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Kamakura
鎌倉

Kamakura (鎌倉) is a small city in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, Japan.

It's hard to believe that this quiet little town with its many temples was the political capital of Japan during the Kamakura shogunate, from 1185 to 1333.

Kamakura (鎌倉) is a small city in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, Japan.

It's hard to believe that this quiet little town with its many temples was the political capital of Japan during the Kamakura shogunate, from 1185 to 1333.

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Authors: JHunterJ

Under Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 License

Get around

Kamakura is just a little too big to cover on foot, but a network of buses radiates out from the train station. Kotokuin and Hasedera can also be reached by taking the Enoden line three stops out to Hase station. Another option is to rent a bicycle for your tour.

Nevertheless, for the energetic ones, there is a nice hike starting from Jōchiiji temple and ending near the Kōtokuin. You will walk, with some climbing, through forest. The hike also passes through Zeniarai Benten Shrine, if you are curious about the money washing ceremony. The hike takes about 3 hours, if you also stop and visit the temples along the way. Even in summer, the shade on the path manages to keep the temperature bearable. If you are on a day-trip, doing the hike limits a bit the chances of visiting some of the less reachable temples. An easy way to get to Jōchiiji temple is to take the JR Line train from Kamakura station to Kitakamakura Station where the temple can be found by exiting the station, turning left and walking 500m up the road. The walk starts to the left of the temple and you are not required to pay the 200yen entrance fee to the temple to start the hike.

By bike

Bicycles can be rented from several locations, though rates are expensive.

  • Kamakura Rental Cycles (鎌倉レンタサイクル店), 小町1丁目1 (Take the east exit of JR Kamakura Station and go 50m south.), +81 0467-24-2319. 8:30AM-5PM daily, closed Jan 1-3. This rental shop has standard Japanese bicycles for rent, including battery-assisted bikes. 1 hour ¥800, additional hours ¥250 each; bicycles with batteries extra.

Get around

Kamakura is just a little too big to cover on foot, but a network of buses radiates out from the train station. Kotokuin and Hasedera can also be reached by taking the Enoden line three stops out to Hase station. Another option is to rent a bicycle for your tour.

Nevertheless, for the energetic ones, there is a nice hike starting from Jōchiiji temple and ending near the Kōtokuin. You will walk, with some climbing, through forest. The hike also passes through Zeniarai Benten Shrine, if you are curious about the money washing ceremony. The hike takes about 3 hours, if you also stop and visit the temples along the way. Even in summer, the shade on the path manages to keep the temperature bearable. If you are on a day-trip, doing the hike limits a bit the chances of visiting some of the less reachable temples. An easy way to get to Jōchiiji temple is to take the JR Line train from Kamakura station to Kitakamakura Station where the temple can be found by exiting the station, turning left and walking 500m up the road. The walk starts to the left of the temple and you are not required to pay the 200yen entrance fee to the temple to start the hike.

By bike

Bicycles can be rented from several locations, though rates are expensive.

  • Kamakura Rental Cycles (鎌倉レンタサイクル店), 小町1丁目1 (Take the east exit of JR Kamakura Station and go 50m south.), +81 0467-24-2319. 8:30AM-5PM daily, closed Jan 1-3. This rental shop has standard Japanese bicycles for rent, including battery-assisted bikes. 1 hour ¥800, additional hours ¥250 each; bicycles with batteries extra.

Do

Hiking

Kamakura has several hiking trails that can provide relief from the crowds at the more popular shrines and temples. The Daibutsu hiking course starts a few hundred meters down the road from Kōtokuin. The trail has several offshoots that lead to various small shrines and temples. If it has rained recently, the trail could be muddy and there are several steep sections.

Beaches

Kamakura is not just a historical city which has a lot of temples, shrines, and other historical buildings — there are also some popular beaches in Kamakura. You can feel the atmosphere of the Shonan Coast in the bright sunshine and have a good time there, especially in summer.

  • Yuigahama (由比ヶ浜). This is a representative beach in Kamakura, so many people visit in summer to enjoy the sea-bathing there. It is also a spot for a good view of the firework display held in summer. Kamakura is famous for aquatic fireworks. (Just remember when walking along this beach that it was not so long ago that a lot of dismembered heads buried in and near the sand were found. The heads were very old, from an era when Japan was not such a friendly place).
  • Inamuragasaki (稲村ヶ崎). This is also a famous beach. The Inamuragasaki Park (稲村ガ崎公園 Inamuragasaki Kōen) is located there and is well known for its sunsets. The film "Inamura Jane" (稲村ジェーン), directed by Keisuke Kuwata, was set there. The remains of the Hojo, Kamakura's government, was destroyed there in 1333. It follows along National Road 134.
  • Shichirigahama (七里ヶ浜). This is also a famous beach in Kamakura. Unfortunately, swimming is prohibited. But it's still a good beach to relax and have an enjoyable time. Many surfers enjoy surfing there.

Do

Hiking

Kamakura has several hiking trails that can provide relief from the crowds at the more popular shrines and temples. The Daibutsu hiking course starts a few hundred meters down the road from Kōtokuin. The trail has several offshoots that lead to various small shrines and temples. If it has rained recently, the trail could be muddy and there are several steep sections.

