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Shinkansen day trips from Tokyo

Shinkansen day trips from Tokyo

Old Dec 31, 2019, 5:38 am
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Shinkansen day trips from Tokyo

I'm going to Tokyo/Japan for the first time in April. I'm only there for 8 days but would love to do a day trip on the Shinkansen but not so far that I'd have to stay a night somewhere. As I'm in Tokyo it would be nice to see some of the countryside, maybe somewhere near Mt Fuji. Does anybody have any recommendations?
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 6:58 am
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Originally Posted by JCC87
I'm going to Tokyo/Japan for the first time in April. I'm only there for 8 days but would love to do a day trip on the Shinkansen but not so far that I'd have to stay a night somewhere. As I'm in Tokyo it would be nice to see some of the countryside, maybe somewhere near Mt Fuji. Does anybody have any recommendations?
I can think of a lot of great day trips from Tokyo, but not many involve shinkansen actually.
I'm fond of Karuizawa, which would be a good day trip from Tokyo, but western visitors may find Karuizawa a bit boring.
Sendai is a nice town and you might be able to stretch it out to include Matsushima.
Although I won't necessarily endorse a day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo, when I think about places that are within 2.5 hour radius from Tokyo by shinkansen, Kyoto actually would top my list. If you leave Tokyo at 8a and plan to return by 9p, you'll have ~8hrs to spend in Kyoto.

If you're not a stickler for shinkansen, you could do Mt.Fuji area, Hakone, Izu peninsula, Kamakura, Nikko.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 7:32 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn
I can think of a lot of great day trips from Tokyo, but not many involve shinkansen actually.
I'm fond of Karuizawa, which would be a good day trip from Tokyo, but western visitors may find Karuizawa a bit boring.
Sendai is a nice town and you might be able to stretch it out to include Matsushima.
Although I won't necessarily endorse a day trip to Kyoto from Tokyo, when I think about places that are within 2.5 hour radius from Tokyo by shinkansen, Kyoto actually would top my list. If you leave Tokyo at 8a and plan to return by 9p, you'll have ~8hrs to spend in Kyoto.

If you're not a stickler for shinkansen, you could do Mt.Fuji area, Hakone, Izu peninsula, Kamakura, Nikko.
Oh wow I didn't even realise Kyoto could be done as a day drip. That would certainly tick all the boxes. It would however be an exhausting day. Trying to squeeze a lot into such a short amount of time. So Hakone might be the better option. Do the ropeway and lake cruise. It's going to take some consideration.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by JCC87
Oh wow I didn't even realise Kyoto could be done as a day drip. That would certainly tick all the boxes. It would however be an exhausting day. Trying to squeeze a lot into such a short amount of time. So Hakone might be the better option. Do the ropeway and lake cruise. It's going to take some consideration.
If you decide to do Kyoto, you need to limit your agenda to just a couple of selected areas. For example, Arashiyama only, Arashiyama + Kinkakuji, Higashiyama/Gion only, Higashiyama/Gion + Kinkakuji, Higashiyama/Gion + Fushimi Inari. Kinkakuji is sort of out of the way.

I just was in Hakone a couple days ago. Hakone Tozan train was closed from Yumoto to Gora, with no timetable for reopening. I couldn't believe how packed the Romance Car train was and how crowded the town of Yumoto was nonetheless.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 10:24 am
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Day trips from Tokyo on Shinkansen I have done:

- Karuizawa and/or Nagano
- Sendai + Matsushima
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by evergrn
If you decide to do Kyoto, you need to limit your agenda to just a couple of selected areas. For example, Arashiyama only, Arashiyama + Kinkakuji, Higashiyama/Gion only, Higashiyama/Gion + Kinkakuji, Higashiyama/Gion + Fushimi Inari. Kinkakuji is sort of out of the way.

I just was in Hakone a couple days ago. Hakone Tozan train was closed from Yumoto to Gora, with no timetable for reopening. I couldn't believe how packed the Romance Car train was and how crowded the town of Yumoto was nonetheless.
Arashiyama looks amazing, I think I'll do that for sure. I'll decide on the day if I also want to do Kinkakuji on the day.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 11:03 am
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We did Kyoto via Shinkansen as a day trip from Tokyo, it was a long day but worth it.

if you do Hakone, the Romancecar could be a more convenient option, depending on where you are staying.
We were in the Shinjuku area so it only took about 1.5 hours to Hakone get there from Shinjuku station. If we took the Shinkansen we would've needed to take an additional 25-30 min ride to get Tokyo or Shinagawa station use the bullet.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by beep88
Day trips from Tokyo on Shinkansen I have done:

- Karuizawa and/or Nagano
- Sendai + Matsushima
Ive done both of these on a Tokyo day trip as well, and it worked out quite well.

Its not by Shinkansen, but Id also recommend the Fuji five lakes area as a day trip. It can be done by train, but a bus might be easier.
I did this two years ago in April, and it was lovely seeing Mount Fuji while the cherry blossoms were in bloom, particularly from Chureito pagoda.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 12:58 pm
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We spent two weeks backpacking around Japan by train, primarily on the Shinkansen with our Japan Rail passes. Day trips to both Kyoto and Osaka are technically possible but a real slog -- you'd be spending almost half the day traveling (we spent two days in each). Hakone, on the other hand, was the highlight of our trip, particularly the Hakone round course (careful: closed sometimes for excess volcanic gasses and fog!) and eating at Itoh by Nobu. Both could be done in a day comfortably. I would also say that our favorite hotel of the entire trip ended up being the Hyatt Regency Hakone, which was free (booked with points) and incredible, in case you decide to stay overnight and go back the next morning.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by OhDoctor
We spent two weeks backpacking around Japan by train, primarily on the Shinkansen with our Japan Rail passes. Day trips to both Kyoto and Osaka are technically possible but a real slog -- you'd be spending almost half the day traveling (we spent two days in each). Hakone, on the other hand, was the highlight of our trip, particularly the Hakone round course (careful: closed sometimes for excess volcanic gasses and fog!) and eating at Itoh by Nobu. Both could be done in a day comfortably. I would also say that our favorite hotel of the entire trip ended up being the Hyatt Regency Hakone, which was free (booked with points) and incredible, in case you decide to stay overnight and go back the next morning.
I'm actually staying in the Hyatt Regency Shinjuku. Got a 25% discount, hope it's as good as your stay in Hakone.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 1:10 pm
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I've done Kyoto/Osaka day trips from Tokyo twice in the same week: once on a Tuesday, and then again on a Thursday. As others have said, it's doable, just a bit of a ride, especially on the way back.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by JCC87
I'm actually staying in the Hyatt Regency Shinjuku. Got a 25% discount, hope it's as good as your stay in Hakone.
Good hotel choice, staying there as well in February on points. Point stays are a real steal there, can't believe Hyatt hasn't adjusted it.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 7:16 pm
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I 1000000% recommend Mt Fuji its so cool.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 7:59 pm
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I've done Sendai/Matsushima, Nagano, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Nikko, Hakone, Yokohama, Mito, and Chichibu as day trips. The last two are by regular train line.

Japan is smaller than a lot of people think, and whether you are centered in Tokyo or in the Kyoto-Osaka area, there are many worthwhile sights within day tripping distance.
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Old Dec 31, 2019, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Sandeep1
Good hotel choice, staying there as well in February on points. Point stays are a real steal there, can't believe Hyatt hasn't adjusted it.
It's a little off subject, but since you mentioned it, pretty much any Choice or Hyatt redemption in Japan is a steal.
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