Baby Got Balance

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Japan, Travel

Tokyo Day Trips

Without getting too much into the transit system in Tokyo (I’ll save that for another post), chances are that you’re close to the Odakyu line, especially if you’ve chosen to stay in Machida (read why you should).  In all honesty you could easily spend a week or more in one small part of Tokyo and feel like you still missed a lot, however I would recommend taking a side trip via the Odakyu Line.

The Odakyu Line connects Shinjuku with areas like Hakone, Enoshima and Kamakura.  They have the standard train and the Romancecar for options but I prefer the standard train when doing a short side trip (save that $ for something else!).  The best part of the side trip offer via Odakyu is the set cost with the Freepass – it covers round trip to your chosen destination with unlimited on/off privileges.  If you plan ahead a bit you can really see some great areas!  Tokyo day trips are a great way to see more of Japan.

Gōtokuji Temple

This one is a short trip and you can knock it out in just a few hours (I liked wandering around Setagaya after I went to the temple).  You don’t even need a trip pass for this, just the standard fare to/from – it’s only two stops on the rapid express from Machida!  Take the train to the Gōtokuji stop (tricky, I know) and it’s about a 15 minute walk from there.

Cats, cats, cats!

After you see Gōtokuji Temple you can also check out the Setagaya Hachiman Shrine.  It’s small but incredibly beautiful and peaceful.  On your walk back there are several restaurants before the station to grab a bite.  The Indian place on the corner was off the charts.

Bridge at Setagaya Hachiman Shrine

Kamakura & Enoshima Island

I would highly recommend this one!  You’ll probably want the full day (I did!) and should leave a bit early…..just don’t be surprised by the morning commuter crowds on the train.  I would go Freepass on this one for sure.  Stop first thing at the Great Buddha of Kamakura.  Pro tip:  you can actually go inside the Buddha!

Great Buddha of Kamakura

From there hop back on the train heading on to Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū.  On your walk to this incredible Shinto shrine you’ll pass through a cute market street with vendors selling everything from Totoro garden planters to honey bubble tea.

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū

From Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū head back on the train in the direction of Kamakura and get off at the Enoshima Island stop.  Once you walk across the bridge you’ll arrive on Enoshima Island and begin the steep climb to the top.  Walked out?  You can buy a pass for the series of escalators going all the way to the top!  Enoshima is an island dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten and is full of shops/restaurants at the bottom, followed by gorgeous shrines and statues with gardens galore.  Enjoy the street cats (neko) as you work your way up to the Enoshima Sea Candle where you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day.  Just be wary of the hawks at the top of Enoshima Island – I watched one snatch a sandwich out of an elderly lady’s hand!

View from the Lighthouse Observation Tower

Before you leave the island don’t forget to check out the Iwaya caves.  They’re a part of the legend of the island and are a great last stop.



There are plenty of additional sites to see on the Enoshima & Kamakura Freepass but if you’re pressed for time these three stops should be the top of your list!  If you’re looking for resources to help plan your trip to Japan check out my guide Know Before You Go:  Japan and my post on The Best Apps for Foreign Travel.

Have you done any Tokyo day trips, either via the Odakyu train or another method?  I’d love to hear about it, especially if you did the Hakone day pass!  I’m saving that one for my next trip.

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  1. Ana Rita

    August 1, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I didn’t know about these places, it sounds very interesting 🙂 I would definitely visit Enoshima Island!

    1. Morgan

      August 5, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      I think Enoshima Island is an absolute must if you’re ever in Tokyo! You feel like you’re getting two trips in one….also, you get to check out Japanese surfers as you walk over the bridge!

  2. Lauren

    August 1, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I’ve never been to Tokyo before, but it looks beautiful. I’ll have to put these places on my list if for when I get the opportunity.

  3. Indya | The Small Adventurer

    August 2, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Japan is HIGH UP on my list of places I’d LOVE to visit! I’ve never been overseas before, and I really think Japan will be my first international trip. To be honest, I’m mostly interested in the food, fashion, and pop culture side of things, but this post has made me realise how many stunning buildings it has to offer too ?

    1. Morgan

      August 5, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      There’s plenty of food, fashion & pop culture in Japan, that’s for sure! The best part about it is that you can combine so many of those things in a small area – i.e. an amazing lunch around the corner from an art installation which is across the street from a temple. Hope you get to experience it soon!

  4. Kileen

    August 2, 2019 at 6:50 am

    I have been wanting to book a trip out to Japan for quite sometime now! These day trips sound amazing, will have to bookmark this for future reference!

    cute & little

    1. Morgan

      August 5, 2019 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Kileen! I would absolutely recommend a trip to Japan! I’ve got some content up for basic travels there but if you have any specific questions please reach out! I’d be happy to help.

  5. Becky

    August 2, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Tokyo looks so beautiful, I really hope to visit someday! My friend is leaving in two weeks for a trip and I’m so jealous. I love all of your photos!

    1. Morgan

      August 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the photos! Hopefully your friend will get some good ones that you’ll be able to use when you plan your eventual trip 🙂

  6. megan

    August 9, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    I have been obsessed with visiting Tokyo lately! These day trips are just what I needed to know about. Thank you.

    1. Morgan

      August 12, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Hopefully you get there soon! Thanks for reading, I’m glad these tips were helpful.

  7. Amberly

    August 10, 2019 at 1:04 am

    Gorgeous!!! I’m intrigued by the little cat field.

    1. Morgan

      August 12, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      It’s pretty cute, they even have cats carved into the side of one of the temples on site.

  8. Melissa

    August 10, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Omg how fun! Adding Tokyo to my bucket list 🙂

  9. Aarika

    August 12, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Tokyo looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to visit Tokyo, and after reading your article, I want to go even more! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

    1. Morgan

      August 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks for reading! Here’s to hoping you get to Tokyo soon!

  10. Lina

    August 26, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Tokyo is on my bucket list! This city seems to have a lot of magic, lot of incredible spots and there is too much to do there!

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