While there is no right or wrong way to ‘holiday’, a trip that involves adventuring will usually require somewhat more research than a vacation spent by the poolside. If you’re ready for your next adventure, Tokyo may just be your dream destination.
No, we’re not talking big city lights. We’re talking picturesque, natural landscapes and fascinating historic monuments. While Tokyo is famed for its dazzling city life, it has so much more to offer. Within an easy distance of Tokyo is some amazing natural scenery, cultural activities and historic sites, but make sure you purchase Probus Travel Insurance before you head off.
Less than 100 kilometres from Tokyo, a day trip to Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, or Hakone as it’s often referred to, is well worth the journey.
The area’s natural beauty and postcard-perfect scenery will not disappoint. Views of Japan’s highest and most prom¬inent mountain, Mount Fuji, wows visitors as does Hakone’s caldera lake, Ashinoko. For the best views, take a sightseeing cruise around the lake or simply sit back and take it all in from the boat pier. If you want to take in more of what Hakone has to offer in breathtaking scenery, jump on the Tozan Densha, Japan’s oldest mountain railway.
After something a bit more relaxing? Check out Hakone’s hot springs. More than a dozen hot springs can be found in the area, which have supplied high quality hot water to nearby bath houses and ryokan (resort style inns) for centuries. While there are plenty of public bath houses for visitors, you can’t go past ryokan for an authentic experience of traditional Japanese hospitality.
Around one hour south from Tokyo, Kamakura is a small city filled with historic temples and shrines. Its fascinating history as a political centre for Japan goes back centuries, and for a time the city and its government ruled the entire country. Get a taste of the city’s religious and cultural significance by a visit to Kotokuin, the great Buddha of Kamakura, or any one of the city’s dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines. Sometimes called the ‘Kyoto of the East’, Kamakura has a laid back vibe and in summer beach shacks come alive and the area flows with surfers. There’s also a cool food scene and plenty of interesting restaurants.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Although located in what most people consider Tokyo proper, Tokyo Disney Resort is an enduringly popular spot for visitors – young and old, Disney fanatics and those with a passing interest in the ‘mouse house’ alike. Comprising two separate parks, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, this was the first Disney theme park outside the US built. Rides, food and fun abound. The Resort is also home to Ikspiari Shopping Mall, if you feel like a break from the themed lands, parades and crowds.