Double your fun by staying
in Tokyo’s outskirts!

Can’t find a hotel in the Tokyo metropolitan area during the Olympic and Paralympic Games? Consider staying in the outskirts of Tokyo or even the countryside.

Hotels are going to be hard to book throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. If you’re struggling with options, extend your search to places outside the metropolitan area. The areas surrounding Tokyo are serviced by an extensive network of rail lines, and high-speed trains like the Shinkansen(bullet train) provide easy access to and from several major cities.
Plus, staying in the outer reaches will give you a chance to get acquainted with the lesser known parts of Japan, while having fast and easy access to the games in Tokyo.

Find the ideal base
for your Tokyo 2020 trip!

Tips

  • Stay along major train lines

    Roads and highways are expected to be congested during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It’s best to stay along major rail lines to ensure that you don’t face any delays as you make your way to the games. It takes less than 90 minutes to move from Tokyo to the lush Japanese countryside if you use the Shinkansen and other intercity rail lines.
    Also note that many of the games are set to be held on an artificial island by the Tokyo Bay, so getting to the venue itself will take some time. With that in mind, scroll down for a look at potential options outside Tokyo.

  • Pick up a discount pass

    If you are worried about transportation costs, have no fear! Japan offers a number of rail passes and discount tickets exclusively for international visitors. Staying in a suburban hotel, combined with a rail pass, may end up being more affordable than staying in central Tokyo. Learn more about discount rail tickets like the Japan Rail Pass, offering unlimited rides on nationwide JR trains, as well as other affordable intercity train tickets.

The super-speedy Shinkansen

Staying along one of the Shinkansen lines is a viable option. These high speed trains move at about 300 km/h and make it easy to access various parts of Japan in a short amount of time.

There are five major routes extending from Tokyo. The Tohoku Line passes through the northern parts of Japan and extends all the way to Hokkaido. The Tokaido Line provides access to major cities such as Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka. The Joetsu Line goes up to Niigata, while the Hokuriku Line goes to the historical Kanazawa area and Nagano, the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. If you are hoping to stay within a 90-minute radius of Tokyo, the Shinkansen gives you a variety of choices: you can stay in the onsen towns of south-Tohoku or Echigo Yuzawa, the highlands of Nagano, or even at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Discount tickets and passes

Japan Rail Pass

The Japan Rail Pass gives you unlimited access to all the lines of the JR Group around Japan. It’s the most economical way to travel around the country. They come in two types—the Ordinary Pass and first-class Green Pass. You can select from durations of 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days. A 7-day ordinary pass costs 29,650 yen for adults, and 14,820 yen for children.

This pass gives you quick and easy access to the Tokyo metropolitan area if you are planning to stay in the outskirts of the city. It’s worth purchasing if you’re planning multiple visits to Tokyo to see several games. If you’re only going there a couple of times, it may be more economical to get regular one-way passes.

*Note that you have to purchase the Japan Rail Pass outside Japan prior to your arrival. The pass does come with some restrictions: you cannot get on the Nozomi and Mizuho lines on the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines.

Cities along the Shinkansen

  • Tohoku Shinkansen

    Tokyo and the Tohoku area are connected by the Tohoku, Yamagata, and Akita lines. The Tohoku Line passes through Aomori, the northernmost part of Japan’s main island, and goes up to Hokkaido. The other two lines branch off from the Tohoku Line along the way. The Hayabusa can take you to Shin-Aomori Station in 180 minutes and Sendai in 90 minutes. Although the Tohoku area suffered a lot of damage in the 2011 earthquake, the spots along Tohoku Shinkansen are further inland and were less affected by the tsunamis and nuclear power plant disaster. Between July and September, you can see beautiful views of rice paddies changing from green to gold and gorgeous mountains from your train window. You can also observe the reconstruction efforts taking place. The theme of the 2020 Olympics is “requiem and rebirth.” The Tohoku area personifies that, and a number of games will be held in Sendai and Fukushima.

    • The required time varies depending on the train and time.
    • Even if the train name is the same, the stations they stop at may differ.
    • TokyoTokyo

    • UenoTokyo

      Hayabusa, Hayate and Komachi super-express train: 5minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 5minutes from Tokyo station

    • OmiyaSaitama

      Hayabusa, Hayate and Komachi super-express train: 25minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 25minutes from Tokyo station

      Omiya is located in Saitama, a popular residential area for many people who commute to Tokyo. Omiya is a very convenient location—the Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen line all stop here, meaning there’s a train arriving from Tokyo about every 5 minutes. You’ll also find plenty of hotels and eateries nearby. Note that basketball and soccer games are set to be held in Saitama. You can easily access the venues by train or bus from Omiya Station.

      Omiya

    • OyamaTochigi

      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 40minutes from Tokyo station

    • UtsunomiyaTochigi

      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 50minutes from Tokyo station

      Utsunomiya is a great base if you’re hoping to watch the games and get familiar with Japan.Utsunomiya Station is a stop for the Shonan Shinjuku Line. Dumplings are a local speciality, and you’ll find plenty of wallet-friendly dumpling joints around the station. Utsunomiya offers easy access to the Toshogu Shrine, a World Heritage Site, and the riverside Kinugawa hot spring area.

