Overview of Cities within 25 Miles of Tokyo
|Name||Distance (in miles)||Travel Time by Vehicle||Orientation to Tokyo|
|Kōtō||3.73 miles||15 minutes||East|
|Itabashi City||7 miles||15 minutes||Northwest|
|Edogawa||7.33 miles||18 minutes||East|
|Shinagawa City||9 miles||20 minutes||Southwest|
|Suginami City||10 miles||25 minutes||West|
|Adachi||10 miles||30 minutes||North|
|Funabashi||15 miles||30 minutes||East|
|Kawaguchi||15 miles||about 30 minutes||North|
|Saitama||20 miles||24 minutes||North|
|Fuchū||20 miles||30 minutes||West|
|Chiba||24 miles||40 minutes||East|
|Yachiyo||25 miles||about an hour||East|
|Sodegaura||27.34 miles||27 minutes||Southeast|
These smaller cities near Tokyo and a quick trip from Tokyo station are great places to explore and get away from the capital of Japan.
These small town areas contain many of Japan’s wonders. From Streets lined with cherry blossoms to UNESCO world heritage site locations. Some have even hosted the Winter Olympics. Fascinating Buddhist temples and the deep history of Japanese culture are incredible places to see just a short trip from central Tokyo.
Some cities contain smaller airports that can be reached from Haneda Airport. Tokyo’s airport services mostly domestic flights.
The many special wards of Tokyo city have more attractions to see and do than you could in a lifetime. The port city is a popular place for most tourists to spend their entire visit to Japan, but traveling outside of Tokyo can take you to more places of wonder, and many say you can see the real Japan.
Although considered a part of Tokyo, Kōtō is a special ward. It is its own city, resting 15 minutes east of Tokyo, with a population of nearly 500,000 people and about 45 districts.
The Sumida and Arakawa Rivers border it on the west and east, respectively. In fact, the name Kōtō translates to “East of the River.”
One of its greatest claims to history is how Kōtō suffered some of the most damage during the Great Kantō earthquake in 1923. The other is how it succumbed to heavy bombing during WWII. Kōtō, as we know it today, didn’t come into being until 1947.
About 15 minutes northwest of Tokyo is Itabashi City. It has a sister relationship with Burlington, Ontario, Canada, along with Bologna, Italy, and the Shijingshan District of Beijing in China. The area has an estimated population of about 550,000 people.
The name “Itabashi” translates to “plank bridge,” which comes from the Heian-period bridge over the Shakujii River. During that time, it was a true feat of modern engineering.
As one of the easternmost cities immediately around Tokyo, Edogawa (江戸川区) is a special ward in much the same way as Kōtō.
This is where all the families live and is one of the largest residential districts in the area. It takes only 18 minutes to get to Tokyo from here.
On the eastern side of Edogawa runs the Edo River to the north and south. Actually, Edogawa gets its name from the river.
About 700,000 people live here, and they share a sister city connection with Gosford in New South Wales, Australia.
A 20-minute drive to the southwest of Tokyo reveals Shinagawa City (品川区). This is home to 10 international embassies while being a center of technological advancement entrenched in rich history. About 380,000 people live here, which is a special ward of Tokyo, which makes it more convenient for commuters around the city of Tokyo.
Shinagawa City is a major destination for tourists since they have some 6,000 hotel rooms. This is the largest number of hospitality rooms in all of Tokyo.
Just 25 minutes west of Tokyo is Suginami City (杉並区). It’s a special ward of Tokyo with an estimated population of around 600,000 people. The Kanda River passes through here, merging the Zenpukuji and Myōshōji Rivers.
Suginami City’s name originates from the early Edo period and is an abbreviation of its initial name, “Suginamiki,” or “avenue of cedars.” This is because Suginami City used to have a blanket of cedar trees.
Adachi (足立区), another special metropolis within the Greater Tokyo Area, is about a 30-minute drive north of Tokyo. It nestles between the Sumida and Arakawa Rivers. The population estimates range between 675,000 and 695,000 people.
This place is rather large, with many centers of education and commerce. Adachi burgeons with parks and other natural spots for viewing the changing seasons.
It’s also the main attraction for the Buzan brand of Shingon Buddhism, being home to the Nishiarai Daishi temple.
