Spring might just be the worst time to spend in a busy city. To help you escape, we have the best spring day trips from Tokyo for all the seasonal treats.
Spring is the best time to travel in Japan — fight me if you like, but you know deep down that it’s true. The flowers , the warm weather , the pure joy of cherry blossoms — plus the food stalls and festivals that come with them — it’s a glorious time to be here.
If you’re in Tokyo and don’t want to be (which is fair), then we have some great spring-specific day trips to get you out of the city. If you’re here any other time of year or want some extra ideas, we have our trusty 25 day trips to choose from . There are some great spring hikes if you like some foot action (of the non-fetish kind) and some brilliant bus tours if you want the exact opposite. All doable in a day and with public transport, here are our top ideas for springtime excursions: be they town, mountain, or lake-side retreats.
1. Kamakura: Cherry blossoms and Buddhas
1 hour 5 minutes from Shinjuku Station to Kamakura Station
¥ 940 (one way)
A great day trip at any time of year, Kamakura is one of the most popular places to visit and cherry blossom season provides the icing on the Buddha-shaped cake. An ancient capital with temples and shrines aplenty, Kamakura has hiking trails and cute cafes to fill your day.
During cherry blossom season, begin at Kita-Kamakura Station and visit Kenchō-ji — a 13th-century temple with some heavily blossoming trees in the grounds. Next, follow the hiking trail to Kamakura Daibutsu and stop at Genjiyama Park along the way for a hanami picnic. When you arrive at the Great Buddha, you’ll notice there aren’t too many trees, but one or two are well-positioned. Nearby, Hasedera is seasonally stunning, Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shrine has a tree-lined walk, Myōhon-ji has some weeping blossom, and Kōmyō-ji has cats as a bonus.
2. Kawaguchiko: All the spring flowers
2 hours from Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchiko Station
Direct bus or train
¥ 2,000 (bus) or ¥ 4,130 (train) (one way)
Known for views of Fuji and the famous Shibazakura Festival , showcasing fields of moss phlox as far as the eye can see (which throws some non-cherry flowers into the mix), Kawaguchiko is a safe bet for a great day out. The north shore of the lake has over 300 cherry trees stretching along the 1 km walk with views of Fuji in the background. Head towards the Kawaguchiko Music Forest for a particularly nice promenade. The annual cherry blossom festival will be held on the north shore in April with evening illuminations. (Catch the bus to the Sarumawashi Theater from Kawaguchiko Station). On the northwestern side, Oshino Hakkai has a tree-lined river with more Fuji views.
3. Mount Takao: Hikes and blossom views
1 hour from Shinjuku Station to Takaosanguchi Station
¥ 390 (one way)
Technically in Tokyo but a day’s worth of sightseeing nonetheless, Takao is a popular mountainous escape from the city . While spring is a great time for a casual hike anyway, when you reach the top of Takao, you’ll be greeted with 1,000 cherry trees in full bloom (if you time it right). Thanks to the altitude and slightly cooler temperatures, you’ll find the blossoms in bloom a little later than the rest of Tokyo, so it’s perfect if you are late to the (hanami) party. Take the popular Omotesandō Trail until you reach the summit — it has some trees dotted along the route. From there, you have another 30-minute hike to the Takaosan Senbonzakura area which is home to around 1,000 trees. The place is pretty popular but you should be able to find a spot for a mini-picnic while you enjoy the view.
4. Chichibu: Shibazakura and temple trails
1 hour 15 minutes from Ikebukuro Station to Seibu-Chichibu Station
¥ 1,500 (one way)
Known for its spring Shibazakura festival , which is a little closer than the one near Mount Fuji, this Saitama city has plenty to offer. Held on Hitsujiyama Park’s Shibazakura Hill, the festival takes place from mid-April to early May and features around 400,000 flowers. The town was once industrial but is moving towards tourism these days, with a 35-temple trail and a tradition of meisen — special silk produced since before the Edo period. For more flower festivals, check out our list of the top 6 in and around Tokyo .
5. Ōmiya Park: A thousand trees to admire
45 minutes from Ikebukuro Station to Kita-Ōmiya Station
1 transfer at Ōmiya Station
¥ 630 (one way)
Located in Saitama City, Ōmiya Park is one of the top 100 places in Japan to see cherry blossoms, so you know you’re off to a good start. There are over 1,000 trees lining paths and grassy knolls so you can squeeze in and have a picnic however busy it gets. The trees are illuminated in the evenings and there’s even a boating lake to get all romantic on, not to mention festival stalls that set up during the blossoming times.
6. Ibaraki: Seasonal flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park
1 hour 30 minutes from Shinagawa Station to Hitachi Seaside Park
Direct train to Katsuta Station and a 15-minute bus
¥ 4,290 (one way)
Whether you are going for the plum in February or the baby blue eyes in April , there’s a flower for every part of spring at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki. It’s an easily doable day trip from Tokyo, but it is on the more expensive side. It may be worth jumping on a tour and getting your spring fill of other areas in the process.
7. Tochigi: Wisteria, tulips, and cherry blossoms at Ashikaga Flower Park
2 hours 4 minutes from Tokyo Station to Ashikaga Flower Park Station
1 transfer at Oyama Station
¥ 1,980 (one way)
For a little bit of everything, why not also try Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture . The tour we mentioned above also features this beautiful park, and for a good reason. Ashikaga Flower Park has the most beautiful spring flowers around. While most known for their Ashikaga Great Wisteria Festival in mid-April to late May, the pleasant, seasonal weather can also be enjoyed a month earlier during cherry blossom and tulip season. We’ve given you the cheapest option to get there, but you can also use the Tōhoku Shinkansen .