Photo: DnlRxn on FlickrTokyo is one of the busiest cities in the world, and is rich with plenty of places to visit and things to see. This article will focus on things to do just outside of the Tokyo city area, that you can easily reach by train or car.
Kamakura, located in the Kanagawa region, is an excellent place to visit for walks, shrines and a glimpse at Japanese town life. A popular tourist attraction is Daibutsu, the giant buddha statue, which can be reached by a main road or through a forest trail route easily reachable by foot from the train station.
How to get there: From Tokyo station you can get the JR Yokosuka Line which is an hour's trip directly to Kamakura station. A train leaves daily every fifteen minutes.
Cost: One great thing about the Tokyo train system is that the prices are consistant - unlike the UK, train ticket prices don't change. A single trip from Tokyo station to Kamakura station is 920 yen. Bear in mind this is for a single trip, so you'd have to pay another 920 yen to get back to Tokyo, and maybe more if you're moving on from Tokyo station.
The cost of the walk to Daibutsu is nothing; it depends on what you plan to do in Kamakura. When I went, we paid for food and the train ride, and that was it.
Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea
Photo: Chun-Yan Ker on FlickrIn Japan, Disneyland and Disney Sea are places you can go with your friends or as couples - it's not necessarily just for children. Both theme parks are located in Chiba, which is east of Tokyo. It's a fantastic and fun day out to spend with your friends or on a date, and features different themes all over the year. For example, Disney's Halloween week or summer festival.
How to get there: From Tokyo station, you can get to Disneyland and Disney Sea in less than 30 minutes on the Keiyo Line. There's a train every six minutes, and a single trip is 210 yen to Maihama Station, which is adjacent to both parks.
You can also get a bus service directly from Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Narita Airport and more places (click here for more information).
Cost: Disneyland and Disney Sea tickets come at a range of prices. The full ticket list for them both can be found here.
HINT: It's cheaper to go in the evening - if no one in your group minds, it works out a lot cheaper to enter the park after 6pm.
If you enjoy hiking, Mt. Mitake is a great and inexpensive day out. It's got fresh mountain air and a nearby national park that's incredibly fun.
Photo: Alper Çuğun on Flickr
How to get there: It's a little trickier to get to Mitake from Tokyo, but easily doable. From Tokyo station, take the JR Chuo line to Oume station, then change to the JR Ome line to Mitake station. Then get the Nishitokyo bus and get off at the last stop. You can get a cable car up the mountain. The whole trip is around two hours or more, so it's advisable to go early in the morning.
Cost: The train trip totals to 920 yen one way by train, and the bus is a little extra.
Kasairinkai Park, located in Edogawa, is a pleasant park next to the beach where you can rent a bike, visit the aquarium, check out the ferris wheel and lots more. We had a picnic and took a stroll around the park, admiring the many flowers blooming there. It was clean and safe - a great day out for families as well as groups of friends.
How to get there: You can get the Keiyo Line from Tokyo Station directly to Kasarinkaikoen Station for 210 yen for a single trip.
Cost: Both the aquarium and the ferris wheel are 700 yen each.
Yokohama is a less fast-paced and smaller city than Tokyo, that also boasts a famous ferris wheel, named 'the big O', a small theme park, restaurants and countless shopping malls. It's the place to go if you love cities but are looking for a slight change of pace.
How to get there: There are many ways to get to Yokohama by train from Tokyo station; it often works out cheaper to go from different stations in Tokyo, such as Shibuya or Shinagawa. A full breakdown of costs, lines and stations can be found here.
Cost: Depending on what train you decide to get, it will range from 300-600 yen for a single trip to Yokohama. Once there, whether you want to just explore the city or shop and eat will affect the cost of your trip - like any city, of course.
All of these places were a great day out, all for different reasons. Hopefully, some (or even all) of them appeal to you. Have fun!