3 Amazing Autumn Day Trips from Shinjuku

Although there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy fall colors in Shinjuku, nothing beats getting out into nature and strolling or hiking below a canopy of gold and crimson leaves. All it takes is the right train and a day of free time to experience some truly wonderful autumn excursions. Shinjuku Station, the busiest station in the world, is a hub that launches you to all sorts of adventures throughout the country. Read on to learn more about what you can accomplish in just one day.

Mt. Takao

Photo Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via Flickr

Located just over 50 kilometers from Shinjuku, it only takes about 45 minutes to reach Mt. Takao using the Keio line. Just hop on the train bound for Takaosanguchi Station and you’ll be delivered right to adventure’s doorstep.
The beauty of a trip to Mt. Takao (besides all of the fall colors) is that this popular hiking and picnicking spot has something for everyone.
Are you a hiking veteran? Get an early start to beat the crowds and traverse the peaks and valleys of Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.
Or, if you’d prefer a relaxing Sunday nature stroll, simply hop on the ropeway and cruise up to the summit, where you can take in stunning vistas with a beer in hand.
Just remember that Mt. Takao can get incredibly crowded, especially during the fall. As is the case with most popular sightseeing spots, arriving early is the key to having a great time. You may even want to consider a plan like this one.

Go to Mt. Takao using what3words: ///exacted.welcome.jeeps


The Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha Statue). Photo Credit: UT via Wikimedia Commons

A former capital city of Japan, Kamakura is the perfect place to explore the country’s rich history without straying too far from Tokyo. All it takes is a little more than an hour on the Shonan Shinjuku line to reach a favorite weekend getaway for Tokyo residents and tourists alike.
Just as with Mt. Takao, Kamakura is a place that anyone can enjoy. From browsing the quaint shops around town to some light hiking through the foothills, Kamakura has more than enough to keep you occupied all day. If you start your day early, you may even be able to go for a scenic coastal ride on the historic Enoden or check out the popular Enoshima beach nearby. If you can make it to Enoshima Island by sunset, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Mt. Fuji, standing tall between azure ocean waves and a crimson red sky.

Go to Kamakura Station with what3words: ///ports.collide.tougher


Mt. Komagatake. The ropeway in the distance offers amazing views of Mt. Fuji. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Although it’s a little more challenging than the previous options, you can still get a good feel for historic Hakone in one day. Once again, all it takes is a single train ride out of Shinjuku Station and you’re there.
Just hop on the Odakyu Romancecar (which, I assure you has nothing to do with actual romance), kick back for about 90 minutes, and before you know it, you’ll be at the base of the giant crater that defines the Hakone region.
From here, you’ll need to hop on a bus which will take you inside the crater and grant you access to all kinds of activities, including hot springs, a ropeway ride over a volcanic valley, and even a ride on a pirate ship! Of course, for many, simply getting out of the city and soaking in beautiful fall scenery is more than enough to make the trip worthwhile.

Go to Hakone Station with what3words: ///tent.november.mammals

Go beyond Tokyo

Although you don’t have to leave Tokyo proper to view amazing autumn landscapes, there’s something truly refreshing about exploring nature and escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city. Tokyo’s unrivaled levels of convenience can be seductive, enticing you to never venture beyond its borders. I challenge you to break free from the siren call of the city and explore what lies beyond. All it takes is a little planning and a sense of adventure, and you’ll be able to enjoy some of the best autumn scenery of a lifetime.

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Writer / Translator

Originally from Riverside, California, I've been living, working, and writing in Japan since 2009. Japan has become my second home, and I'm especially fond of Shinjuku, Tokyo. That being said, I also love getting out into the countryside and exploring the entire country. Through Tadaima Japan, I hope to share the wonders of Japan with a wider, international audience. Check out my articles if you enjoy exploring on foot, convenient cafes, and affordable dining.


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