Tokyo got the best of you? In need of somewhere to relax in the big city? I’ve done the research to bring you the 5 best places to chill out or relax in Tokyo. Whether you’re a solo traveler or with a family, I’ll find somewhere for you!
How to have a relaxing holiday in Japan
Other than surviving your flight to Japan, there are a couple of things you can to do make your time as calm as possible.
Going on holiday in any country can be overwhelming, and Japan is certainly no different.
Here are a couple of suggestions to help you stay chilled out during your trip:
- Go for things that don’t require a lot of planning – All of the options on the list below are spots or places you could travel to at a moment’s notice. The trouble with places further away is that they’ll require more planning and more moving parts. The more moving parts something has, the more things can go wrong.
- Keep it simple – Focus on one activity at a time, and don’t spend your entire stay planning your next day. Live in the moment and enjoy all that Japan has to offer. Sure, transport isn’t everyone’s favourite thing, but it sure as hell beats anything England has to offer!
- Plan ahead – Yep, I know the last two points have told you not to do this. Instead of planning ahead when you’re in Japan, create a bucket list to make sure you haven’t missed anything you want to do. Then it’s just a case of fitting it into your schedule, and you won’t regret missing anything because you will have cherry-picked the best of the best!
Looking for relaxing Japanese parks in America? Click here to read that article!
Don’t believe everything you read
I’ve seen quite a few blog posts referencing ‘Relaxing’ things to do or places to go in Tokyo, and let me tell you, don’t trust anywhere that says the Robot restaurant is chilled out!!
Not only has that place shut down, but it’s also as in your face and loud as it gets! Ha! Hence my reason for building an article that actually points people in the right direction for relaxing spots in Tokyo.
1. Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Location: Koto City, Tokyo
Nearest station: Telecom Center Station
Price: Varies (See below)
It can sometimes be a little tricky to find a family-friendly onsen in Japan.
Most of them are separated by male and female which makes it tough to have a memorable experience with your family unless you’re willing to fork out for a private onsen, and they can get pricey.
I want to introduce you to Oedo Onsen Monogatari, one of the oldest onsen theme parks in Japan.
Now normally when you talk about theme parks your first thought isn’t ‘Relaxing’ but in the busiest city in the world, it might just be the perfect family day trip.
Attractions at the Oedo onsen theme park
The Oedo Onsen Monogatari features an astonishing amount of attractions that should keep your entire family occupied during your day trip.
The footbath onsen
Something you may not have seen before in Tokyo. A fully functioning onsen that you can walk through whilst your feet get the A* treatment! Think of it like a really shallow lazy river you can amble through at your own pace whilst taking in the beautiful views and living in the present moment. Take a look at the video below from their YouTube channel, it’s honestly pretty cool!
The Tokyo onsen theme park also features a plethora of unique onsens you’re unlikely to have experienced before:
- Hyakunin-buro (Silky bath)
- Lukewarm bath (Female only)
- Lying bath (Pretty much a bed onsen)
- Open air Edo Garden
- Open air bath (female only)
- Tub bath (Female only)
- Footbath garden
If you cant find a way to relax in one of these baths, then I don’t know how you will!
Other attractions include:
- Fish therapy
- Bedrock bath
- Edo period Fair (Stalls and atmosphere from the Edo Period)
- Izakaya and Restaurants
For up-to-date information about the Onsens and unique experiences offered by Oedo Onsen Monogatari, click here.
Oedo onsen cost
|Oedo Onsen Admission||Weekdays||Saturday & Sunday||Special Days|
|Adults (over 12 years old)|
Day Rate (until 18:00)
|¥2,768 (with tax)||¥2,988 (with tax)||¥3,098 (with tax)|
|Adults (over 12 years old) |
Night Rate (after 18:00)
|¥2,218 (with tax)||¥2,438 (with tax)||¥2,548 (with tax)|
|Children (4-6 years old)||¥1,078 (with tax)||¥1,078 (with tax)||¥1,078 (with tax)|
|After 2:00AM (additional fee)||¥2,200 (with tax)||¥2,200 (with tax)||¥2,200 (with tax)|
How to get to Oedo onsen Monogatari
The Oedo Onsen theme park is easily accessible from Tokyo by either train or the free-of-charge shuttle bus.
Free-of-charge shuttle buses are available from Tokyo Teleport, Asakusa, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Tokyo, Kinshi-Cho, etc.
A full list of departure points for both train and shuttle bus can be found on the company website here.
2. Ueno Park
Location: Ueno, Tokyo
Nearest station: Ueno Station
Situated in central Tokyo, Ueno Park is a huge public park that’s a great place to relax for free.
Enjoy the Cherry Blossom
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Japan during cherry blossom season, Ueno Park is a perfect place to relax under the sakura trees.
If you’ve read anything about the cherry blossom season before, you’ll know it can be an extremely busy time of year.
Home to a little of 1000 cherry blossom trees, the park is a great place to chill out and enjoy Hanami in a perfect spot away from the crowds.
