Tokyo is one of the most exciting and popular destinations in Japan, but traveling in the metropolis might get a little tiring at times. On days like that, you can take a short drive out of Tokyo for a fantastic day trip to the nearby prefectures and experience an adventure you cannot have in Tokyo! Here are 10 great destinations that you can visit on a day trip from Tokyo.
Hakone Yumoto is an area filled with various facilities and is well-known for its great natural hot spring. It is a popular area among local tourists, especially families. From the top of the Hakone Ropeway there, you can have a bird’s eye view of the fantastic nature of the area. You can even view the smoke suffusing out of the volcanic vents there!
One of the recommended places to enjoy the natural hot spring of Hakone Yumoto is the Hotel Green Plaza Hakone. Here, the open air hot spring “Fuji mi Roten” offers a fantastic view of Japan’s most iconic natural scenery, Mount Fuji. The sight is especially beautiful during sunset. A great view and fantastic hot spring – certainly a way to spend a day away from the city!
Hakone Yumoto Hot Springs
Address: Yumoto, Hakone, Ashigarashimo, Kanagawa
Access: 1 hour 25 minute train ride via Odakyu Romance Car from Shinjuku Station
Hotel Green Plaza Hakone
Address: Sengokuhara 1244-2
Price: from 252 USD
Free WiFi First aid kit available Internet services Parking Private parking Guest accommodation sealed after cleaning All plates, cutlery, glasses and other tableware have been sanitized Massage
2. Travel around Kusatsu and enjoy the Hot Spring
Kusatsu is just a 3 hour drive away from Tokyo, and is a location with various popular tourist destinations as well as delicious food. Located at the city centre, the Yubatake will immediately greet you when you reach Kusatsu, showcasing the great hot spring of the region.
The hot spring can be enjoyed at many of the facilities within the city and it is highly recommended that you visit the “Sainokawara Roten Buro”, one of the largest hot spring facilities around the area. This hot spring is located within the Sainokawara Park. The open air hot spring will allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the area, and the view is especially special during autumn where the leaves will all turn bright orange and red. Apart from having a great hot spring, the park also has other facilities such as open areas for picnics, as well as the Kusatsu Anamori Inari Shrine.
Kusatsu Hot Spring
Address: Kusatsu, Kusatsu, Agatsuma District, Gunma
Access: 3 hour drive from Tokyo
Website: Kusatsu Hot Spring
3. Visit the Capybaras at Nasu Animal Kingdom in Nasu, Tochigi
Nasu Doubutsu Oukoku is a zoo located at the popular tourist spot Nasu, with an altitude of over 800 meters (2,625 feet). There are over 600 animals in the zoo, and the most popular exhibit of the place is the Capybara zone. Unlike other zoos, what makes Nasu Doubutsu Oukoku special is that the Capybaras exhibit has natural hot springs for the animals to soak themselves in! These animals, native to South America, are not used to the cold temperature of Nasu and hence like the natural hot spring.
Of course, just like the previous two sites, Nasu also follows the theme of having fantastic natural hot springs, and at Nasu Doubutsu Oukoku, you can actually enjoy the natural hot spring while viewing the Capybaras. A unique way to watch animals – Nasu Doubutsu Oukoku is certainly worth visiting.
Nasu Doubutsu Oukoku
Address: 1042-1 Oshima, Nasu, Nasu District, Tochigi
Opening Hours: Depends on season: please refer to official website
Access: 2 hour 30 minute drive from Tokyo
Website: Nasu Doubutsu Oukoku
4. The hikers’ hot spring - Chichibu Buko Hot Spring in Saitama
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Yokoze in Saitama prefecture is a town that many hikers and mountain climbers visit when preparing for their ascend to Mount Buko, a 1,304 meter (4,278 foot) mountain. Yokoze is well known for the Chichibu Buko Hot Spring, a hot spring facility that was opened in 1995. With a history of over 20 years, this hot spring has been serving the hikers well and their hot spring is said to cure muscle and nerve aches. Chichibu Buko Hot Spring has both indoor and outdoor hot springs. Do check it out if you are planning to challenge Mount Buko!
Chichibu Buko Hot Spring
Address: 4628-3 Yokoze, Yokoze, Chichibu, Saitama
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm
Access: 1 hour 30 minute train ride via Tokkyu Red Arrow from Ikebukuro Station to Seibu Chichibu Station on Seibu line
Kamogawa is a city located in Chiba prefecture, just a 2 hour drive from Tokyo. Located at the South-East of the Boso Peninsula, Kamogawa is most well-known for the “Kamogawa Seaworld”, an aquarium with a wide variety of marine creatures.
Kamogawa is also known for the hot springs that can be enjoyed at several facilities, and one of the recommended places to enjoy them is at the Kamogawa Grand Hotel. This resort style hotel offers spectacular ocean views, and the open air hot springs there are simply fantastic! Great meals can also be enjoyed at Kamogawa Grand Hotel and it is certainly worth a visit for a short day-trip from Tokyo!
