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Golden Week near Tokyo: 10 Less-Crowded Places to Visit in 2024

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If you plan to visit less crowded spots during Golden Week 2024, these 10 little-known destinations near Tokyo are perfect for a one-night stay or day trip. We introduce access information and tips on how to avoid sightseeing crowds.

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Golden Week is a string of public holidays at the beginning of May. Many people in Japan spend this time traveling, which leads to traffic jams and crowds at popular sightseeing spots.

In 2024, the April 27 - May 6 interval is considered Golden Week. To avoid overcrowded places, consider visiting lesser-known destinations.

This article will introduce 10 spots near Tokyo suitable for a one-night stay or even a day trip . We've compiled a carefully selected list of little-known places easily accessible by public transit, including the train.

1. Sawara: Walk Around Little Edo or Take a Boatride!


Photo by Pixta

Sawara is a riverside village in Chiba Prefecture's Katori City. Flowing through this former merchant town is the Ono River. Lining its banks are traditional kominka homes and warehouse-style buildings, which have a quaint atmosphere.

Visitors can stroll about the town with its photogenic scenery, old kominka cafes, and sightseeing boats. Therefore, spending time here is bound to be relaxing. Compared to Kawagoe and Kamakura, both known for their elegant townscapes, Sawara is a hidden spot that's not too crowded.

Suigo Sawara Ayame Park

Photo by Pixta

For those interested in fully enjoying nature, let's hop on a bus and go a bit farther away to Suigo Sawara Ayame Park (Japanese). While the irises are not in bloom during Golden Week, the wisteria flowers are at their peak. You can also cruise along the park's waterways on a Sappa-bune or flat-bottomed boat.


Address: 1900-3 Katori City, Chiba Prefecture
Transportation: About 10 minutes on foot from JR Sawara Station.
Parking for cars nearby (Japanese)
Official Website: Sawara Tourism Guide

2. Misato Shibazakura Park: Covered in a Blanket of Pink!

Misato Shibazakura Park

Photo by Pixta

Misato Shibazakura Park is situated in Gunma Prefecture's Takasaki City.

The beautiful Shibazakura flowers are in full bloom during Golden Week. The 260,000 stocks of contrasting white, red, and pink flowers are so exquisite that you'll soon reach for your camera. This park isn't nearly as crowded as famous sightseeing spots like Fujigoko (Fuji Five Lakes), so you can enjoy the shibazakura.

From April 6 to May 5, 2024, the Misato Shibazakura Festival (Japanese) will be held. There are plans to open stalls selling local products, as well as food and drinks.

Park admission is 310 yen for adults, 100 yen for elementary school students, and free for those younger. If the peak viewing period has passed, then admission is free at this time.

Also, speaking of Takasaki's local gourmet, the specialty has to be Takasaki Pasta (Japanese). In particular, it's said that soup pasta originated in Takasaki, and various restaurants offer a variety of menu items.


Address: 12-1 Matsunosawa, Misatomachi, Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture
Transportation: About 30 minutes by bus from JR Takasaki Station (JR Takasaki Line).
Parking (335 cars) is available 30 minutes from the Kan-Etsu Expressway's Maebashi Interchange (IC).
Official Website: Misato Shibazakura Park (Japanese)

3. Ibaraki Flower Park: Enjoy Glamping and Other Hands-On Experiences

Ibaraki Flower Park

Picture courtesy of PR Times

Ibaraki Prefecture's Ishioka City is home to Ibaraki Flower Park. This park is full of seasonal flowers, including roses. Visitors can also enjoy stylish restaurants, glamping, crafts, and sledding experiences. Though many people visit during Golden Week, the massive park allows you to spend a relaxing time here.

Ibaraki Flower Park

Picture courtesy of PR Times

Park admission varies depending on the season and the blooming state of the flowers. The highest price is 1,500 yen for adults and 500 yen for children (elementary and junior high school students). Admission is free on Children's Day (May 5).

We think it's best to specify a date and buy your ticket online at Asoview (Japanese).


