There are so many attractions in Tokyo, it can be hard to figure out which ones to visit, which to pass up and which aren’t worth the visit due to the hassle of dealing with the crowds. The main attractions like Kamakura, Mt. Takao, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Skytree and Yumenoshima are all great places to visit but should be saved for a weekday or for the “off season.” Instead, opt for attractions and sights that are off the beaten track for fun, fewer crowds and better experiences.
Who’d think there is a gorge in Tokyo, let alone a gorge that is open to the public to enjoy? If you head out from the Todoroki Station, you’ll soon pick up the trails to the gorge. It takes a little over a kilometer to get to the gorge and once you’re there, you can watch the waterfall, soak up the green leafy surrounding, and if you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can climb up to the Todoroki Fudo Temple.
Nihon Minka-en is an open-air museum that is home to a number of 18th and 19th century buildings that are open to the public for exploring. The buildings are arranged like a village, so as you wander the streets and in and out of the buildings, the small town almost comes alive. It’s easy to imagine how people used to live here and how they made a living. Thatched farmhouse roofs draw attention to the farming aspect of this community. Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the quiet and relative calmness of Nihon Minka-en.
While this is a little further out of Tokyo than the other options, Nagatoro is still a great option to get off the beaten path. This spot is best known for the “tatami-stacks,” or the rock formations that frame its gorge. You can take a traditional wooden boat down the Arakawa River, or if you prefer a bird’s-eye view, use the ropeway to get to the top of Mt. Hodo for wide open views of the area.
While Sakura is commonly known for its station on the way to the airport, it used to be a castle town where the National Museum of Japanese History has taken up residence. The museum has extensive exhibits that tell the story of Japan’s history, folklore and archeology. Take your time learning about the history and enjoying the ancient and historically important place that is Sakura.
Jindaiji is a western province of Tokyo and is a temple with accompanying botanical Gardens. The temple is the second oldest in the area and there are a number of charming little shops and restaurants for you to peruse during your time in the small village. There will be things blooming in the botanical gardens at all times of the year, but even in the colder months, it’s enjoyable to just stroll through the open air gardens and take in the fresh air.
When you stick to the lesser-known attractions in Tokyo, you’ll avoid most of the crowds and be able to enjoy yourself while getting to know the city. Cover-More budget travel insurance can be a great addition to your off-the-beaten-path adventure in Tokyo. You’ll get all the benefits you need, with none of the fluff you don’t need. Compare your options today, get a quote online and buy your policy today.
Image courtesy of Flickr user w00kie.