23°

Kanagawa

Kamakura

Home to the Great Buddha and Hachimangu Shrine

About Kamakura

Things to do in Kamakura

Dining

Kamakura Ume Cider

Kamakura Ume Cider

Just as Naoshima is famous for its Shio (salt) cider, Kamakura is famous for its Ume (plum) flavored cider. Plum is grown locally in Kamakura, and so popularly used in dishes in the city that even the 100 yen stores have packaged plums for sale! The..

Purple Sweet Potato Soft-Serve

Purple Sweet Potato Soft-Serve

Hands down, the most popular flavor of soft serve ice-cream in Kamakura is Murasaki Imo or purple sweet potato. Why is it so popular? First of all, because it is unique to Kamakura. Secondly, its color looks fantastic in photos. Thirdly, sometimes yo..

Loncafe in Kamakura

Loncafe in Kamakura

Spending time in Kamakura on probably the hottest day I have spent in Japan so far was really a nice experience. Nevertheless, my affinity for finding places to cool down did not fail to leave me at this time. I had armed myself with a fan, a cap and..

Places to stay

Kamakura’s Taisen-kaku Inn

Kamakura’s Taisen-kaku Inn

On the main side street leading into Hase Kannon Temple in Kamakura, your eyes will be attracted to an old inn with a very Japanese atmosphere, on the left side of the street. The inn's name is Taisen-kaku (對僊閣), meaning a palace with a long hi..

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Hokokuji, Kamakura's Bamboo Temple

Hokokuji, Kamakura's Bamboo Temple

I didn't know anything about Hokokuji Temple when I visited it early September this year. I didn't even know it was a Zen temple. All I knew was that it had a beautiful bamboo garden. Some writers/photographers of Japan Travel wrote about it,..

Komainu Lion-like Statues

Komainu Lion-like Statues

When I saw Komainu for the first time, I smiled as I found them funny. I called them "lions," but my friend told me they were dogs. The word "Inu" means "dog" in Japanese language. I was interested in them and learned ..

Lotus Flowers at Hachimangu Shrine

Lotus Flowers at Hachimangu Shrine

In late July this year, I visited Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura to see lotus flowers. My short Internet search directed me to the two places, Sankeien Garden in Yokohama and here, Hachimangu in Kamakura. When you pass the red torii gate at..

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About Kamakura

Kamakura is pure Japan. Often called “the little Kyoto”, Kamakura has hundreds of temples scattered around the hilly, green city and is only 1 hour from Tokyo by train.

Kamakura is also where the first samurai government was established in 1185. The very first shogun, Minamoto-no Yoritomo, was handsome, fashionable and sophisticated. He built a political powerhouse that worked through logic, systems and contracts. These concepts seem quite reasonable to us now, but at the time his way-the Kamakura way- was a new style of governing in Japan and quite advanced for its time. His spirit can still be found in the residents living here today. They are cool, dignified and reliable.

You can find many activities, attractive places, nice restaurants and cafes, sweets shops, traditional handiwork shops and exciting festivals in Kamakura. You might also enjoy riding in a rickshaw, taking a tram, renting bicycles, and especially, walking. Kamakura is a great city for walking! All you want to taste of Japan is here in Kamakura!

The Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha statue) is an icon of Kamakura and indeed of Japan itself. It was a bronze statue originally built in the mid 13th century. This means that Daibutsu has been sitting there without moving for more than 750 years, just waiting for you! Please stop in and say hello to Daibutsu.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine used to be the center of this medieval city. Its impressive red roof and a direct connection to the shore along Kamakura's main road are often shown in guidebooks. If you visit Kamakura in summer, you shouldn't miss the lotus ponds near the shrine's front gate.

Kita-Kamakura has several high-ranking temples near the station. Engaku-ji and Kencho-ji are two big names. But there are many other refined and peaceful temples to visit as well.

The nature of Kamakura is another charm. There are many temples and shrines that have original, simple but beautiful gardens. Flowers, bamboo, bushes and trees compete with one another to show their lovely colors.

If you like the waterfront, you should definitely go for a little stroll along the Yuigahama shore. How about buying some tea and sandwiches and then having a picnic on the beach? Small islands and the Izu peninsula will be silhouetted against the evening sky at dusk. And in the winter, Mt. Fuji. Stunning!

Trekking "Tenen" is an option for nature enthusiasts. It is a three and a half hour course. The best season is autumn. A clear blue sky and sharp red and yellow leaves will welcome you along the route.

A tiny tram nicknamed the Eno-den, winds through west Kamakura. It is also quite enjoyable. The tram passes over a single rail that runs between old Japanese houses soon after leaving Kamakura station. And then, it runs very close to the coast and finally reaches Enoshima.

All in all, Kamakura has the potential be the most interesting place you visit in Japan. Enjoy!

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