Near Tokyo, some cities worth to spend the day there. I have been to Kamakura and Nikko which are two different ambiances. I personally preferred Kamakura because of its beach mood but Nikko is a real cultural place speaking of temples.
So, as I said the first place I have been to was Kamakura which is around 45 minutes away from Tokyo by train. The part of the city near the train station is not the most interesting one. Temples near it have nothing really special in comparison of what we can find in Japan. However, there is a cute little street full of souvenirs and food which can be enjoyable if you have some time to spend. Moreover, if you decide to go and visit the temples (especially the Kencho-Ji) go to the upper part and if it’s not cloudy you can a view of Fuji Mont. (I was not lucky enough to see it).
I found the other part of the city way more interesting and beautiful. To go to the western/southern part I decided to walk and not take the bus or train. I think it was really worthy because I appreciated the atmosphere of this small city. The place is full of cool cafe, restaurant or street art which is really charming. Moreover, the streets are colorful or white and you feel like you’re not in Japan anymore.
Once you crossed the city you can join the famous Hase Dera. I really loved this place which is representative of the zen Japanese garden with its flowers, red fishes, small bouddhas and beautiful temples. This temple also have its own small cavern which is surprising but at the same time give a certain mystery to the place. At the upper part of the place, you can admire the view of the city and its ocean.
This city is almost known for its Daibutsu which is a huge statue of Buddha. Unfortunately, the place was closed because of renovation until 2017.
Kamakura, as I mentioned before strongly represent the sea shore mood. The closest you get to the beach the most you find small little shops, cafe representing this spirit. Because when I went there it was winter almost nobody was on the beach expect few surfers. Seeing the beach was an enjoyable time and real fresh air from Tokyo even if the beach in itself is not spectacular.
Completely changing the atmosphere with the discovering of Nikko. This place from about 1 hour by train from Tokyo is located in the mountain and colder than the capital. I didn’t really love the place because of the city. Nikko is famous for its gorgeous temples and I agree with that. However, except these few temples the city is empty and doesn’t have any soul.
This is why I really appreciated the colorful and spectacular temples (as you can see on pictures). If you have some time and want to go out Tokyo this is a great option but if you are out of time you can find others gorgeous temples in Japan outside Nikko.
Here are two options out of Tokyo which can be a one day trip outside of the capital and enjoy your free time.