link in top right corner)
Less than 100km from Tokyo, Hakone is a great place for a day trip as it offers so much including hot springs (onsen), nature, views of Fuji, an open air museum and more. There is Hakone Shrine, Lake Ashino (and the pirate ship to go across it) Owakudani (The smoking volcano) as well as so much else to see and do.
Hakone is easy to get around with the use of trains, cable cars, the Hakone ropeway and in some cases buses. Look into the Hakone Freepass which allows travel on almost all of the options available in Hakone at a set price.
If you have more time an overnight, or even two night stay at a traditional Japanese style inn could be worth it.
Odawara is located quite close to Hakone at the far west end of Kanagawa prefecture and near the entrance to Fuji Hakone Izu National Park. An easy stop off on your way to or from Hakone and a must if you want to see a Japanese castle as is it is where Odawara Castle and museum are.
It is also possible to go hiking in Tanzawa Mountain area from Odawara.
Sometimes referred to as the Eastern Japan Kyoto, Kamakura is an area rich with heritage and home to the famous Daibutsu (Giant Buddha). Lots of temples and shrines and a great place for omiyage (souvenier) shopping as well. If you have visitors from overseas, visiting you in Japan, this is a fantastic day trip to show them a more historical pllce of Japan.
Very easy to access on the Shonan Express from Tokyo.
Enoshima is an island located in the Shonan area and a great summer destination due to it’s beach. It is a small island connected to the mainland by a 600m bridge. Quite a few things to do including an aquarium, a cave, temples and the famous Enoshima Shrine. On a clear day Mt Fuji can be seen!
It is possible to see Kamakura and Enoshima in one day and if you go that route best to look into the Kamakura-Enoshima Pass which might save you some money. Just over an hour from central Tokyo it is easily accessed by train.
Another great day trip out of the city. Nikko is located in Tochigi prefecture about 2 hours from Tokyo depending on the route you take. It is famous for Autumn colours, waterfalls and nature in general but is also home to temples, shrines, botanical gardens and Shinkyo Bridge located at the entrance to Nikko’s temples and shrines.
It is not the easiest place to get around with a stroller so plan accordingly. There are also many famous onsen areas in and around Nikko- Kinugawa is perhaps the most famous.
Mt Fuji, & Fuji Five Lakes area
Mt Fuji can only be climbed during the summer but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great to see at other times of the year and the area itself offers a lot of different options.
The most famous of the lakes is Kawaguchiko and it offers some of the best views of Mt Fuji.
There are quite a few organized tours offered to the region leaving from Tokyo but the area itself is also accessible by train or shinkansen.
A list of things to do in the area can be found here- https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/fuji/course/fuji_sample01.html
A theme park near Fuji- some great rides for thrill seekers with great views of Fuji to boot. There are not a lot of attractions for really young kids but there is a Thomas land which is a great play space for them and some of the rides are okay for younger children too.
There are buses leaving daily from Shinjuku station or driving is also an option as it is not far off the Tomei highway.
Fuji Safari Park
You could easily fit in a trip to Fuji Safari Park while visiting Fuji area. The first of its kind in Japan and located only 7km from the base of Mt Fuji it is a perfect place to go to with kids.
Lots to see and do including guided bus tours where you can feed the animals. The zoo has two zones- one for the safari part and another section more like a petting zoo.
If you don’t want to travel so far to see a traditional Japanese style castle why not head out to Chiba and visit Chiba Castle (Sometimes referred to as Inohana Castle) right in Chiba city. An extra bonus there is a folk museum on site and visitors can try on traditional samurai costumes.
It is not an all day trip so you could easily combine it with something else out in Chiba.
Accessible by the Chiba Urban Monorail from Kenchomae station.
Mother’s Farm is located about 90 minutes from central Tokyo and easily accessibly by car. By train it is a little more complicated but not impossible as you can organize a bus to pick you up from Kimitsu Station.
Sometimes referred to as a family paradise as it offers so much for everyone including petting zoo, milking cows, horse riding, fruit picking (at certain times of the year) and lots of space for children to roam around.
Doitsu Mura (German Village)
German village is a theme park located in Sodegaura, Chiba. It has a ferris wheel, petting zoo, mini roller coaster, pond (with boat rides), a locomotive train, a sledding hill and more. There is some wonderful illuminations in winter and also in the summer there is water play space. Also lots of flower gardens and a nice way to spend time in nature.
Some of the attractions require an extra fee.
Accessible by car or by train to Chiba station followed by bus.
http://t-doitsumura.co.jp/ (Japanese only)
An easy day trip from Tokyo and is said to be almost like time travelling back in time.
Easily accessible by train from central Tokyo or by car. Once there it is easy to jump on and off the Co-Edo Loop bus and visit the attractions around the city including museums, candy land, the castle and Kita-in Castle.
Located 80 minutes from Ikebukuro the area is a popular camping spot if you plan to go away for a night or two. Close by is Nagatoro which is famous for the tatami stack looking rock formations in the gorge and Hitsujiyama Park is also close by, well-known for it’s pink moss in spring.
A great escape to nature from the big city.