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Itinerary from Tokyo
Off the Beaten Path - 002

Use this itinerary from Tokyo to visit four towns and cities north of Tokyo. Visit the Edo town of Tochigi, have lunch in the Ramen capital of Japan, Sano. Then explore the silk weaving tradition of Kiryu and discover Mt. Akagi.

Depart from Tokyo

From Asakusa station in Tokyo, take the Tobu Limited express towards Tobu Nikko or Kinugawa Onsen. (There is usually a train every 30 min).

Get off at your first stop Tochigi which is 70 min from Asakusa.

Spacia from Asakusa Station (Itinerary from Tokyo)

Visit Tochigi city

From Asakusa station in Tokyo, take the Tobu Limited express towards Tobu Nikko or Kinugawa Onsen. (There is usually a train every 30 min).

Get off at your first stop Tochigi which is 70 min from Asakusa.

Gondola boat ride in Tochigi (Tochigi city visitor deals)
Time to spend in Tochigi: 3hours - 1 day

Visit Sano

From Tochigi station, take the JR Ryomo line towards Takasaki station and get off at Sano station. (The train takes 15 min and there is usually a train every 30-60 min).

Once at Sano there are many Ramen stores that sell sano ramen. There is a ramen information room in the station (south exit) so you can decide where to go by checking this out (click here to read about some Sano ramen shops we’ve featured).

For lunch, try the ‘Otonosama Ryori’, which is a set meal offered by several restaurants in the area. It is a delicious meal based on a discovered Edo period recipe for the local ruler of that time.

Time to spend in Sano: 1 -2hours

Visit Kiryu

From JR Sano station, take the JR Ryomo line towards Takasaki station and get off at Kiryu station. (The train takes 30 min and there is usually a train every 30-60 min).

With a 1,200 year-old silk weaving history, Kiryu is a great place to learn the tradition, wear silk kimono, and weave your very own silk coaster using their traditional methods.

There is also cycling tours and temple stays. Information of how to explore Kiryu can be found here in the ‘Kiryu 2-day itinerary‘.

Weaving Silk in Kiryu City nearby Tokyo
Time to spend in Kiryu: 3hours - 1day

Visit Mount Akagi

Walk to JR Kiryu station and take the JR Ryomo line towards Takasaki station and get off at Maebashi station. (The train takes 32 min and there is usually a train every 30-60 min). From Maebashi station exit the north exit and take a bus from ‘Bus Stop No. 6’. 

*On regular days take the bus to ‘Fujimi Onsen (last stop)’ and change there to a second bus to ‘Akagi san Visitor Center’. On weekends and national holidays, you do not need to change as there is a ‘direct bus’ (from the same bus stop) that will take you straight to ‘Akagi san Visitor Center’. The trip from Maebashi is 60-70 min.

*If you have an international driving license, driving will be easier. We recommend getting off the JR Ryomo line at Takasaki station (the last stop) instead of Maebashi station and hiring a car to enjoy the 70 min drive from there to Akagi.

Once at Akagi, there are many activities. Ideas of how to explore Mount Akagi can found here in the ‘Akagi 2-day itinerary‘.’

Lake Onuma in Akagi area
Time to spend in Akagi: 1- 2days

Make your way back to Tokyo

From Akagi, take the bus from ‘Akagi san Visitor Center’ back to Maebashi station which takes 60-70min. (Please note that at weekends and national holidays there is a ‘direct bus’ to JR Maebashi station, but for other days you need to change buses at ‘Fujimi Onsen’ so include more time for changing buses).

If you are driving, drive back to Takasaki station and take the Shinkansen (bullet train) back to Tokyo after returning your car. There is a Shinkansen train to Tokyo every 15 min and the journey from Takasaki to Tokyo is about 50 min. 

Suggested itinerary from Tokyo & final Thoughts...

I hope you enjoyed reading this off-the-beaten-path itinerary. If you are interested in Edo period, Ramen, History of silk weaving & Kimono, Outdoor activities and the Japanese countryside, then this itinerary great is for you!

See below for a detailed itinerary from Tokyo. Hop on the train (or take a road trip) to these destinations north of Tokyo!

– Leave Asakusa station (Tokyo) – DAY 1     *Friday

  •   8:00 Asakusa station in Tokyo (Limited express Spacia) – 9:08 Tochigi station
  •  

-Leave Tochigi station – DAY 1     *Friday

  •   12:13 Tochigi station – 12:28 JR Sano station
  •  

-Leave JR Sano station – DAY 1     *Friday

  •   14:29 JR Sano station – 14:59 JR Kiryu station
  •  

-Leave JR Kiryu statin – DAY 2     *Saturday

  •   14:01 JR Kiryu station – 14:34 Maebashi Station 
  •   15:15 ‘Direct bus’ from Maebashi station (Bus stop 6)- 16:24 Akagi san Visitor Center bus stop (bus timetable 2021 summer)
  •  

Driving (car hire from Takasaki sta.)

  •  15:01 JR Kiryu station – 15:47 Takasaki Station 
  •  16:10 Drive to Mount Akagi – 17:30 Arrive at destination
  •  

-Leave Mount Akagi – DAY 3     *Sunday

  •  16:40 Akagi san Visitor Center bus stop  – 17:49 JR Maebashi Station  (bus timetable 2021 summer)
  •  18:05 JR Maebashi station – 18:21 JR Takasaki station
  •  18:34 JR Takasaki station (Shinkansen)  – 19:18 Ueno station in Tokyo
  •  

Driving (car hire from Takasaki sta.)

  •  16:50 Depart Akagi by car – 18:00 JR Takasaki Station (return car)
  •  18:34 JR Takasaki  station (Shinkansen)  – 19:18 Ueno station in Tokyo 
  •  

*There are many Shinkansen trains (bullet trains) from Takasaki station to Tokyo departing every 15-30min so do not worry if you miss the 18:34train from Takasaki.

*Times were correct at 25th April 2021, to check times please use  3rd party websites such as Japan transit Planner (external) or  HiperDia (external).

This itinerary is ideally for 2nights and 3 days (a night in Kiryu and Akagi), but you can take more time. This trip is easy to do by public transportation as well as driving (rent-a-car).

Check out the Journey

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Click here to discover more ‘off the beaten path’ itineraries in the north of Tokyo region near Tokyo.

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