      Utsunomiya

    • KoriyamaFukushima

      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 80-100minutes from Tokyo station

      Inawashiro areas. There are a number of hotels near the station and plenty to see in the vicinity. Head to Aizu Wakamatsu for a 17th century village and Tsurugajo Castle, hike up Mt. Bandai or Mt. Adatara, or enjoy the lush nature around Lake Hibara.

      Koriyama

    • FukushimaFukushima

      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 90-110minutes from Tokyo station

    • Shiroishi-ZaoMiyagi

      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 110minutes from Tokyo station

    • SendaiMiyagi

      Hayabusa, Hayate and Komachi super-express train: 90minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 110-150minutes from Tokyo station

      Sendai is a major hub in the Tohoku area, so you’ll find many hotels near the station. Sendai’s Miyagi Stadium is set to host Olympic soccer games. You can explore the lush natural landscapes of the Tohoku area. Alternatively, take a bus or train to the coastal areas damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunamis, and find out about the reconstruction activities taking place.

      Sendai

  • Joetsu Shinkansen

    The Joetsu Shinkansen takes you to Niigata in 120 minutes. It carries flocks of day-tripping skiers in the winter season. The area is great for rafting, camping, hiking, and all kinds of outdoor activities in the summer. The Takasaki area is within commuting distance of Tokyo and offers access to other regional railways like the Shonan Shinjuku Line. The areas beyond Takasaki are great for visitors hoping to explore the the deeper parts of Japan. Niigata is famous for its rice and is the perfect place to get acquainted with traditional Japanese cuisine. Sample miso, fermented items like sake, and preserved dishes that helped locals get through the cold, snowy winters in the past. At Echigo-Yuzawa, you’ll find plenty of ryokan inns with hot springs. It’s great for anyone hoping to enjoy both the games and sightseeing.

    • The required time varies depending on the train and time.
    • Even if the train name is the same, the stations they stop at may differ.
    • TokyoTokyo

    • UenoTokyo

      Toki and Tanigawa train: 5minutes from Tokyo station

    • OmiyaSaitama

      Toki and Tanigawa train: 25minutesfrom Tokyo station

      Omiya is located in Saitama, a popular residential area for many people who commute to Tokyo. Omiya is a very convenient location—the Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen line all stop here, meaning there’s a train arriving from Tokyo about every 5 minutes. You’ll also find plenty of hotels and eateries nearby. Note that basketball and soccer games are set to be held in Saitama. You can easily access the venues by train or bus from Omiya Station.

      Omiya

    • KumagayaSaitama

      Toki and Tanigawa train: 40minutes from Tokyo station

    • Honjo WasedaSaitama

      Toki and Tanigawa train: 50minutes from Tokyo station

    • TakasakiGunma

      Toki and Tanigawa train: 60minutes from Tokyo station

      The Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen branch off at Takasaki Station. For that reason, a large number of trains stop here. There are plenty of business hotels and restaurants near the station. Hop in a rental car or bus and head to picturesque Mount Haruna, or the onsen areas of Ikaho or Akagi.

      Takasaki

    • Jomo KogenGunma

      Toki and Tanigawa train: 60minutes from Tokyo station

    • Echigo YuzawaNiigata

      Toki and Tanigawa train: 80minutes from Tokyo station

      Echigo-Yuzawa is a hotspot for skiing and snowboarding in the winter. The area around the station is lined with hotels and ryokan inns that have hot springs. You can have barbecues and go camping in the surrounding highlands. At the station, you can sample over 150 kinds of sake. The nearby Naeba Highlands hosts the Fuji Rock Festival from August 21 to 23. If you’re into music, don’t miss it!

      Echigo Yuzawa

  • Hokuriku Shinkansen

    The Hokuriku Shinkansen passes through the highlands of Nagano and takes about 150 minutes to its final destination Kanazawa, an ancient city facing the Sea of Japan. It’s viable to stay at any of the stops until Nagano Station, 80 minutes away on the Kagayaki train. You can opt to stay in Saitama, a residential area, or a bit further for great access to the mountains, highlands, and hot springs of Japan Omiya, Kumagaya, Takasaki, Karuizawa, and Nagano all have places to stay near the station. Visit the cultural gem of Kanazawa, or the venture up the soaring summits of the Northern Japan Alps in Nagano and Toyama.

    • The required time varies depending on the train and time.
    • Even if the train name is the same, the stations they stop at may differ.
    • TokyoTokyo

    • UenoTokyo

      Kagayaki super-express train: 5minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Hakutaka and Asama train: 5minutes from Tokyo station

    • OmiyaSaitama

      Kagayaki super-express train: 25minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Hakutaka and Asama train: 25minutes from Tokyo station

      Omiya is located in Saitama, a popular residential area for many people who commute to Tokyo. Omiya is a very convenient location—the Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen line all stop here, meaning there’s a train arriving from Tokyo about every 5 minutes. You’ll also find plenty of hotels and eateries nearby. Note that basketball and soccer games are set to be held in Saitama. You can easily access the venues by train or bus from Omiya Station.