Beaches

Kamakura is not just a historical city which has a lot of temples, shrines, and other historical buildings — there are also some popular beaches in Kamakura. You can feel the atmosphere of the Shonan Coast in the bright sunshine and have a good time there, especially in summer.

  • Yuigahama (由比ヶ浜). This is a representative beach in Kamakura, so many people visit in summer to enjoy the sea-bathing there. It is also a spot for a good view of the firework display held in summer. Kamakura is famous for aquatic fireworks. (Just remember when walking along this beach that it was not so long ago that a lot of dismembered heads buried in and near the sand were found. The heads were very old, from an era when Japan was not such a friendly place).
  • Inamuragasaki (稲村ヶ崎). This is also a famous beach. The Inamuragasaki Park (稲村ガ崎公園 Inamuragasaki Kōen) is located there and is well known for its sunsets. The film "Inamura Jane" (稲村ジェーン), directed by Keisuke Kuwata, was set there. The remains of the Hojo, Kamakura's government, was destroyed there in 1333. It follows along National Road 134.
  • Shichirigahama (七里ヶ浜). This is also a famous beach in Kamakura. Unfortunately, swimming is prohibited. But it's still a good beach to relax and have an enjoyable time. Many surfers enjoy surfing there.

Buy

Kamakura is famous for a biscuit called Hatosabure (鳩サブレー), a biscuit shaped like a pigeon. Sold next to Kamakura station and a very popular omiyage (souvenir) among the Japanese.

Alternatively, combine good taste with bad taste by purchasing a pack of Giant Buddha shaped pastries stuffed with red bean paste, sold at the souvenir stands in and near Kotokuin.

Buy

Kamakura is famous for a biscuit called Hatosabure (鳩サブレー), a biscuit shaped like a pigeon. Sold next to Kamakura station and a very popular omiyage (souvenir) among the Japanese.

Alternatively, combine good taste with bad taste by purchasing a pack of Giant Buddha shaped pastries stuffed with red bean paste, sold at the souvenir stands in and near Kotokuin.

Drink

During the summer months, many temporary bars are set up on the beach due south from the train station, some of them feature live bands and DJ's and it's generally a very good atmosphere. And don't miss the last train home if you are staying in Tokyo, last minute accommodation late in the evening is simply not an option during the busy summer months.

Drink

During the summer months, many temporary bars are set up on the beach due south from the train station, some of them feature live bands and DJ's and it's generally a very good atmosphere. And don't miss the last train home if you are staying in Tokyo, last minute accommodation late in the evening is simply not an option during the busy summer months.

Understand

It's hard to believe that this quiet little town with its many temples was the political capital of Japan during the Kamakura shogunate, from 1185 to 1333.

Understand

It's hard to believe that this quiet little town with its many temples was the political capital of Japan during the Kamakura shogunate, from 1185 to 1333.

Eat

There are a large number of places to eat in the vicinity of the train station. For a snack, try the local specialty, purple potato soft ice cream (murasaki-imo sofuto), which tastes much better than it sounds (or looks). It is made from the purple sweet potato found throughout Japan.

In Komachi street, there is a rice cracker (o-senbei) shop where you can toast your own o-senbei. One cracker costs about ¥200.

  • Saryo Inoue (茶寮いの上), 1-4-4 Komachi, 0467-23-3112. Tu-Su 10AM-6PM, open on Monday if it's a holiday. The set lunches of traditional Japanese food served here complement the historic atmosphere in Kamakura. Second-floor restaurant has a decent view and is in the plaza on the east side of the Kamakura station. English menus available. ¥800-1200.

Eat

There are a large number of places to eat in the vicinity of the train station. For a snack, try the local specialty, purple potato soft ice cream (murasaki-imo sofuto), which tastes much better than it sounds (or looks). It is made from the purple sweet potato found throughout Japan.

In Komachi street, there is a rice cracker (o-senbei) shop where you can toast your own o-senbei. One cracker costs about ¥200.

  • Saryo Inoue (茶寮いの上), 1-4-4 Komachi, 0467-23-3112. Tu-Su 10AM-6PM, open on Monday if it's a holiday. The set lunches of traditional Japanese food served here complement the historic atmosphere in Kamakura. Second-floor restaurant has a decent view and is in the plaza on the east side of the Kamakura station. English menus available. ¥800-1200.

Get in

Kamakura is a very popular day trip from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike, and there are plenty of transportation options.

By plane

From Narita Airport, the fastest and most expensive way to reach Kamakura is to take the Narita Express in the direction of Yokohama or Ofuna, and then change to the JR Yokosuka line for the run to Kamakura. This takes approximately 2 hours and costs ¥4500, but if you use JR's Suica & N'EX combination ticket for foreigners, the fare is reduced to ¥3500. It may be more convenient to change to the Yokosuka Line at intermediate stations, where it is as simple as a same-platform or cross-platform transfer: If the Narita Express terminates at Yokohama, change at Musashi-Kosugi; if it terminates at Ofuna, change at Totsuka.

Regular JR commuter trains depart Narita Airport once per hour: some trains offer one-seat rides to Kamakura station, or else change at wherever the train terminates to the next train bound for Zushi, Yokosuka or Kurihama (About 2 1/2 hours, ¥2210). These trains offer a ¥950 Green Car seating upgrade; Green cars feature more comfortable seats and a drink and snack service.

From Haneda Airport, take any Keikyu Line Airport Express (エアポート急行) train bound for Shin-Zushi or Kanazawa-Bunko, and change at Yokohama station for the JR Yokosuka line (One hour, ¥800).

If you plan on staying at a Ryokan it may be a good idea, unless your plane lands in the morning, to spend your first evening in Tokyo or Yokohama, or else you might miss out on (and be charged for) dinner at the ryokan, or worse, you may be locked out of (and be charged for) your room at the ryokan's curfew time, if there is one. If you plan to stay at a budget accomodation, check to see whether or not it has a curfew time.

By train

The fastest way to Kamakura Station is by JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station (one hour, ¥890) and Yokohama (25 minutes, ¥330). The JR Kamakura-Enoshima Pass gets you a round trip in this area with unlimited use of JR, Enoden and Shonan Monorail lines. You can buy the ticket at Ofuna, Fujisawa, Kamakura or Kita-Kamakura Station.

An alternative is to take the private Odakyu line from Shinjuku to Fujisawa, then change onto the rattling old Enoden (江ノ電) half-train/half-streetcar line that terminates in Kamakura. The longer (about 90-minute) travel time is compensated for by views of Enoshima island and the Shonan coast. The Enoshima-Kamakura Free Pass will get you a roundtrip from Shinjuku(Other Odakyu,Seibu and Sotetsu all stations) and unlimited use of the Enoden line for one day.

Get in

Kamakura is a very popular day trip from Tokyo for locals and tourists alike, and there are plenty of transportation options.

By plane

From Narita Airport, the fastest and most expensive way to reach Kamakura is to take the Narita Express in the direction of Yokohama or Ofuna, and then change to the JR Yokosuka line for the run to Kamakura. This takes approximately 2 hours and costs ¥4500, but if you use JR's Suica & N'EX combination ticket for foreigners, the fare is reduced to ¥3500. It may be more convenient to change to the Yokosuka Line at intermediate stations, where it is as simple as a same-platform or cross-platform transfer: If the Narita Express terminates at Yokohama, change at Musashi-Kosugi; if it terminates at Ofuna, change at Totsuka.

Regular JR commuter trains depart Narita Airport once per hour: some trains offer one-seat rides to Kamakura station, or else change at wherever the train terminates to the next train bound for Zushi, Yokosuka or Kurihama (About 2 1/2 hours, ¥2210). These trains offer a ¥950 Green Car seating upgrade; Green cars feature more comfortable seats and a drink and snack service.

From Haneda Airport, take any Keikyu Line Airport Express (エアポート急行) train bound for Shin-Zushi or Kanazawa-Bunko, and change at Yokohama station for the JR Yokosuka line (One hour, ¥800).

If you plan on staying at a Ryokan it may be a good idea, unless your plane lands in the morning, to spend your first evening in Tokyo or Yokohama, or else you might miss out on (and be charged for) dinner at the ryokan, or worse, you may be locked out of (and be charged for) your room at the ryokan's curfew time, if there is one. If you plan to stay at a budget accomodation, check to see whether or not it has a curfew time.

By train

The fastest way to Kamakura Station is by JR Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station (one hour, ¥890) and Yokohama (25 minutes, ¥330). The JR Kamakura-Enoshima Pass gets you a round trip in this area with unlimited use of JR, Enoden and Shonan Monorail lines. You can buy the ticket at Ofuna, Fujisawa, Kamakura or Kita-Kamakura Station.

An alternative is to take the private Odakyu line from Shinjuku to Fujisawa, then change onto the rattling old Enoden (江ノ電) half-train/half-streetcar line that terminates in Kamakura. The longer (about 90-minute) travel time is compensated for by views of Enoshima island and the Shonan coast. The Enoshima-Kamakura Free Pass will get you a roundtrip from Shinjuku(Other Odakyu,Seibu and Sotetsu all stations) and unlimited use of the Enoden line for one day.

See

Kamakura's sights are scattered around the city. Most visitors make a beeline for the Great Buddha and stop off at Hase Kannon on the way; these sights can be very crowded on weekends and holidays.

Central Kamakura

  • Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮). The largest Shinto shrine in otherwise almost solidly Buddhist Kamakura, built by Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199) founder of the Kamakura Shogunate and the first Shogun in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Just a bit north of the station, this shrine attracts a million visitors on New Year's Day to see the first sunrise of the year (Japan Rail runs trains all night long). If you're lucky, you may see a traditional wedding going on in the plaza in front of the main shrine. The Ritual Dance Stage (舞殿) is the spot where Yoritomo forced the hunted Yoshitsune's Lady Shizuka to perform a dance for him. Rather than celebrating Yoritomo, Lady Shizuka's dance expressed her love for Yoshitsune and her sorrow at his plight. This event is commemorated during the Kamakura Festival in April. Twice each year, in the spring and fall, you can watch demonstrations of Yabusame (archery from galloping horseback, in full samurai regalia) at Hachiman-gu.
  • Myohonji Temple (妙本寺). The cemetery contains the grave of the creator of Ultraman, a popular 1960s tv show. Fans who visit the grave place toy Ultraman action figures on his grave.

Western Kamakura (Hase)

The following sights are in western Kamakura, mostly near the Enoden Hase station.

  • Kōtokuin (高徳院). 7AM-5:30PM. Home of the famous Great Buddha (大仏 Daibutsu), a bronze statue of Amida that at 13.35 meters is the second largest in Japan (second only to that in Nara's Todaiji). Thought to be cast in 1252, the statue was originally housed in a giant temple hall, but the building was washed away in a tsunami. Entrance to temple ¥200, entrance to inside of Buddha statue ¥20.
  • Hasedera (長谷寺) . This temple, also called "Hase Kannon", is home to the largest wooden statue in Japan, representing Buddhist deity Kannon. An interesting if somewhat claustrophobic grotto on the grounds is filled with statues of Benzaiten. ¥300.
  • Zeniarai Benten Shrine (銭洗い弁天). An atmospheric shrine in the hills dedicated to the deity Benzaiten, but popularly named after the most common activity: according to legend, any money (zeni) washed (arai) in the cave here will be doubled. You can also purchase o-mamori (protective charm) and have a kannushi (shinto priest) strike sparks from a flint over it to increase its power. It is about a kilometer away from Kamakura station. As there is no direct bus service, those in a hurry should take a taxi. Otherwise, the undemanding 20-minute stroll gives pleasant views of residential areas with quiet gardens. The shrine itself is reached via a long, but well-illuminated tunnel bored right through the rock. The hill above, Genjiyama, has a park with excellent views over the city. It is also a popular place for viewing the cherry blossoms in early spring. From here you can reach the hiking trail running from Tokeiji to the Kōtokuin.

North Kamakura

The artist Isamu Noguchi lived and created ceramics in Kita (North) Kamakura in 1952.

  • Engakuji (円覚寺). Number two of Kamakura's Five Zen Temples, founded in 1282 to commemorate soldiers who fell fighting off the Mongol invasion the previous year. The Shariden building on the grounds is reputed to contain one of the teeth of the Buddha. Atop a hill near the temple is the temple's large bell and next to it a teahouse famous for its tokoroten (sweet cold noodles) — although foreigners tasting this peculiarly salty and slimy concoction may wonder why.
  • Kenchōji (建長寺). Number one of Kamakura's Five Zen Temples, the oldest in Kamakura (built 1253) and one of the oldest in all Japan. The temple bell here too has been designated a National Treasure, and there's a nice Zen garden as well.
  • Tōkeiji (東慶寺) . A nunnery famous in the feudal days for sheltering abused women, who could obtain a divorce by staying here for three years. Has a large and atmospheric graveyard. Also called "Kakekomidera" (the fugitive temple), and famous for its ume (Japanese plum).
  • Meigetsuin (明月院). A lot of hydrangeas are plated in precincts, and it is called "Hydrangea Temple." On the other hand, it is known in the grave of Hojo Tokiyori and the Meigetsuin Temple tower that assumed to be the biggest in tunnel type grave. It takes 10 minites on foot from JR Kita-Kamakura Station. The seeing time is to 16:00 from 9:00. Admission fees are 300 yen.

East Kamakura

The temples of eastern Kamakura lie off the beaten tourist track and are for that very reason worth a visit. While you can reach these on foot, it's probably wiser to take a bus as there's still a fair bit of climbing to do just to get around the temples.

  • Jōmyōji (浄妙寺). Sample tea ceremony on the cheap here with a ¥500 cup of matcha tea in the gardens.
  • Sugimotodera (杉本寺). Tranquil hillside temple with a newer stone stairway to the left of the even steeper, worn-out original one, and views over the town. The oldest temple in Kamakura, founded 734. Eleven-faced statue of Kannon.
  • Shakado Kiritoshi (釈迦堂切り通し). Fifteen min walk from Sugimoto Kannon. Kamakura is surrounded by mountains on three sides and the ocean on the fourth. Very narrow roads were cut through the mountains, to make for easy defense. The Shakado Kiritoshi (pass) is cut through solid rock, and very impressive even today. Unfortunately it has been impassable since April 2010 due to a large rockfall.
  • Hōkokuji (報国寺). Notable for its lovely bamboo grove. You can get matcha here too.

Nearby

  • Taya Cavern (Taya no Dookutsu), Josenji Temple, Sakae-ku, Taya-machi 1501 (Take the JR Yokosuka Line two stops north of Kamakura to Ofuna Station; take a bus bound for Totsuka Bus Center; after about 8 minutes, get off at Dookutsu-mae bus stop; the temple is just to the right of the large radon spa building), +81 045 851-2392. Daily 9AM-4:30PM. This is actually in Yokohama, but is closer to Kamakura both geographically and historically. From about the year 1200 to 1700, Shingon Buddhist monks gradually excavated this underground maze of tunnels as a site for spiritual training. You will be given a candle which you slip onto a wooden holder outside the entrance, and light at the candle inside the doorway. Damp, silent corridors lead to small, domed meditation chambers with walls and ceilings carved with fantastic creatures and Buddhist images, and on down to the spring room with a great turtle and birds carved on the walls. A small flashlight would be useful to see the images that candlelight doesn't reach. Adults ¥400, HS/JHS students ¥200, children ¥100.

Near Taya Cavern, there are some other attractions to see.

  • Suenosato, Taya-machi 1483 (A short walk up the hill to the left of the radon spa building.), +81 045 851-8855. A studio displaying beautiful and expensive handcrafted pottery and glassware that range from whimsical to Wabi-sabi.
  • Yukai Sokai Taya, Taya-machi 1463 (Exit the cavern temple and turn left along the road.), +81 045 854-2641. daily 10AM-3AM. A spa housed in a building with the large neon character for bath on the roof. M-F ¥600, Sa Sun ¥700.

See

Kamakura's sights are scattered around the city. Most visitors make a beeline for the Great Buddha and stop off at Hase Kannon on the way; these sights can be very crowded on weekends and holidays.

Central Kamakura

  • Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮). The largest Shinto shrine in otherwise almost solidly Buddhist Kamakura, built by Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199) founder of the Kamakura Shogunate and the first Shogun in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Just a bit north of the station, this shrine attracts a million visitors on New Year's Day to see the first sunrise of the year (Japan Rail runs trains all night long). If you're lucky, you may see a traditional wedding going on in the plaza in front of the main shrine. The Ritual Dance Stage (舞殿) is the spot where Yoritomo forced the hunted Yoshitsune's Lady Shizuka to perform a dance for him. Rather than celebrating Yoritomo, Lady Shizuka's dance expressed her love for Yoshitsune and her sorrow at his plight. This event is commemorated during the Kamakura Festival in April. Twice each year, in the spring and fall, you can watch demonstrations of Yabusame (archery from galloping horseback, in full samurai regalia) at Hachiman-gu.
  • Myohonji Temple (妙本寺). The cemetery contains the grave of the creator of Ultraman, a popular 1960s tv show. Fans who visit the grave place toy Ultraman action figures on his grave.

Western Kamakura (Hase)

The following sights are in western Kamakura, mostly near the Enoden Hase station.

  • Kōtokuin (高徳院). 7AM-5:30PM. Home of the famous Great Buddha (大仏 Daibutsu), a bronze statue of Amida that at 13.35 meters is the second largest in Japan (second only to that in Nara's Todaiji). Thought to be cast in 1252, the statue was originally housed in a giant temple hall, but the building was washed away in a tsunami. Entrance to temple ¥200, entrance to inside of Buddha statue ¥20.
  • Hasedera (長谷寺) . This temple, also called "Hase Kannon", is home to the largest wooden statue in Japan, representing Buddhist deity Kannon. An interesting if somewhat claustrophobic grotto on the grounds is filled with statues of Benzaiten. ¥300.
  • Zeniarai Benten Shrine (銭洗い弁天). An atmospheric shrine in the hills dedicated to the deity Benzaiten, but popularly named after the most common activity: according to legend, any money (zeni) washed (arai) in the cave here will be doubled. You can also purchase o-mamori (protective charm) and have a kannushi (shinto priest) strike sparks from a flint over it to increase its power. It is about a kilometer away from Kamakura station. As there is no direct bus service, those in a hurry should take a taxi. Otherwise, the undemanding 20-minute stroll gives pleasant views of residential areas with quiet gardens. The shrine itself is reached via a long, but well-illuminated tunnel bored right through the rock. The hill above, Genjiyama, has a park with excellent views over the city. It is also a popular place for viewing the cherry blossoms in early spring. From here you can reach the hiking trail running from Tokeiji to the Kōtokuin.

North Kamakura

The artist Isamu Noguchi lived and created ceramics in Kita (North) Kamakura in 1952.

  • Engakuji (円覚寺). Number two of Kamakura's Five Zen Temples, founded in 1282 to commemorate soldiers who fell fighting off the Mongol invasion the previous year. The Shariden building on the grounds is reputed to contain one of the teeth of the Buddha. Atop a hill near the temple is the temple's large bell and next to it a teahouse famous for its tokoroten (sweet cold noodles) — although foreigners tasting this peculiarly salty and slimy concoction may wonder why.
  • Kenchōji (建長寺). Number one of Kamakura's Five Zen Temples, the oldest in Kamakura (built 1253) and one of the oldest in all Japan. The temple bell here too has been designated a National Treasure, and there's a nice Zen garden as well.
  • Tōkeiji (東慶寺) . A nunnery famous in the feudal days for sheltering abused women, who could obtain a divorce by staying here for three years. Has a large and atmospheric graveyard. Also called "Kakekomidera" (the fugitive temple), and famous for its ume (Japanese plum).
  • Meigetsuin (明月院). A lot of hydrangeas are plated in precincts, and it is called "Hydrangea Temple." On the other hand, it is known in the grave of Hojo Tokiyori and the Meigetsuin Temple tower that assumed to be the biggest in tunnel type grave. It takes 10 minites on foot from JR Kita-Kamakura Station. The seeing time is to 16:00 from 9:00. Admission fees are 300 yen.

East Kamakura

The temples of eastern Kamakura lie off the beaten tourist track and are for that very reason worth a visit. While you can reach these on foot, it's probably wiser to take a bus as there's still a fair bit of climbing to do just to get around the temples.

  • Jōmyōji (浄妙寺). Sample tea ceremony on the cheap here with a ¥500 cup of matcha tea in the gardens.
  • Sugimotodera (杉本寺). Tranquil hillside temple with a newer stone stairway to the left of the even steeper, worn-out original one, and views over the town. The oldest temple in Kamakura, founded 734. Eleven-faced statue of Kannon.
  • Shakado Kiritoshi (釈迦堂切り通し). Fifteen min walk from Sugimoto Kannon. Kamakura is surrounded by mountains on three sides and the ocean on the fourth. Very narrow roads were cut through the mountains, to make for easy defense. The Shakado Kiritoshi (pass) is cut through solid rock, and very impressive even today. Unfortunately it has been impassable since April 2010 due to a large rockfall.
  • Hōkokuji (報国寺). Notable for its lovely bamboo grove. You can get matcha here too.

Nearby

  • Taya Cavern (Taya no Dookutsu), Josenji Temple, Sakae-ku, Taya-machi 1501 (Take the JR Yokosuka Line two stops north of Kamakura to Ofuna Station; take a bus bound for Totsuka Bus Center; after about 8 minutes, get off at Dookutsu-mae bus stop; the temple is just to the right of the large radon spa building), +81 045 851-2392. Daily 9AM-4:30PM. This is actually in Yokohama, but is closer to Kamakura both geographically and historically. From about the year 1200 to 1700, Shingon Buddhist monks gradually excavated this underground maze of tunnels as a site for spiritual training. You will be given a candle which you slip onto a wooden holder outside the entrance, and light at the candle inside the doorway. Damp, silent corridors lead to small, domed meditation chambers with walls and ceilings carved with fantastic creatures and Buddhist images, and on down to the spring room with a great turtle and birds carved on the walls. A small flashlight would be useful to see the images that candlelight doesn't reach. Adults ¥400, HS/JHS students ¥200, children ¥100.

Near Taya Cavern, there are some other attractions to see.

  • Suenosato, Taya-machi 1483 (A short walk up the hill to the left of the radon spa building.), +81 045 851-8855. A studio displaying beautiful and expensive handcrafted pottery and glassware that range from whimsical to Wabi-sabi.
  • Yukai Sokai Taya, Taya-machi 1463 (Exit the cavern temple and turn left along the road.), +81 045 854-2641. daily 10AM-3AM. A spa housed in a building with the large neon character for bath on the roof. M-F ¥600, Sa Sun ¥700.

Sleep

Most visitors daytrip from Tokyo, but there is a pretty good selection of accommodation if you want to spend the night.

  • Kamakura-Hase Youth Hostel (3 min from Enoden Hase station). As a word of warning, the owners of the guest house are very strict towards upholding their rules. members ¥3200, non-members ¥4000.
  • Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kamakura Ofuna (1 min from JR Ofuna station), (0467) 42-2031. Near the Ofuna station business hotel. Very comfortable. Most low cost ¥7400, Internet reservation ¥6500.
  • Kamejikan guest house, 3-17-21 Zaimokuza, 0467251166. Wonderful helpful staff English-speaking and delicious coffee shop. Quiet and a stroll away from the beach. From 3500.

Sleep

Most visitors daytrip from Tokyo, but there is a pretty good selection of accommodation if you want to spend the night.

  • Kamakura-Hase Youth Hostel (3 min from Enoden Hase station). As a word of warning, the owners of the guest house are very strict towards upholding their rules. members ¥3200, non-members ¥4000.
  • Sotetsu Fresa Inn Kamakura Ofuna (1 min from JR Ofuna station), (0467) 42-2031. Near the Ofuna station business hotel. Very comfortable. Most low cost ¥7400, Internet reservation ¥6500.
  • Kamejikan guest house, 3-17-21 Zaimokuza, 0467251166. Wonderful helpful staff English-speaking and delicious coffee shop. Quiet and a stroll away from the beach. From 3500.

Connect

Pick up a useful map of the temples and suggested walking routes from Kamakura station's tourist information office before you head out.

Connect

Pick up a useful map of the temples and suggested walking routes from Kamakura station's tourist information office before you head out.

Go next

  • Enoshima, just 10 kilometers away at the other end of the Enoden line, is a popular beach for beginner surfers. Local shops along the beach offer lessons and bars and restaurants provide a surfing "scene" at which to hang out. The surf here is not considered to be as high quality as in Kyushu or Okinawa, or even Chiba.
  • Odawara — houses the only Japanese castle in greater Tokyo area



Go next

  • Enoshima, just 10 kilometers away at the other end of the Enoden line, is a popular beach for beginner surfers. Local shops along the beach offer lessons and bars and restaurants provide a surfing "scene" at which to hang out. The surf here is not considered to be as high quality as in Kyushu or Okinawa, or even Chiba.
  • Odawara — houses the only Japanese castle in greater Tokyo area



Curated Travel Blogs

Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • I have the tendency to get templed out realllyy quickly (like, before I even finish looking at the first one), so I wasn’t sure how an entire day in temple-tastic Kamakura, Japan would go
  • You can take either the Yokosuka Line from Tokyo Station or the Shonan Shinjuku Line from Shinjuku station
  • It’s hard to decide which temples to visit, as there are so many to choose from
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • Hello, and welcome to Kamakura! Often called “the little Kyoto”, Kamakura (only 1 hour from Tokyo by train) has hundreds of temples scattered around the hilly, green city
  • Kamakura is also where the first samurai government was established in 1185
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • Our Kamakura trip started off with the arrival at the Hase (長谷) Station
  • When you visit Kamakura, with it’s fine seas, numerous temples and shrines, it’s hard to relate that Kamakura once had such an important role in political history
  • With heaps of temples around the area, we walked along the road and visited temples that came in our sight
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • The more we read about it, the more we realized there was to see and do, but we did not want to feel rushed and miss things by going too fast
  • Taking the subway from Ueno to Tokyo Station and finding the correct platform was harder than taking the Yokosuka line train the whole way to Kamakura; the latter was just an hour ride with views of Tokyo Bay on one side and hills on the other
  • The temple, Kotoku-in, was rather on the minimalist side
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • Kamakura (鎌倉市 Kamakura-shi) is a small coastal town located in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo
  • Home to an impressive number of temples, shrines and historical monuments, it makes a good day trip destination if you’re interested in Kamakura’s beautiful architectural heritage
  • Lying amid gorgeous wooded hills and dotted with ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, Kamakura is often called the Kyoto of Eastern Japan
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde
Trip to Japan
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • There are few hotels that openly welcome western guests in Kamakura, so Hotel New Kamakura is a reasonable choice if you plan to stay
  • The 80-year old establishment has vintage fixtures in the old wing, and a new wing with more modern features
  • The hotel is now designated an Important Historic Site of Kamakura
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • Today we made a trip to Kamakura to check out the hydrangea
  • This is because hydrangea bloom at about the same time, and the flowers grow deeper in color as rain water falls on them through this period
  • Flowers in round bunches are sterile; those in the center of flat bunches, such as these, are fertile Our first stop was at Tokeiji Temple, also nicknamed the "Divorce Temple": in the past, women in Japan were not allowed to initiate a divorce from their husbands
Kamakura Travel Guide | Travyde

  • today I want to tell you about my one day trip to Enoshima and Kamakura I made a few days ago
  • ^^ And it's really easy to get there, if you want to have nice change in compare to the big city world around you! Woah, can you see, what I see!

Curated Video Guides

KAMAKURA, JAPAN - travel shorts
KAMAKURA, JAPAN - travel shorts
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Japan travel: 日本の旅 gopro trip,2 weeks around tokyo,kamakura,nikko,himeji,kyoto and more
Japan travel: 日本の旅 gopro trip,2 weeks around tokyo,kamakura,nikko,himeji,kyoto and more
I was going for 2 weeks traveling to Japan and I did visited Tokyo,kamakura,nikko,nagano,kamichoci,hiroshima,mijazima,kyoto This was one of the best travel I did at the momet :) I love japan....

A Cheapo's Day Trip Guide to Kamakura
A Cheapo's Day Trip Guide to Kamakura
Kamakura is a coastal city famous for its rich history, numerous #Buddhist shrines and #temples, scenic views and beaches. And it's only a short jaunt from #Tokyo making it the perfect day...

YOKOHAMA & KAMAKURA, JAPAN VLOG || SUMMER 2016 (PART 1)
YOKOHAMA & KAMAKURA, JAPAN VLOG || SUMMER 2016 (PART 1)
I spent two weeks of my summer traveling in Japan and finally had the time to put the first part of this vlog together! I hope you enjoy it! :) Stay tuned for my Kyoto and Tokyo vlogs as I...

TRIP TO KAMAKURA, JAPAN
TRIP TO KAMAKURA, JAPAN
My trip to Kamakura, Japan. I went to Great Buddha in Kamakura, Zeniarai Benten, and Hachimangu Shrine. Kamakura is about 1 hour from Tokyo, so you could visit there very easily. Please enjoy...

Day Trip to Kamakura (ft. Daisuke) || VLOG ||  Emily In Tokyo  ❤︎
Day Trip to Kamakura (ft. Daisuke) || VLOG || Emily In Tokyo ❤︎
Daisuke and I visited Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture where we had an amazing time and experience. //My Last Video: https://youtu.be/XYoqvtbbtuE // Subscribe to my channel for more videos...

David Wells:NHK World "Journeys in Japan" #Kamakura
David Wells:NHK World "Journeys in Japan" #Kamakura
David Wells:NHK World "Journeys in Japan" Ancient city of Kamakura.

Japanese STREET FOOD Tour in Kamakura | Kanagawa Prefecture [4K]
Japanese STREET FOOD Tour in Kamakura | Kanagawa Prefecture [4K]
A street food tour in Japan's ancient capital! Delicious finger-licking food! ▷ Subscribe for weekly food videos (https://goo.gl/ehGFrg) ▷ Follow us on Facebook (https://goo.gl/2bR8Bu),...

Interesting Japanese Street Food And Travel Guide In Kamakura | Kamakura Japan Travel Guide
Interesting Japanese Street Food And Travel Guide In Kamakura | Kamakura Japan Travel Guide
Japan travel and food guide in Kamakura. Here are 5 of my recommended interesting and unusual Japanese street food to try in Kamakura. Kamakura is only an hour away from Tokyo and makes a great...

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A travel guide for visiting Kamakura Japan. Kamakura has a rich history of temples and the Daibatsu,aka Giant Buddha. Kamakura is an excellent day trip from Tokyo, with zen temples and shinto...

2017 Japan Trip Kamakura(鎌倉)  to Enoshima (江の島) WINTER
2017 Japan Trip Kamakura(鎌倉) to Enoshima (江の島) WINTER
Yes!! Saw Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Yeah!! After spending about 2 hours wandering around Kamakura.. It is time to take a train ride to the west to visit Enoshima Island. I only have one mission...

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Trip to Kamakura || Japan vlog
Japan travel vlog - Kamakura: Kamakura had everything we love and more, we discovered the perfect hike, the Daibutsu trail, that goes from Kita-Kamakura to the Great Buddha. It was breathtaking!...

Nikko & Kamakura - Japan travel video
Nikko & Kamakura - Japan travel video

Best Japanese Souvenir Shop and The Great Buddha of Kamakura [Travel Vlog]
Best Japanese Souvenir Shop and The Great Buddha of Kamakura [Travel Vlog]
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Exploring Japan's Beach Towns! Kamakura and Enoshima
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Places, Sights, and Attractions

View Map
WAVE (麺屋 波)
Pin on Pinterest!
If you like curry and ramen, you are in for a treat!! Every piece in the dish is delicious and fresh! Combine with the curry, its an explosion of flavor. Leave some curry at the end for the rice!!
Distance: 0.57 km
taka Exy
寒いテラスには、毛布を持っていくのが良さそうです。
Distance: 0.39 km
Fan Chen
靴を脱いで上がるお座敷のお店。4人掛けの机は、混んでいる時は基本相席のようです。和田塚の駅のすぐ脇、風情のある素敵なお店。
Distance: 0.56 km
クレープリー アルモリック
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Tsumagari Koji
そば粉のガレットのお店ですが、ガレットだけでなく鎌倉野菜のサラダや季節ごとのお菓子も美味しいお店です!
Distance: 0.28 km
コクリコ 御成通り店
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Momo Kakure
小町通りのお店より空いているので、長蛇の列に並びたくないのであれば、こちらの御成通りのお店のほうがいいかもしれません。周囲はちょっと閑散としていますが…人気メニューのレモンシュガーを食べましたが、甘酸っぱくてとてもおいしかったです。
Distance: 0.13 km
Caraway (キャラウェイ)
Pin on Pinterest!
Masato Katakura
カレールーをテイクアウトします。ビニール袋に入って凍った状態になっていて、家でも同じ味が再現できるのに、値段が安くてお得。チキンがおすすめ。
Distance: 0.66 km
ryoma sato
Super nice ladies at the counter, super delicious matcha ice cream. You can choose from several levels depending on how strong you want the matcha flavour to be. I had the strongest and loved it! 💚
Distance: 0.74 km
納言志るこ店
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w hajime
小町通りは観光客向けだが、ここだけは地元の子も集まる。中学の時からワザワザいってた名店。男性だが、最低、つぶ小豆の田舎汁粉、そしてコシた御前汁粉、この二つは必ず頼む。あとは、体調次第デス(*^_^*)💕
Distance: 0.36 km
Nobue Tanaka
鎌倉店は現金のみ。カードは使えないよ!
Distance: 0.71 km
高崎屋本店
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甕だしの紹興酒を買いましょう。
Distance: 0.08 km
開放的な2階は、向かいのSTARBUCSよりもくつろげる。ただ夏は冷房が効きすぎているような…。
Distance: 0.22 km
Pizzeria GG Kamakura
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部長 @元ラーメン部
This branch of the Pizzeria GG in Kichijojo, serves delicious wood-oven pizza (along with other Italian-inspired dishes). Fast service, and very reasonable prices make this a great option in Kamakura.
Distance: 0.25 km
大新 鎌倉店
Pin on Pinterest!
Sayu Masu
スーラータンメン。辛くも酸っぱくもない優しいお味です。
Distance: 0.08 km
月曜日はビュッフェです!
Distance: 0.38 km
らーめん 一閑人
Pin on Pinterest!
Takehiko Ono
Excellent ramen and tsukemen. Noodles have a great firm chewy texture. Broth is very rich.
Distance: 0.39 km
エスニックカレーはパクチーモリモリの1品。爽やかで美味。店内の雰囲気もとても寛げます。
Distance: 0.34 km
Dai Trinh (dt)
季節ごとのフラペチーノがおいしいです!
Distance: 0.25 km
KIBIYAベーカリー 鎌倉西口御成通り本店
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10:00-16:00 ここからテラスモール湘南店にも運ばれているそうです(o^^o)
Distance: 0.08 km
shintaro eguchi
オムライスが絶品!尚且つサイズがハーフ、通常、それに50円プラスで大盛りも注文できて最高!
Distance: 0.42 km
2015.9.16 に扇ガ谷より現在の場所に移転。
Distance: 0.68 km
ıɹouoɯoʇ ıɓɐʞɐʇ
ここに来たら蕎麦とわらび餅!人気店なので休日だと昼前後はかなり混みますが夕方近くなら待たずに入れます。
Distance: 0.64 km
M. R.
North of JR Kamakura station, Narutoya-Tenzo offers reasonably priced vegetarian Japanese cuisine. The ingredients are (almost) all local, and the food is generally flavourful. Not vegan. No English.
Distance: 0.37 km
Iwata Coffee (イワタコーヒー店)
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osaya 96
20分かけて焼きあげる厚みのあるホットケーキが有名なお店。ホットケーキは若干スポンジが粗めの素朴なもの。店舗の奥には庭があり、外には出られない様だが、庭を見ながら珈琲を楽しむこともできる。
Distance: 0.33 km
Charles Lee
ワイン旨し、メシ旨し、お値段旨し!!
Distance: 0.61 km
Mikiko Takase
お店独自のWi-Fiあり。カウンターのテーブル下3箇所に2口コンセントあり、使用可能。
Distance: 0.18 km

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