6. The stunning views from Hottarakashi Onsen in Yamanashi
Hottarakashi Onsen is a hot spring that is best known for providing marvelous scenery. Located about 2 hours from Tokyo by car, Hottarakashi Onsen is in Yamanashi, filled with great nature.
The hot spring is located at an altitude of 700 meters (2,297 feet). Mount Fuji can be seen from the open air hot spring in Hottarakashi Onsen, and the sunrise and sunset views are fantastic. In the day, you can enjoy great panoramic view of the nature surrounding the region, and the night sky is filled with stars.
Here are more suggestions to read for things to do around the area read more
Address: 1669-18 Yatsubo, Yamanashi, Yamanashi
Opening Hours: 4am - 10pm
Access: 2 hour 10 minute drive from Tokyo
Website: Hottarakashi Onsen
Just 3 hours from Tokyo is the DHC Akazawa Onsen Kyo. Unlike other hot springs, this place is run by DHC, a resort company, and a trip to Akazawa will not only be about the natural hot springs there!
DHC Akazawa Onsen Kyo is a multi-purpose resort with a wide array of facilities including fitness clubs and swimming pools. There are also tennis courts and bowling alleys available. The hot spring here is named the “Infinity Onsen”, and it offers a magnificent view of the ocean and mountain surrounding the area. Panoramic scenery can be enjoyed from the hot spring and this is certainly a fantastic place to spend a day away from Tokyo.
Akazawa Hot Spring
Address: 170-2 Akazawa Ukiyama, Akazawa, Ito, Shizuoka
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm
Website: Akazawa Hot Spring
Access: 3 hour drive from Tokyo
8. The historical city Ikaho in Gunma
Ikaho is about 2 hours from Tokyo by car and is a hot spring town with over 400 years of history. The first icon that will greet you when you reach Ikaho is the “stairs of Ikaho”, a flight of 365 stairs that have been around since the beginning of Ikaho (of course, with many renovations in between, so don’t worry about safety) that will bring you up to the town centre. The retro town centre is filled with a variety of shops selling souvenirs and great local food.
The hot spring at Ikaho can be enjoyed at many of the facilities within the town. There are two types of natural hot springs in Ikaho, the “golden onsen” and the “silver onsen”. The former contains iron particles and is golden in color, while the latter doesn’t, and they are both said to provide different healing properties. Do check out the different facilities in the town to enjoy both types of hot spring!
Ikaho Hot Spring Town
Address: Ikaho, Shibukawa, Gunma
Access: 2 hour drive from Tokyo
9. The grand nature of Oku Nikko Hot Spring
The Oku Nikko Hot Spring is one that has been serving people for a very long time – it has a history of over 1,200 years. Oku Nikko is hence one of the most popular hot spring destinations in Japan, and it can be visited from Tokyo in less than 3 hours!
One of the recommended places to enjoy the Oku Nikko Hot Spring is Spa Village Kamaya. This affordable hotel is extremely popular among tourists and families. Many hot spring sites usually mix water with the natural hot spring for reasons like temperature regulation, but the hot spring at Spa Village Kamaya is 100% natural. The water is hence very rich in minerals and is said to provide healing abilities for a myriad of health issues. The open air hot spring at Spa Village Kamaya offers great views of the lush nature of the area.
Not only that, Spa Village Kayama is well-known for fantastic Japanese style meals. Fresh seafood and local vegetables are provided in the full-course meal, and this is definitely a place worth checking-out when planning a day-trip from Tokyo!
Oku Nikko Hot Spring
Address: 2549 Yumoto, Nikko, Tochigi
Website: Spa Village Kamaya
Access: 2 hour 45 minute drive from Tokyo
Located in Ibaraki prefecture, the Okukuji Hot Springs include several smaller hot springs including the Ikeda Hot Spring. Surrounded by rich nature, the open air hot springs in this region provide great cathartic relief. One of the recommended places to enjoy the hot springs is at the Omoide Roman Kan, a hotel with great history. The slight alkaline hot spring at Omoide Roman Kan is said to heal muscle, nerve and joint aches. Just beside the natural hot spring is a small river, and the feeling of relaxing in the open air hot spring while listening to the sounds of nature is a marvelous experience.
Okukuji Fukuroda Hot Spring
Address: Ikeda, Daigo, Kuji, Ibaraki
Access: 2 hour 45 minute drive from Tokyo
Address: Fukuroda 978, Daigo, Daigo, Japan, 319-3523
The best way to relax and enjoy!
Many of these hot springs shared are amongst the highest quality hot springs in Japan, and they can be visited from Tokyo conveniently in just a day trip! Although some of the places may be slightly more inconvenient to visit if you don’t have a car, you can simply rent one or choose those locations with direct train service. Do consider these places if you have a free day when in Tokyo!
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