Have you heard of Kanagawa? It is the prefecture towards the south of Tokyo and also the prefecture of Kamakura and Hakone – popular towns for a short or weekend holiday. Scenic views from these towns are breathtaking and beautiful, but there is definitely more than it meets the eye in other regions of Kanagawa. In this article, I will share how you could plan a day trip to Kanagawa if you are travelling from Tokyo. Let’s check out some of the less touristy areas that you could explore in Kanagawa!
7 AM Departure from Tokyo
7.30 AM Breakfast
8.30 AM Kawasaki Warehouse (Anata no warehouse)
10.30 AM Fujiko F. Fujio Museum
12.30 PM Lunch
1.30 PM Folk House Museum (Nihon Minkaen)
3.30 PM Departure to Yokohama
4.30 PM Evening scenic view at Minato Mirai
5.30 PM Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse & Dinner
7.30 PM Departure back to Tokyo
Start your day early when the sun is up! Board the 7 am train from Tokyo Station and you would reach Kawasaki Station before 7.30 am.
Get a filling breakfast at the famous Matsuya gyudon chain store located down the road from Kawasaki Station, less than 10 minutes’ walk away. Gyudon is a delicious beef bowl that comes rice and topped with beef slices and onions. I recommend you to have this at Matsuya as their set meals’ pricing is quite decent (less than 1,000 yen).
After breakfast, walk over to your first destination of the day – Kawasaki Warehouse, also known as Anata no Warehouse in Japanese. Located just 8 minutes’ walk away from Matsuya, this amusement game park looks like a creepy run-down building at first glance. Both the exterior and interior of Kawasaki Warehouse is actually a remake of the former Kowloon Walled City, a lawless city in Hong Kong. Inside, there are gaming arcades, darts and billiard and a net cafe. As the arcade opens only at 9 am, you could walk around and explore the creepy warehouse, or even enjoy yourselves with darts and billiards or even the net cafe which is opened 24 hours.
Address: 3-7 Nisshincho, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture 210-0024, Japan
Gaming Arcade Opening Hours (2nd & 3rd Floor): 9 AM – 11:45 PM (Mon – Fri), 7 AM – 11:45 PM (Sat., Sun. and holidays)
Darts & billiard, Net Café Opening Hours (4th & 5th Floor): 24 Hours
Admission: Free (only limited to 18 years old and above)
Website: http://www.warehousenet.jp/ (in Japanese)
Take the train from Kawasaki Station to Fujiko F. Fujio Museum by alighting at Shukugawara Station. Better known as the museum dedicated to Doraemon, it is a popular museum for children and adults who grew up loving this Doraemon’s manga and anime series. Do take note that this museum works a little different as they require you to purchase your entry ticket online prior to your visit. Walk-ins will not be entertained.
Fujiko F. Fujio Museum.
Giant character at the outdoor park.
Address: 2-chome 8-1 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-city, Kanagawa Prefecture, 214-0023
Telephone: +81 (0) 570-055-245
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM
Closed: Tuesdays (except Golden Week), Summer holidays (20 July – 3 Sept) & New Year holidays (30 Jan – 3 Jan)
Entrance Fee: ￥1000 (adults and university students), ￥700 (high school and junior high school students), ￥400 (children 4 years old or older)
Grab a lunch at the museum’s cafe or at a restaurant nearby the museum. There are many cute and attractive looking food that would make you want to have more!
Alternatively, just 5 minutes walk away from Fujiko F. Fujio Museum there is a diner called Kamome Shokudo and a conveyer belt sushi restaurant, Kura Sushi.
Address: 1 Chome-1-1-7 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken 214-0023, Japan
Address: 2 Chome-44-33 Shukugawara, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken 214-0021, Japan
Learn about Japanese architecture and folk tales by visiting the open air Folk House Museum (Nihon Minkanen) located on the slopes of Tama Hills. This museum preserves 24 traditional folk houses which were shifted from its original location to this place. If you join the English tour or download their audio-guide app on your mobile phone, you could learn about the stories behind these houses. Besides that, there are also interesting activities held during different seasons of the year such as folk storytelling and demonstration of folk crafts. Do check their website for more information.
Address: 7-1-1 Masugata, Tama Ward, Kawasaki City, 214-0032 Japan
Opening Hours: 9.30 AM – 5 PM (Mar. to Oct.), 9.30 AM – 4.30 PM (Nov. to Feb.)
Closed: Mondays, the day after Japanese national holidays, Dec. 29 – Jan. 3
Entrance Fee: 500 yen (adults), 300 yen (high school students & 65 years and over), free for 15 years and below
English help: Guide tour (register 2 weeks prior to your visit), audio guide
It’s time to depart to Yokohama for more adventure! Walk over to Shukugawara Station and alight at Minato Mirai Station (40 – 50 mins.). Go to the Minato Mirai 21 seaside area where you could observe the Landmark Tower, Queens Tower and Cosmo World’s Ferris Wheel. The evening and night view here is simply beautiful when the city is lighted up. If you have time on hand, I recommend going to the Landmark Tower’s Sky Garden Observatory to enjoy the night view of Yokohama.
Don’t miss out visiting the iconic historical Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse not too far away. Besides being a UNESCO heritage building, this warehouse also houses a shopping mall and exhibition halls. If you are keen to do some shopping, this would perfect place! You could also have your dinner here to save time searching for a restaurant elsewhere.
Address: 1-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001
Opening Hours: 10 AM – 8 PM
After spending an entire day outdoors, it’s time to head back to Tokyo with a happy mood. Just walk over to the Sakuragicho Station (the nearest station) to board the train and you could reach Tokyo before 8.30 pm.
Overall, a day trip to Kanagawa is pretty free and easy, even though you need to transfer train a few times a couple of times. I definitely recommend spending a day at Kanagawa if you are looking to travel not too far away from Tokyo. Even though Kawasaki and Yokohama may not be as scenic as Kamakura and Hakone, you would still enjoy your share of vacation here!