Tip: Don’t just picnic under the cherry blossoms in the midday sun. The most popular time to enjoy Hanami is actually at night. You can usually expect to see people using electrical cookers, lighting lanterns, and generally chilling out after a hard day’s work.
Relax in the Shinobazu Pond
Bored of walking?
Maybe it’s time to go to the Shinobazu boat dock and rent out a pedalo for the day.
One thing I love about this activity is you really get to separate yourself from the busy metropolis that you’re in. When you left Ueno station and walked into the park, you crossed the threshold both physically and mentally.
In the city, your mind was bombarded with stimuli from all directions, each one competing for your attention more than the last. But when you stepped into the park, there was nothing. You were left to your own devices and given a moment to reflect on past, present, and future events.
Now you amplify those feelings by placing yourself in the middle of a calm and serene lake, and you might just have the best place to relax in Tokyo.
This is even more apparent during the summer months when the pond is covered by lotus leaves (See top photo) and is transformed into some sort of city oasis.
How to get to Ueno Park
It’s a short 5-minute walk from Ueno Station! How simple! ^_^
3. Todoroki Valley
Location: Setagaya, Tokyo
Nearest station: Todoroki Station (Tokyo)
If none of the previous two options have been chilled out enough for you, let me introduce you to a place that could quite happily be in the middle of the Amazon.
Todoroki Valley, get away from Tokyo… In Tokyo!
Unfortunately, I don’t have any other photos other than the one above, but it says all it needs to. A jungle-like canopy in the middle of Tokyo. So cool!
Located in the center of Setagaya, Todoroki Valley is the City oasis nobody knows about.
Getting to Todoroki Valley
Not much planning is needed for this one, so it’s a great last-minute choice if you don’t know where to go.
20 minutes on the Tokyu Oimachi Line from Shibuya and should only cost you about 200 yen.
When you get there
Once you arrive at the valley, there are quite a few walking trails to do if that’s something you’re interested in.
You can expect to see traditional bridges, ancient buildings, beautiful views, loads of bamboo, and to feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside whilst you’ll actually still be in Tokyo.
4. Mount Takao
Location: Hachiōji, Tokyo
Nearest station: Takaosanguchi station (Tokyo)
Monkey Park – ¥420
Keio Takaosan Onsen – ¥1000
With more than 2.5 million annual visitors, Mount Takao. Despite the footfall, Mount Takao is a great spot if you want some peace and quiet or want to reconnect with nature. And if you get up early(ish) it’s easily doable in a day.
How do you get from Tokyo to Takao?
Looking to unwind and relax in Tokyo but don’t have the time for a weekend trip?
Once you’ve got yourself to Shinjuku Station, it’s an easy 40-50 minute train journey on the Keiō Line to Tako Station.
From there, it’s a quick 10-minute ride to Takaosanguchi station situated at the foot of Mount Takao.
So about an hour’s journey from Shinjuku should only cost you around $5.
Money well spent in my opinion!
How long does it take to climb Mount Takao?
Even if you aren’t a budding mountaineer in your spare time, climbing Mount Takao should be more than achievable for you. With an average hiking time of 90 minutes, even the least experienced of you should be able to make it up without much trouble.
Or if you’re having a lazy day (ahhh don’t beat yourself up, we all have them!) there is a cable car and chairlift that drop you off close to the observation deck at the summit.
5. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Location: Shinjuku, Tokyo
Nearest station: Shinjuku Station
Just a few minutes’ walk from Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku Gyoen is the perfect spot to relax whilst having your lunch in the big city.
Its grounds are full of beautifully kept lawns, temples, and ponds. A must-see for anyone interested in Japanese gardening practices.
I haven’t been lucky enough myself but if you’re in Japan during cherry blossom season this is another fanatic park to enjoy.
During Edo period, the Shōgun gave the land to Lord Naitō of Tsuruga who finished building a garden here in 1772.
It subsequently became a botanical garden and then an imperial garden in 1906. Then, after the air raids in 1945, the garden was time consumingly rebuilt to its former glory.
On May 21st, 1949, the garden was open to the public as a National park as it still is today.
As you can see, the plants and trees are meticulously pruned and make pretty much every corner of the park look like a painting.
If you’re looking for one of the most aesthetically pleasing gardens in Tokyo where you can see firsthand how much effort a dedication goes into these natural spaces, you need not look any further.
For me, it’s a park I can walk through and almost feel as though I’m stepping back in time. That’s a pretty nice feeling when you’re constantly surrounded by some of the most advanced technology in the world whilst you walk around the city.
It’s somewhere you should go and completely disconnect from the digital world. Well… as much as you can anyway!
How to get to Shinjuku Gyoen National Park
Take the train to Shinjuku Station and it’s a 5-minute walk to one of the park gates.
Take a look at the map below for a more detailed description:
Keep in mind there is a small admission fee of ¥500, but it’s a completely justified expense to keep the park open and pay for the skilled gardeners that keep it in shape.
Tokyo is an extremely exciting place with more things to do than you’ll likely have time for. So don’t be afraid to take a few hours or even a day to yourself to truly embrace Japanese Zen culture and relax!