What to see in the Tokyo islands

What to see in the Tokyo islands

A trip to Japan represents a fascinating adventure and an opportunity to discover a unique culture, which harmoniously blends tradition and modernity. Tokyo, the capital, is the ideal starting point for exploring the wonders found in its surroundings, places that offer a refreshing contrast to the frenetic pace of the metropolis.

Nikko, Kamakura, Mount Takao, Mitake Gorge and the Tokyo Islands are just some of the destinations to consider on a trip to Japan. If you don’t have much time available but still want to see all the places listed in this post.

But let’s see what places to see around Tokyo.


Nikko, located north of Tokyo, is a destination renowned for its natural beauty and cultural richness.

To reach it from Tokyo, you can take the train from Asakusa Station using the Tobu Nikko railway line, which makes the journey quite accessible and convenient (details on costs and travel times are found at the bottom of this paragraph).

Once you arrive in Nikko, you will be greeted by the magnificence of Toshogu Shrine , an architectural masterpiece and UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its elaborate decoration and majestic torii. The sanctuary complex includes various buildings and structures, each with intricate details and historical significance.

Other must-see sights include Rinnoji Shrine, Shinkyo Bridge (one of Japan’s three most famous sacred bridges), and Lake Chuzenji , nestled between mountains and offering spectacular panoramic views.

Nikko is also a starting point for exploring the surrounding nature, with hiking trails leading to picturesque waterfalls and breathtaking scenery. Furthermore, the city retains a calm and serene atmosphere, making it an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Click the button and find all search platforms and book your next trip yourself.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: Tokyo What to See and Do – Guide 2024

How to get to Nikko

The train travel time from Tokyo to Nikko depends on the type of train you choose and the exact departure station in Tokyo. In general, the journey can take around 1 hour 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Faster trains, such as shinkansen (high-speed trains), can reduce travel time, but may also require a transfer or combination of trains.

As for costs, train tickets may vary depending on the type of train, travel class and railway company. However, on average, a one-way ticket from Tokyo to Nikko can cost between 1,300 and 3,000 Japanese yen (around 10-25 euros) for a regional train, while high-speed trains such as the shinkansen could be more expensive.

It is advisable to check train times and prices in advance, as they may vary depending on the day and time of travel. Additionally, purchasing tickets in advance can be convenient to secure a seat and get any available discounts.


Kamakura, a picturesque coastal city located south of Tokyo, is a popular destination for travelers seeking history, culture and natural beauty. To reach Kamakura from Tokyo, you can take the train from Tokyo Station using the JR Yokosuka Line or the Enoshima Railway Line (see the bottom of this paragraph for details).

Once you arrive in Kamakura, visit the Great Buddha of Kamakura , a giant bronze statue dating back to the 13th century and one of Japan’s most famous icons. Other must-see spots include Hase-dera Temple , known for its large Kannon statue, Yuigahama Beach , great for relaxing and surfing, and Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine , with its impressive torii and traditional gardens.

Kamakura is also famous for its hiking trails, such as the Daibutsu Hiking Course , which offers panoramic views of the city and sea. In short, it would take a trip just to see and discover this area.

How to get to Kamakura by train

To reach Kamakura from Tokyo by train, you can use several train lines, including the JR Yokosuka Line and the Enoshima Railway Line. Here are two common options:

  1. JR Yokosuka Line : You can take a train on the JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station or Shinagawa Station and head directly south to Kamakura Station. Travel time varies from 50 to 70 minutes depending on the train taken and the intermediate stops.
  2. Enoshima Railway Line : You can take the Enoshima Railway Line from stations like Shibuya, Shinjuku or Ikebukuro and transfer to Fujisawa and then change trains and continue to Kamakura. This route can take a little longer, generally between 75 and 90 minutes.

Travel times may vary depending on the type of train (local, express, rapid) and intermediate stops. It is always advisable to check train timetables and routes before leaving, especially if you have special needs for your trip.

He Rides Takao

The Tama area  is a vast, mainly green area of ​​over 1,000 square kilometers which includes some areas of naturalistic and sporting interest.

Mount  Takao  is one of the best-known and most popular attractions in the Tama area: around 2.6 million tourists climb it a year and it is a 3-star attraction in the Michelin Guide, like Mount Fuji. It houses a museum that deals with the area’s natural resources, the  Takao 599 Museum , a spa center where you can relax after the “effort” of climbing, the  Keio Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu , as well as seasonal attractions with the summer beer garden where you can relax with a fresh beer , and its landscapes are famous for expanses of red leaves.

How to get to Takao

To reach Mount Takao from Tokyo by train, there are several options:

  1. From Shinjuku Station : This is the most common way to reach Mount Takao. From Shinjuku, take the train on the Keio Line (Keio Line) towards Takaosanguchi. This is a direct train and will take you directly to Takaosanguchi Station, which is the closest station to Mount Takao. The train journey takes approximately 50 minutes.
  2. From Tokyo Station : If you depart from Tokyo Station, you can take the Chuo Line to Takao Station. Once there, change to the Keio Line and take a train towards Takaosanguchi. This route will take approximately 60-70 minutes, depending on the waiting time for the transfer to Takao.