Address: 200 Shimoaoyagi, Ishioka City, Ibaraki Prefecture
Transportation: About 30 minutes by bus from the West Exit of Ishioka Station.
Parking (900 cars) is available about 15 minutes from the Joban Expressway's Tsuchiura-Kita Interchange (IC).
Official Website: Ibaraki Flower Park (Japanese)

4. Sunset Beach Park Inage: Enjoy a Photogenic Cafe and Resort BBQ

Sunset Beach Park Inage

Picture courtesy of PR Times

Chiba Prefecture's Inage Kaihin Koen Park sits along the Inage coastline.

In 2022, it was transformed into a new area called Sunset Beach Park Inage. The white sandy beach and outdoor deck that juts out into the sea are attracting attention as great photo spots. Visitors can enjoy various activities, including playing in the pool, glamping, and having a BBQ.

Though it can get crowded during Golden Week, it's easy to feel a sense of openness since the park is enormous. On the Official X account (Japanese), there are updates on how full the parking lot is. Please be sure to check this page for those traveling by car. You can also make online reservations (Japanese) ahead of time for campfires, BBQs, and glamping.

Be sure to plan ahead and have some fun!


Address: 7-2-2 Takahama, Mihamaku, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture
Transportation: About 15 by bus from Inagekaigan Station.
Parking available (3 hours for 400 yen)
Official Website: Sunset Beach Park Inage (Japanese)

5. The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama: Admire the Art and the Ocean View

We recommend an art gallery for visitors who'd like to spend some quiet time inside.

The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama boasts a collection of some 16,000 works of art, with exhibits focusing on modern Japanese art. It sits along Zushi City's Hayama coastline, which makes the surrounding scenery attractive.

There's even a restaurant on the premises. It tends to be a little crowded at lunch, so it might be a good idea to check out other options, such as nearby cafes and eating establishments.

Also, The Yokosuka Museum of Art, selected among the top ten most beautiful art galleries, and The Gunma Museum of Art are relatively calm spots for enjoying art.


Address: 2208-1 Isshiki, Hayama-machi, Miura-gun, Kanagawa Prefecture
Transportation: 20 minutes by bus from JR Zushi Station or Zushi-Hayama Station.
Parking (One hour 400 yen and up. Those who buy special exhibition tickets or spend 2,000 yen or more in the gift shop or restaurant receive one hour of free parking).
Official Website: The Museum of Modern Art

6. Fruit Spa PukuPuku: Night Views, Tasty Sweets, and Even a Hot Spring!

Fuefukigawa Fruit Park

Photo by Pixta

Fruit Spa PukuPuku is located in Yamanashi Prefecture's Yamanashi City.

Admission is free, and visitors can enjoy views of Mt. Fuji and the Kofu Basin. There's a full lineup of play equipment and athletic activities, so kids will never get tired of this spot. There's also an indoor play area to enjoy yourself on rainy days.

There are also things for adults to enjoy, including sweets made from locally grown peaches and grapes. The evening scenery was even selected among Japan's Three Newest Major Night Views.

Nearby, there are daytrip hot springs such as Hottarakashi Onsen (Japanese) and Fruit Spa PukuPuku. After a full day of fun, you can rest and soothe your tired body here.


Address: 1488 Ezohara, Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture
Transportation: About 10 minutes by taxi from JR Yamanashishi Station.
Parking available (Japanese)
Official Website: Fruit Spa PukuPuku

7. Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park: A Gigantic Play Paradise!

Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park

Photo by Pixta

Saitama Prefecture's Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park covers an area about 65 times larger than Tokyo Dome! It's also known as Shinrin Koen Park.

The park's large size makes it feel spacious even with many people. Visitors can enjoy looking at the garden filled with flowers, the new greenery in spring, and the colorful foliage in autumn. During Golden Week, the poppies and roses are in full bloom.

There are many play facilities for children, including a large air trampoline, athletic equipment, and a water playground. The premises are huge, so we suggest checking out the map and planning ahead, such as where to spend time and where to locate the entrances, exits, and restaurants.

