Tokyo is hemmed into its coastal location on the Kant? plain by a ring of mountains and volcanoes, featuring temples, parks and several bustling towns and cities. It doesn't take long to get out of the capital - two hours at most - and it's well worth the effort.
Tokyo Disney Resort is comprised of the two theme parks Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea, the Ikspiari shopping mall and multiple resort hotels. It is located just a 15 minute train ride from Tokyo Station. The resort is immensely popular among domestic and international visitors, and its theme parks are among the world's most visited.
Mt. Takao is 599 m high and located in western Tokyo. It is rich in nature and is designated as a national park. About an hour from the centre of Tokyo, it is a popular spot for mountain hiking. The autumn leaves in November and the plum blossom in February are particularly beautiful, attracting many people to the mountain. There is also a famous temple near the peak.
Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, 30 min. by rail from Tokyo, is one of the first Japanese cities that opened up to foreign residents during the Meiji Restoration (1868-1911) and is a bustling port city with numerous historic buildings and the spacious Sankei-en Garden. The "Minato Mirai 21" district on the waterfront is highly popular among younger generation, offering a most enjoyable shopping and fantastic gourmet experience. Yokohama's China Town offers any number of excellent restaurants.
Kamakura, 1 hr. by rail from Tokyo, is a small quiet coastal town with tranquil temples. Once the seat of the feudal government set up in 1192, the town today still retains much of its ancient and historical heritage. Kamakura's most famous attraction is the giant bronze Great Buddha. This impressive "Daibutsu" is 11.4 m. high, weighs 122 tons and sits in the open-air.
Near Kamakura Sta. is Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. A number of Buddhist temples, large and small, also dot the area. A leisurely stroll here slips you back to the 12th-century Kamakura period. Whichever temple you visit, you'll be greeted by the beautiful flowers and blossoms of the season.
Hakone, 1 hr. 30 min. by rail from Tokyo's Shinjuku Sta., is a famous hot spring resort area set in the beautiful mountains which comprise the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. A major attraction here is the Open-Air Museum, with hundreds of sculptures. Relaxing in one of the many hot springs is simply a worthwhile experience. Take a pleasure cruise around Lake Ashi, offering marvellous views of Mt. Fuji. In Owakudani, steam and sulphurous fumes rise from crevices in the rocks.
Mt. Fuji, at 3,776 m., is not only Japan's tallest mountain but it's the best known symbol as well. In addition to being a favored climbing site during the months of July and August, Mt. Fuji is the center of a wide-ranging natural recreation zone. This includes the Fuji Five Lakes district to the north, which offers extensive opportunities for hiking, boating, fishing, camping, and picnicking.
The Izu Peninsula, south of Hakone, is an important recreational area known for its hot spring resorts. The peninsula's scenic backbone is formed by the hot spring and waterfall-rich Amagi Mountain Range. The Seven Islands of Izu collectively form a superb resort area combining beautiful seascape attractions and hot springs as well as impressive volcanic topography. Oshima Island, for example, is a popular resort within an easy 1 hrs. 45 min. high-speed boat ride from Tokyo, allowing for even a day trip.
Kusatsu Onsen is one of Japan's top spa resorts, situated less than four hours from Tokyo by direct bus link. The highly acidic spa water, which is potent enough to dissolve a ¥1 coin in a week, is extraordinarily effective.
Nikko, 2 hrs. by rail from Tokyo, is both a gem of natural beauty and home to one of the must-sees of Japanese architecture. Toshogu Shrine which houses the mausoleum of the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, is Nikko's most famous attraction. The complex is unusual among Japanese architectural gems for its display of opulence and decorative complexity.