Side Trips from Tokyo

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Side Trips from Tokyo - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Hase-dera

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The only temple in Kamakura facing the sea, this is one of the most beautiful, and saddest, places of pilgrimage in the city. On a landing partway...Read More

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  • 2. Toshogu Nikko

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    With its riot of colors and carvings, inlaid pillars, red-lacquer corridors, and extensive use of gold leaf, this 17th-century shrine to Ieyasu...Read More

  • 3. Chuzenji Temple

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    A subtemple of Rinno Temple, at Tosho-gu, the principal object of worship here is the Tachi-ki Kannon, a 17-foot-tall standing statue of the...Read More

  • 4. Engaku-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The largest of the Zen monasteries in Kamakura, Engaku-ji (Engaku Temple) was founded in 1282 and ranks second in the Five Mountains hierarchy...Read More

  • 5. Enno-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In the feudal period, Japan acquired from China a belief in Enma, the lord of hell, who, with his court attendants, judged the souls of the...Read More

  • 6. Futarasan Shrine

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Nikko's holy ground is far older than the Tokugawa dynasty, in whose honor it was improved upon. Founded in 782, Futara-san Jinja (Futura-san...Read More

  • 7. Hofuku-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The first American consul to Japan was New York businessman Townsend Harris. Soon after his arrival in Shimoda, Harris asked the Japanese authorities...Read More

  • 8. Hokoku-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Visitors to Kamakura tend to overlook this lovely little Zen temple of the Rinzai sect that was built in 1334, but it's worth a look. Over the...Read More

  • 9. Iseyama Kotai Jingu

    Nishi-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    A branch of the nation's revered Grand Shrines of Ise, this is the most important Shinto shrine in Yokohama—but it's worth a visit only if you...Read More

  • 10. Jochi-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    In the Five Mountains hierarchy, Jochi-ji (Jochi Temple) was ranked fourth. The buildings now in the complex are reconstructions; the Great...Read More

  • 11. Jomyo-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Founded in 1188, this is one of the Five Mountains Zen monasteries. Though this modest single-story monastery belonging to the Rinzai sect lacks...Read More

  • 12. Kamakura-gu

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This Shinto shrine was built after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and was dedicated to Prince Morinaga (1308–36), the first son of Emperor Go...Read More

  • 13. Kencho-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Founded in 1250, Kencho-ji (Kencho Temple) was the foremost of Kamakura's five great Zen temples, and it lays claim to being the oldest Zen...Read More

  • 14. Meigetsu-in

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple is also known as Ajisai-dera (the hydrangeas temple), and when the flowers bloom in June, it becomes one of the most popular places...Read More

  • 15. Nikko Futarasan Shrine Chugushi

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    A subshrine of the Futarasan Shrine at Toshogu, this is the major religious center on the north side of Lake Chuzenji, about 1½ km (1 miles...Read More

  • 16. Rinno-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple belongs to the Tendai sect of Buddhism, the head temple of which is Enryaku-ji, on Mt. Hiei near Kyoto. The main hall of Rinno Temple...Read More

  • 17. Ryosen-ji


    This is the temple in which the negotiations took place that led to the United States–Japan Treaty of Amity and Commerce of 1858. The Treasure...Read More

  • 18. Ryuko-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Kamakura story would not be complete without the tale of Nichiren (1222–82), the monk who founded the only native Japanese sect of Buddhism...Read More

  • 19. Soji-ji

    Tsurumi-ku | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One of the two major centers of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism, Soji-ji, in Yokohama's Tsurumi ward, was founded in 1321. The center was moved...Read More

  • 20. Taiyu-in Mausoleum

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This grandiose building is the resting place of the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu (1604–51), who imposed a policy of national isolation on...Read More

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