Top 5 Unique Tourist Spots Close to Tokyo for First Time Travelers in Japan
Tokyo is the largest city in Japan. If you are visiting Japan for the first time you will most likely stay there, right?
While enjoying Tokyo city you can visit a variety of places that are only one or two hours away by bus or train, where you’ll find local Japanese tourist attractions. I will introduce you to the most famous spots known to locals, as well as the more off-beat ones!
1．Great Buddha of Kamakura
Along with the Great Buddha in Nara Prefecture, the Great Buddha of Kamakura, located at Kotoku-in, about a 10-minute walk from Hase Station, is also quite famous among foreigners.
There is actually a big mystery surrounding the Great Buddha of Kamakura. That is, nobody knows when this Buddha was built!
Around 90 minutes from Tokyo by train, Enoshima is a small island located in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. Beautiful scenery surrounded by the ocean, many historical shrines and countless delicious treats has made this a popular tourist spot for locals and foreign travelers alike.
You can enter Enoshima through a bronze guard frame (Seidounotorii), and on the way to the shrine there is a perfect route to buy a delicious meal and many souvenirs. You might find this surprising: the population of Enoshima is no more than 300 people! Those who visit the island are mostly tourists.
Nagatoro Valley (Nagatoro Keikoku) is located in a valley of Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, and is an incredibly popular tourist destination for those who live in Tokyo. Both on weekends and during the autumn season, people from all over the country rush to Nagatoro Valley.
Refreshing flowing water of “Arakawa” and the beautiful landscape of Chichibu Mountains Valley make this a wonderful destination to visit. People visit this place throughout the year for hiking, climbing, swimming in the water, and to simply enjoy the "valley beauty" of Chichibu.
"Nagatoro Valley" can be easily accessed from central Tokyo. By car or by train it is about a 2-hour journey, so you can comfortably make it a day trip or maximize your enjoyment by staying overnight.
Kawagoe is a popular tourist destination in Saitama Prefecture. It is usually recommended as a one-day trip from Tokyo, as it can be reached in around one hour.
During the Edo Period, it flourished as a castle town, and was referred to as "Small Edo Kawagoe (Koedo Kawagoe)". It has also been certified as a historic city in Japan.
Old warehouse buildings are lined up throughout the city, so you can really experience the old streets of Japan. The way in which the warehouse buildings are lined up is actually because of a big fire that occurred in 1893.
These days, it appears that merchants in Kawagoe are showcasing the traditional method of construction that was being used at the time of the great fire.
5．Kawasaki night view
This night view spot can be visited in around one hour from central Tokyo. Rather than the standard view of a town at night, it is in fact a view of factories. In the past, there were only few tourists who were factory enthusiasts, but since 2009 it has been widely recognized as a tourist attraction.
There are many industrial areas in Japan but Kawasaki Factory Plant is known as one of the best. Transportation might seem inconvenient, but there are both tour buses and boat cruises which the tourists can use to enjoy the great view.