Greater Tokyo Area
It is undeniable that the Greater Tokyo Area is at the heart of the Kanto Region, but there are six other wonderful prefectures that comprise the most populated and diverse area in Japan — Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Almost all first-time travelers to Japan visit Tokyo, but far fewer step away from the hustle and bustle and explore the outskirts of the metropolis.
Located in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, is Nikko. Trains from Tokyo will take about two hours and you will land in a beautiful small city and when you climb to the top of town, you will be met with one of the most impressive sites you can find.
The area makes a great two day excursion. The obvious place to invest your time is at the UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of the temples and shrine, Nikko Toshu-gu, Rinno-ji, and Futurasan Jinja. Beyond the temples is Lake Chuzenji where you should take a cruise. Hike around the lake and make your way to Kegon Falls, the Kanmangafuchi Abyss, and the hot springs of Chuzenjiko Onsen.
Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko. It only gets better as you head towards the UNESCO site, Toshogu.
The highlight of Kamamura is a visit to the enormous Great Buddha of Kamakura, which sits on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. The statue stands over 37 feet tall, or 11.4 meters tall.
The JR Yokosuka Line connects Tokyo Station directly with Kamakura Station, and it takes under an hour.
One of the most popular Tokyo-area destinations for foreign and domestic travelers alike, is Hakone. The town is a great destination for a long weekend, en route to other destinations like Kyoto or even a day trip from Tokyo. You can soak in an onsen, surround yourself with beautiful nature, and on a nice day catch a beautiful view of the nearby, Mount Fuji. Food, relaxation, Lake Ashi, and some great museums will keep you busy and happy with getting to know this onsen town.
Hakone Ropeway – try the onsen tamago (boiled eggs). The eggs in their shell are black from the hot springs.
Overshadowed by Tokyo, the second largest city of Japan has a foreign flair like no other. It only takes about 30 minutes by train from Tokyo to get the best Chinese food in the biggest Chinatown in Japan.
Onsen in Gunma
It is said that there are over 3,000 onsen or hot springs in Japan. Gunma Prefecture is home to some of the famous onsen towns. The most popular being Kusatsu Onsen and many others like Manza, Ikaho, Shima, Minakami, and Tanigawa. You don’t need to travel far to experience an entirely different Japan.
Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma
Hahajima and Chichijima are the two main islands of Ogasawara Islands, located about 620 miles, or 1,000 km, south of the main island of Honshu. These tropical island are at the same latitude as Okinawa.
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