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.
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)
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.
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.