Admission is reasonably priced at 450 yen for adults, 210 yen for seniors (65 years old and up), and free for junior high school students and under.


Address: 1920 Yamata, Namegawa-machi, Hiki-gun, Saitama Prefecture
Transportation: About 15 minutes by bus from Shinrin-koen Station or 30 minutes from Kumagaya Station.
Parking available (Japanese)
Official Website: Musashi-Kyuryo National Government Park

8. Edogawa Shizen Zoo: Relax and Watch Animals at This Free Zoo!

Edogawa Shizen Zoo

Photo by Pixta

Edogawa Shizen Zoo is a modest-sized zoo in Tokyo. Admission is free, and the zoo features many animals, including a red panda, squirrel monkeys, penguins, anteaters, and storks.

Many of the larger zoos will be crowded during Golden Week. But at this little-known spot, you can spend time with animals in a relatively relaxing manner. Next to the zoo is Heisei Garden, where visitors can stroll around the pond.

Since the zoo is within walking distance from the nearest station, we recommend this spot for those who don't drive.


Address: 3-2-1 Kita Kasai, Edogawa, Tokyo
Transportation: About 15 minutes on foot from Nishi-Kasai Station (Tokyo Metro) or 20 minutes on foot from Funabori Station (Toei Subway). Parking available nearby
Official Website: Edogawa Shizen Zoo (Japanese)

9. Kurihama Flower Park: Enjoy the Scenic BBQ Area

Kurihama Flower Park

Photo by Pixta

Kanagawa Prefecture's Kurihama Flower Park is a large park within walking distance of Kurihama Station.

The gigantic Godzilla slide and athletic equipment are popular with children. Golden Week has many highlights, including nemophila flowers and poppies in full bloom and an herb garden with a foot bath (ashiyu).

The park has about two kilometers of up-and-down terrain, so we recommend using the Flower Train when moving about the premises.

Kurihama Flower Park often attracts many visitors during the Golden Week holiday. However, this park is relatively less crowded because large-scale leisure facilities are spread out in the same city.

You can also enjoy a BBQ where everything is provided in a spot with stunning, unobstructed ocean views (reservations are possible).


Address: 1 Shinmeicho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture
Transportation: About 15 minutes on foot from JR Kurihama Station or Keikyu Kurihama Station.
Parking available (Japanese)
Official Website: Kurihama Flower Park (Japanese)

10. Fukaya Green Park: Have Fun on Rainy Days at the Leisure Pool!

Fukaya Green Park is located in Saitama Prefecture's Fukaya City.

The main feature of this leisure facility is an indoor pool complex, Aqua Paradise Patio. It has a wave pool, whirlpool, water slide, and a kid's area where children can play in the water to their heart's content. This is an indoor facility, so even bad weather can't stop you from having a fun-filled day!

There's also a sauna, jacuzzi, fitness center, restaurant, and BBQ corner. You can spend the whole day here and not get tired! We recommend this spot for groups of friends, couples, and, of course, families.

One-day admission is 2,000 yen for adults and 1,000 yen for elementary and junior high school students.


Address: 763 Kashiai, Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture
Transportation: 20 minutes by complimentary shuttle bus from JR Fukaya Station.
Free parking is available about 15 minutes from the Hanazono Interchange (going towards Fukaya Station).
Official Website: Aqua Paradise Patio (Japanese)

Enjoy a Stress-Free GW at These Little-Known Hideaways!

Today's article featured ten little-known spots worth visiting during Golden Week.

For these much anticipated holidays, you'll want to get a head start on planning to enjoy comfortable leisure time and sightseeing. Please use this article as a reference when making your GW plans!

Main image by Pixta


Written by

Born in Yamagata Prefecture. I have experience working in community development at the foot of Mt. Fuji and PR for local products across the country, and am currently working in Tokyo to disseminate information about Yamanashi Prefecture. A mother of one who loves local gourmet food and alcohol.

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