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Guam to Tokyo: 5 Hidden Gems for a Short Getaway

Guam to Tokyo: 5 Hidden Gems for a Short Getaway

If you’re an island traveler looking for a short getaway or a convenient pit stop on the way to the U.S. mainland, Tokyo just got a whole lot easier to reach. With United Airlines’ new route from Guam to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, you can fly off to Tokyo in just 3.5 hours. Plus, Haneda is way closer to downtown Tokyo so you’ll be in the heart of the city with just a quick 20-minute train ride (from Narita, it’s about an hour or more). 

To make the best of this sweet but short escape, we're sharing five places that go beyond the usual tourist traps. These lesser-known gems are easy to explore and offer a real unique perspective on Tokyo. 


1. Explore Kamakura: Tokyo’s Little Kyoto 

Kamakura, often dubbed as “Little Kyoto,” is the perfect charming day trip from Tokyo. It’s a historical and cultural escape without the crowds of Kyoto. It’s full of ancient temples, shrines, and a vibrant food scene on Komachi Street. 

Don't Miss: The Great Buddha (Kotoku-in), Hasadera Temple, Komachi Street 

Eat: Komachi Street for local snacks (try Kamakura ham, sausage and of course the desserts) 

Drink: We’re all familiar with draft beer, but have you tried draft tea? Stop by Chabakka for a refreshing nitro cold-brewed draft tea. The shop sells a wide assortment of tea leaves you can purchase and brew at home. If you’re stumped, the knowledgeable staff there would be more than happy to give you a rundown on the different types of tea selections. 

Extra Fun: Hop on the Enoden train from Kamakura to Enoshima along the coastline featured in the “Slam Dunk” anime. During the winter months when the air is clearer, you can enjoy a stunning view of Mt. Fuji on the horizon with Enoshima Island in the foreground. 

How to Get There: Take the JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station to Kamakura Station (about 1 hour) 

Get your tea-geek on with DIY nitro cold-brew at Chabakka.
Snack attack on Komachi Street — your belly will be happy.
The Great Buddha


2. Hipster Vibes in Shimokitazawa 

Some would call Shimokitazawa the new Harajuku, but with fewer tourists and more local charm. It’s a haven for thrift shopping, quirky cafes and indie music venues. 

Don’t Miss: Wander through the narrow streets of vintage shops, bookstores, record stores and unique boutiques. 

Eat: The narrow streets and alleys are lined with curry restaurants, but we recommend trying Ponipirica — their specialty is soup curry from Hokkaido. The broth is infused with spices, served with tender chicken with crispy skin and a colorful array of vegetables cooked in the soup. Customize your curry by picking your curry soup base, extra toppings and rice. 

Extra Fun: Discover Japan’s live music scene at “live houses” – small, intimate music venues where local land indie bands perform. 

How to Get There: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station, then transfer to the Keio Inokashira Line and get off at Shimokitazawa Station (about 25 minutes). 

The streets of Shimokitazawa is thrift heaven.
Dive into the soup curry at Ponipirica.


3. Daikanyama: Trendy and Chill 

Daikanyama is a trendy little neighborhood south of Shibuya. It is known for stylish boutiques, trendy cafes and laid-back vibes. It’s a great spot for a leisurely day of high-end shopping and dining, away from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo. 

Don’t Miss: Daikanyama T-Site, home to the famous Tsutaya Books, a haven for book lovers and architecture buffs. 

Drink: Mocha Coffee, a cozy little cafe tucked away in a small alley known for its original mocha from Yemen and beans sourced from the Arabian Peninsula. It’s the perfect place to recharge after shopping (they open in the afternoon). 

Extra Fun: Check out Log Road Daikanyama, a shopping area built on a former railway line. For more architectural marvels, look for the Forestgate building, designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma. The building just opened in October of last year and has a mix of high-end shops, cafes and beautiful green spaces. 

How to Get There: From Tokyo Station, hop on the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station, then transfer to the Tokyu Toyoko Line and get off at Daikanyama Station (about 25 minutes) 

Hidden coffee oasis — sip on an Arabian brew at Mocha Coffee.


Forestgate building, designed by Kengo Kuma.


4. Stylish Omotesando 

Think of Omotesando as the more mature and sophisticated older sister of the youthful, cool teenage Harajuku. It’s a blend of high fashion, modern architecture and refined dining. 

Don’t Miss: Cat Street for a unique shopping experience, featuring vintage and quirky boutiques. It’s also a good spot to catch glimpses of funky and fashionable passerby showing off their unique style.

Eat: Bite into a famous fluffy Shiawase (happy) soufflé pancake at A Happy Pancake. It’s worth trying at least once but be prepared to wait in line if you go during peak hours. There is a wait after ordering since all the pancakes are made-to-order, but your patience will be rewarded when the fluffy, fresh and jiggly pancakes arrive. 

Extra Fun: High-end shopping and taking in the sites along the tree-lined Omotesando Avenue and Omotesando Hills, a shopping complex designed by architect, Tadao Ando.

How to Get There: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Yamanote Line to Harajuku Station, then it’s a short walk to Omotesando (around 25 minutes). 

Cat Street at Omotesando.
The fluffy, jiggly pancake of your dreams.


5. Relaxation in Hakone 

If you’re in need of some R&R, we recommend an overnight escape from Tokyo to Hakone. It’s a little further out from Tokyo, but you’ll soon find that relaxing peacefully in an onsen (Japanese hot spring), surrounded by nature is worth the trip. You might even have an opportunity to see Mt. Fuji. 

Don’t Miss: Soaking in an onsen, boat ride on Lake Ashi, Hakone Ropeway for stunning views of the area (make sure to check local updates for any gale warnings. Services may be suspended from strong winds, for safety reasons). 

Eat: Black eggs (kuro-tamago) boiled in sulfurous hot springs of Owakudani. Legends say eating one adds seven years to your life. 

Extra Fun: Stay at a traditional Japanese inn – a ryokan for the full Japanese experience, complete with tatami rooms and kaiseki meals (traditional multi-course Japanese dinner). 

How to Get There: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen to Odawara Station. Depending on where you book your stay, some hotels will offer free bus services between Odawara Station and the hotel. You can check with your hotel for transportation accommodation. 

Soak in the beauty of Hakone in an onsen.
Add 7 years to your life, for every black egg you eat!
Zone out with the tranquil sounds of the Haya River in Hakone.

Tokyo is full of surprises, and with the new Guam-Haneda route, a quick and convenient weekend trip is within reach. From easy day trips to historical sites and unique neighborhoods, we hope our tips will help you experience the best of Tokyo without the usual crowds. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!

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