Once you arrive at Takaosanguchi Station, you can easily walk to the main entrance of Mount Takao. The station is right next to the base of the mountain, so there are no navigation issues once you get off the train.

Il fiume Tama and Gola di Mitake

Going a little further to the west, about an hour and a half by train from Shinjuku in the most remote area of ​​Tama,  Okutama , there are landscapes immersed in nature such as those of the  Tama river , and the  Mitake Gorge , where the Sports lovers can indulge in  rafting, canyoneering or river boogie-boarding .

How to get to Mitake Gorge

To reach Mitake Gorge from Tokyo, the best public transport is the JR Chuo and JR Ome lines. Here’s how you can proceed:

  1. From Shinjuku Station to Ome : Take a train on the JR Chuo Line (Chuo Line) from Shinjuku Station to Ome Station. This is the longest part of the journey and takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  2. Ome to Mitake : At Ome Station, transfer to the private JR Ome train line. Take a train towards Mitake. This part of the journey takes approximately 20-25 minutes.
  3. From Mitake Station to Mitake Gorge : Once you arrive at Mitake Station, you can explore the gorge on foot or take the cable car up Mount Mitake, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding region. Mitake Station is located near the entrance to the gorge, so you can start exploring directly from the station.

This public transport is convenient and gets you quite close to Mitake Gorge, making access to the area much easier. Always remember to check train times in advance and plan your trip accordingly.

The Tokyo Islands

South of Tokyo extends a series of over 100 islands of various sizes which are divided into two small archipelagos, that of  Izu , the one closest to Tokyo, and  the archipelago of Ogasawara , the most remote.

Oshima Island

The largest island of the Izu,  Oshima , is the closest to Tokyo of all and offers mild temperatures throughout the year, it is only just under two hours by boat from Tokyo.

The island is famous for camellia oil  , excellent both as a cosmetic and for food use, a plant that was spread across the island by the inhabitants to defend themselves from the sea winds. The island is one of the most urbanized but hides a place with an almost lunar atmosphere:  Urasabaku  (lit. “the hidden desert”), the only desert area in all of Japan, which is hidden right behind Mount  Mihara .

Niijima Island

Niijima is one of the islands in Tokyo that offers some of the whitest beaches in the archipelago and is popular among surfers. In the sea that surrounds it, diving enthusiasts love to observe  humpback whales, manta rays and sea turtles . There are also free outdoor barbeque facilities  and  free, open-air hot tubs  around the island  , a true playground for nature lovers.

The Hachijojima island

The island of Hachijojima , reachable by plane in 55 minutes from Haneda, is famous for its seven  hot springs , 3 of which are free and the other four accessible for a modest fee of between 300 and 500 yen (2.5 – approximately 4 euros).

The archipelago of the Ogasawara Islands

The archipelago of the Ogasawara Islands  is the furthest from Tokyo, about 1,000 km away, includes around 30 islands and has been included in the List of  World Heritage Sites for its naturalistic nature  since 2011. The islands are characterized by an  endemic nature  that shows the evolutionary process of the island ecosystem.

The three most important islands are  Chichi-jima  (“father island”), the largest and richest in fauna, such as dolphins in the surrounding sea, green turtles and giant bats.  Haha-jima  (the “mother island”) is the second largest, and being more isolated it is also less frequented. Finally,  Minami-jima  (the “southern island”) is a small karst island with access limited to 100 people per day to preserve its uncontaminated nature.

Practical tips for traveling to Japan

Here are some practical tips for traveling to Japan:

  1. Required documents : Italian citizens who wish to visit Japan for tourism do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. However, you must have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in the country.
  2. Travel Insurance : It is advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses , medical evacuation and trip cancellation. Although the Japanese healthcare system is of high quality, medical costs can be high.
  3. Power adapter : Japan uses Type A and B power outlets with a voltage of 100V. Make sure you have a universal adapter to charge your electronic devices.
  4. Japanese Language App : Although many people in tourist areas speak English, it can be helpful to learn some basic Japanese phrases.
  5. Public Transportation : The public transportation system in Japan is efficient but complex. Buy a Suica or Pasmo card for hassle-free travel on trains, buses and subways. Remember that trains run on time, so make sure you are on time so you don’t miss them.
  6. Etiquette and behavior : Respect local culture and traditions. Remember to remove your shoes before entering homes, temples and some restaurants. Also, avoid speaking loudly in public places and showing excessive affection.
  7. Currency and payments : The official currency is the Japanese yen (JPY). Make sure you have enough cash as many small shops and restaurants may not accept foreign credit cards. Credit cards are commonly accepted in large shops and hotels, but it is always best to have cash on hand.

By following these practical tips, you can make the most of your trip to Japan, exploring its unique culture and creating unforgettable memories.

Plan your trip yourself

Read also: 10 First-Class Day Trips from Tokyo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *