Photo By: pisittar
Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Yokohama
Population
8,489,932

Kamakura

A spiritual seaside getaway close to Tokyo with shrines, temples and big buddha.

Kamakura is a seaside destination just an hour’s train ride from Tokyo. It boasts plenty of temples, interesting local delicacies and spectacular ocean views.

Photo by: Claire Heginbotham Ghibli Shop in Kamakura.

The town of Kamakura, in Kanagawa Prefecture, is characterized by it’s main shopping street; Komachi. Originally the shrine’s market, this street offers souvenir stalls and street food. One of the local delicacies is shirasu-don; white bait fish on top of rice. You can freely sample all the flavored soy beans at various stores. For Studio Ghibli fans, there is a packed-to-the-brim store at the start of the street where you can buy figurines and other merchandise.

Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha)

See the impressive stone Buddha at Kotukuin temple., Kamakura
Past the shops and through a gigantic red torii (gate), you’ll find the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. It is the main shrine of Kamakura. To the left of the shrine there is a lily pond teeming with cute colorful koi and turtles.

After your explorations, it’s a 10-minute walk back to Kamakura station.  Take the nostalgic-and-historic Enoden (Enoshima Electric Railway) to Hase.

The Hase-dera Temple houses one of the largest wooden statues in Japan: Kannon. It was supposedly thrown into the sea to drift to it’s new home. When it landed near Hase, they built the Hase-dera temple to house it.

Photo by: Claire Heginbotham Sasuke Inari Shrine.

From there, wander about 10 minutes up the hill, taking time to stop at the specialty ice cream shops and bakeries. Soon, you’ll find yourself at the famous Daibutsu (Great Buddha), the towering bronze buddha is the second-biggest in Japan and one of the main attractions of Kamakura, though there is more charm that lies beyond.

After, a small hike up the hill will land you at the Sasuke Inari Shrine. The shrine hosts a red torii-gate path and hundreds of tiny fox ornaments. Even more interesting, it’s a small, quiet remnant of a secret ninja village.

For yet another highlight, take the train or stroll over to the area of Gokurakuji where you’ll be able to find sweeping views of the ocean and mountains.

Photo by: Claire Heginbotham

Last, head back toward the station but head oceanside. Inamuragasaki Park has a number of lookout points. Just below the park there is a flat rock jutting out onto the ocean. This is a famous photo spot and features in many Japanese TV shows.

The rock is the the perfect place to sit and enjoy the sunset while watching the surfers. If you are lucky and visit on a clear day, you’ll be able to see Mt. Fuji towering over the island of Enoshima, which is another great day trip that’s near Kamakura.

This historic area is a wonderful place to go for a taste of traditional Japan without having to travel too far.

Dig this scenery? Check out more temples in Japan.

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Trivia

See the impressive stone Buddha at Kotukuin temple., Kamakura

Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha)

If size matters, Kamakura’s bronze-cast idol proves that bigger is better.

More

Things To Know

Fees

JR East sells a one-day Kamakura-Enoshima Pass that allows visitors unlimited rides on the JR, Enoshima Electric Railway and the Shonan Monorail. The cost for adults is ¥700 and children ¥350.

How To Get There

Address

1 Chome-1-1 Komachi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken 248-0006, Japan

By train

Take the JR Yokosuka line from Tokyo to Kamakura station.

Where To Stay

Luna Inn
  • Komachi 1-4-4 Seiwa Building 4F Kamakura-Shi, Kanagawa 248-0006
  • 8.3/10
  • 0.1 km
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Taro's House Kamakura Komachi
  • Komachi 1-6-15 i-ZA Kamakura 4F Kamakura-Shi, Kanagawa 248-0006
  • 9/10
  • 0.1 km
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Kamakura suite
  • Komachi 1-6-15 i-Za Kamakura Juukyo-tou 3F Kamakura-Shi, Kanagawa 248-0006
  • 8.7/10
  • 0.1 km
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Villa Sacra
  • Onarimachi 13-29 Kamakura-Shi, Kanagawa 248-0012
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.2 km
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