      Omiya

    • KumagayaSaitama

      Hakutaka and Asama train: 40minutes from Tokyo station

    • Honjo WasedaSaitama

      Hakutaka and Asama train: 50minutes from Tokyo station

    • TakasakiGunma

      Hakutaka and Asama train: 40minutes from Tokyo station

      The Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen branch off at Takasaki Station. For that reason, a large number of trains stop here. There are plenty of business hotels and restaurants near the station. Hop in a rental car or bus and head to picturesque Mount Haruna, or the onsen areas of Ikaho or Akagi.

      Takasaki

    • Annaka HarunaGunma

      Hakutaka and Asama train: 60minutes from Tokyo station

    • KaruizawaGunma

      Hakutaka and Asama train: 70minutes from Tokyo station

      Karuizawa is a highland area known for its vacation homes. It has plenty of hotels, ryokan inns, and cottages, as well as quaint cafes and bakeries. There’s even an enormous shopping outlet near the station. Rent a car and take a scenic drive around the nearby Mt. Asama and Mt. Kusatsu Shirane.

      Karuizawa

    • NaganoNagano

      Hayabusa, Hayate and Komachi super-express train: 80minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Yamabiko, Nasuno and Tubasa train: 110minutes from Tokyo station

      Nagano Station is just 80 minutes from Tokyo via the Kagayaki. The 1998 Winter Olympics were held here and the area has plenty of hotels and ryokan inns. Pay a visit to Zenkoji Temple—it’s main building is designated a National Treasure. For an authentic experience, stay in one of the 39 temple lodgings in the area. They even offer shojin ryori—traditional vegetarian cuisine eaten by monks.

      Nagano

  • Tokaido Shinkansen

    Kagoshima, the southernmost part of Japan’s main island, is 1,300 km from Tokyo. The two areas are connected by the combination of the Tokaido, Sanyo, and Kyushu Shinkansen lines. The Tokaido Line runs between the two major cities of Tokyo and Osaka. While most of the area around the tracks are industrial zones, it is still known as the “golden route” for tourists. On clear days, look out the train windows for views of Mt. Fuji. The Nozomi train is the fastest, and it can take you to Nagoya in 100 minutes, Kyoto in 140 minutes, and Osaka in 150 minutes. Note that Japan Rail Pass users cannot board the Nozomi. They can opt for the Hikari or Kodama instead. If you’re hoping to stay within a 90-minute radius of Tokyo, you can select from a number of options up to Shizuoka.Most stations along the Tokaido Line have hotels nearby.

    • The required time varies depending on the train and time.
    • Even if the train name is the same, the stations they stop at may differ.
    • TokyoTokyo

    • ShinagawaTokyo

      Nozomi super-express train: 5minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Hikari and Kodama train: 5minutes from Tokyo station

    • Shin-YokohamaKanagawa

      Nozomi super-express train: 17minutesfrom Tokyo station
      Hikari and Kodama train: 17minutes from Tokyo station

      Shin-Yokohama Station is a major hub with trains stopping here about once every 3 minutes. It’s also the closest station to International Stadium Yokohama where the Olympic soccer games are set to be held. The area is dotted with hotels and restaurants. If you are planning to do some sightseeing, head to the Ramen Museum. It’s a 5-minute walk from the station and houses some of Japan’s most iconic ramen restaurants.

      Shin-Yokohama

    • OdawaraKanagawa

      Hikari and Kodama train: 35minutes from Tokyo station

      Odawara Station is located just 10 minutes on foot from the historic Odawara Castle. The area has number of small and medium-sized hotels. It’s proximity to the sea means that the restaurants have fresh and delicious sushi. You can also opt to take the Odakyu Line to the nearby Hakone Onsen area for hot springs, museums, and a gorgeous lake.

      Odawara

    • AtamiShizuoka

      Hikari and Kodama train: 45minutes from Tokyo station

      Atami is a pleasant hot spring resort overlooking the sea. Stay at one of the ryokan inns or hotels near the station. Atami offers a variety of fun activities: head to the beach for a dip in the sea, sample some fresh seafood, or catch some fireworks in the evening. There’s also much to see for art and history buffs.

      Atami

    • MishimaShizuoka

      Hikari and Kodama train: 55minutes from Tokyo station

    • Shin-FujiShizuoka

      Hikari and Kodama train: 70minutes from Tokyo station

    • ShizuokaShizuoka

      Hikari and Kodama train: 60-90minutes from Tokyo station

      There are numerous hotels near Shizuoka Station. Right before you arrive at the station, you’ll see beautiful views of the Fujikawa Bridge against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji. Visit nearby Miho no Matsubara or Nihondaira for iconic views of Mt. Fuji looming over the sea. Tea is a local specialty. Head further west to the Kakegawa area to visit some picturesque tea plantations.

      Shizuoka

Plan ahead Tokyo 2020