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Photo By: PIXTA/ 濵中真宏
Largest City


Stop for a relaxing break in the coastal town of Manazuru during your trip to Kanagawa Prefecture.

By Alma Reyes

Tokyo’s neighbor, Kanagawa Prefecture has so much to offer for nature, wildlife, traditional culture and the seacoast. Suppose you’re traveling to Kamakura and further down south along the coastal road towards Odawara and Atami. In that case, you may notice a tiny peninsula jutting out shaped like a crane with open wings. This is Manazuru, the second smallest town in Kanagawa with a population of only about 6,000 and over 40% comprise elderly people. The small port town had been known as the “Oriental Riviera,” boasting spectacular views of the blue sea, fishing boats and houses and buildings perched on the low mountains.

Rich Cultural History

Kibune Shrine

Photo by: PIXTA/濵中真宏 Designated as an important intangible cultural asset.

Generally flocked for its summer resort, Manazuru was part of the Odawara Domain during the Edo period, then was established as a village in 1889 after the Meiji Restoration. Minamoto no Yoritomo, founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate was said to have sought refuge inside the Shitodo-no-iwaya Hidden Cave after being defeated in the battle of Ishibashiyama in 1180.

The historical Kibune Shrine, constructed in 889, stands on a hill overlooking the Manazuru Port. The ancient shrine is designated as an important intangible cultural asset and is best known for the parade of boats during the Kibune Festival held every July. You can witness colorful boats in enchanting designs adorned with shimmering lanterns floating on the sea. The pathway from Kibune Shrine down to the seashore is lined up with glittering lanterns and busy food stalls. A unique omikoshi (portable shrine) procession also leads toward the sea and street dances and giant floats fill the town with exuberance.

Just a five-minute walk from Manazuru Station, the Arai Castle Ruins Park sits inside the Arai Sanetsugu Castle dedicated to the samurai Sanetsugu who fought during the Gosannen War in 1083. The park also celebrates a yearly sakura (cherry blossom) festival.

A short walk or bus ride from Manazuru station takes you to Ryumonji, an old temple with a five-storied pagoda. Established in 1573 by the monk Rinoku, the historical monument was designated as one of Manazuru’s cultural properties in 1654.

Manazuru Port and Cape Manazuru


Photo by: PIXTA/ Jun Take in the views of the local ambiance of the Japanese countryside.

The port and Cape Manazuru are both worthwhile spots to wind for a sumptuous seafood meal and amazing views of the Izu Peninsula, Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture and the Izu Seven Islands. Not as sophisticated or trendsetting as the coast of Enoshima, the Manazuru seaside, however, provides the quiet, simple and truly local ambiance of the Japanese countryside.

Things To Know

Local festivals

Kibune Matsuri this year will be held on July 26-27. See the website (Japanese) for details.

Both Kibune Shrine and Arai Castle Ruins Park are open 24 hours.

How To Get There


By train

From Tokyo, take the Tokaido line or Ueno-Tokyo line to Manazuru station, or Shinkansen to Atami station, and change to the Tokaido line to Manazuru station. The trip takes approximately 1 hour and 15-40 minutes.

To Kibune Shrine, take a 16-minute bus from Manazuru station to Daihamaguchi, and walk 7 minutes.

To Arai Castle Ruins Park, walk 5-10 minutes from Manazuru Station.

To Ryumonji Temple, take a bus from Manazuru station to Iwafureaikaikanmae, and walk 3 minutes.

To Cape Manazuru, take a 34-minute bus from Manazuru station to Nakagawa Kazumasa Museum, and walk 19 minutes.

Where To Stay

Yugawara Fuga
  • 261 Miyakami, Ashigarashimo-gun Yugawara-machi, Kanagawa, 259-0314 Japan
  • ¥13,200 - ¥31,900
  • 4.1/5 (290 reviews)
  • 4.8 km
Yugawara Fukiya
  • 398 Miyakami, Ashigarashimo-gun Yugawara-machi, Kanagawa, 259-0314 Japan
  • ¥89,650 - ¥224,400
  • 4.17/5 (141 reviews)
  • 5.0 km
Yugawara Onsen Kaiseki Ryokan Ashikari
  • 734 Miyakami, Ashigarashimo-gun Yugawara-machi, Kanagawa, 259-0314 Japan
  • ¥69,300 - ¥160,050
  • 4.41/5 (456 reviews)
  • 5.1 km
Yutorelo Atami
  • 1173-534 Izusan, Atami-shi, Shizuoka, 413-0002 Japan
  • ¥8,250 - ¥43,890
  • 4.25/5 (1,003 reviews)
  • 5.6 km
  • 673 Miyakami, Ashigarashimo-gun Yugawara-machi, Kanagawa, 259-0314 Japan
  • ¥68,750 - ¥88,550
  • 3.93/5 (241 reviews)
  • 6.5 km

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