Funabashi (船橋市) is a very popular city nestled in the Chiba Prefecture that’s about 30 minutes east of Tokyo. With a population of around 650,000 people, it’s the seventh most populated city in the Greater Tokyo Area.
People have populated this region since the Kamakura period, as mentioned in the Azuma Kagami chronicle.
However, the name Funashabi is far more ancient, dating well before the Nara period or the Yamatotakeru mythologies.
There are stone tools and shell middens that date as far back as the Paleolithic and Jōmon periods, respectively. The city entrenches history, including the Tokugawa shogunate and WWII.
As the second largest city in the Saitama Prefecture and the eighth most populated city in the Greater Tokyo Area, Kawaguchi (川口市) has a population of around 600,000. It rests about 30 minutes north of Tokyo. Even though the town was established in April 1889, it has a much more ancient history than many other cities near Tokyo.
A place for history buffs, Kawaguchi has artifacts from the Jōmon and Kofun periods all the way to buildings and architecture from the Heian and Edo periods.
Even the basic layout of the road from Tokyo to Kawaguchi is the same as the one built during the Edo period.
As the capital city of the same name as its prefecture, Saitama (さいたま市) is one of the most populous cities within the prefecture.
It takes about 24 minutes north when traveling from Tokyo. Nearly a million and a half people live in Saitama, and the entire area is rich with history, culture, and tales of great change.
The name “Saitama” is a morphology of its original name, “Sakitama.” Both names translate to “colorful cape (or promontory).” This city is the source of the “Man’yōshū,” a famous 8th-century poetry anthology.
Fuchū is about a 30-minute drive west of Tokyo. This is a major commercial center and a resting area for workers who commute to Tokyo daily.
They have a population of around 260,000 people and are home to companies like Toshiba and the Bank of Japan.
Fuchū houses one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, the Ōkunitama Shrine. It absorbed six other shrines in the area along with their gods and has national recognition as one of the five major shrines in Tokyo.
Chiba (千葉市) is the main city and namesake of the Chiba Prefecture. It’s 40 minutes east of Tokyo and sits at the apex of Tokyo Bay, about halfway. Almost a million people live here, and it’s home to Japan’s largest seaport.
Although classified as a residential area, there are many businesses, warehouses, and factories.
What makes Chiba so unique is the conglomeration of several major urban centers within it. This place is also notorious for having the world’s longest suspended monorail, the Chiba Urban Monorail. It’s also home to Japan’s first artificial beach, Inage.
Known for their pears and the Pearl Musical Instrument Company, Yachiyo (八千代市) is about an hour east of Tokyo. They have a population of around 200,000, but inhabitation of the area dates back to the Japanese Paleolithic period.
It has always been a hub of military activity, coming under the control of the Murakami Clan during the Sengoku period and then the Tokugawa shogunate in the Edo period.
Even after the Meiji Restoration up to WWII, Yachiyo has been a center of militaristic foundations.
About 27 minutes to the southeast of Tokyo in the Chiba Prefecture is Sodegaura (袖ヶ浦市). They have a population of nearly 65,000 strong and growing all the time. This is a popular city from the Nara Period, appearing in the Kojiki and having a huge connection with Yamatotakeru mythology.
When you see the beauty of the place, the mythological cementation is immediately understandable.
In fact, another name for Sodegaura is “Chibafornia” because of its high resemblance to southern California. It’s a major producer of oil, chemicals, and other energy products like gas and electricity.
Travel Tips And Advice
While many people want to spend time in Tokyo and see every from the Tokyo metropolitan government building to Emperor Meiji’s temple.
There is so much more to see once you leave the modern architectures of the capital city. It’s great to meet new Japanese friends and take in the beautiful view seeing these smaller cities.
Travel times are very convenient. While in Tokyo, it’s great to take in incredible sites such as the Imperial palace and learn about the traditional culture of the city of Edo (Tokyo’s original name).
Japan’s capital is the most populous metropolitan area anywhere in Japan, and in just a few square kilometers live thousands upon thousands of residents.
Although the city of Tokyo is a historic city and a beautiful thing to explore, it’s great to explore beyond the urban area and find the true cultural centers and the heart of Japan.