Top 10 Things to do Around Kamakura
Kamakura is a coastal town near Tokyo known for its temples and shrines, the renowned huge Buddha statue, several stylish boutiques and restaurants, and sandy beaches that draw enormous crowds during the summer months. If you can’t make it to Kyoto on your vacation, Kamakura is a good substitute. In this article, we will recommend the best things to do in Kamakura for your vacation.
How to get to Kamakura?
It’s known as the “Kyoto of the East” because of its ancient sites and well-preserved ambiance, and it’s only an hour south of Tokyo, making it an ideal day trip destination.
- JR Yokosuka Line: links Tokyo Station and Kamakura Station. The round-way ride takes around an hour and costs 940 yen ($7.15). The trains stop along the route at Shinagawa Station, Kita-Kamakura Station, and Yokohama Station.
- JR Shonan Shinjuku Line: connects Kamakura Station and Shinjuku Station directly. The one-way ticket costs 940 yen ($7.15) and takes around an hour. Only trains headed for Zushi offer a direct link to Kamakura. Otherwise, a train change is necessary at Ofuna Station.
- By Odakyu Railway: The Enoshima Kamakura Free Pass, which covers the round travel between Shinjuku and Enoshima as well as unrestricted usage of the Enoden trains between Fujisawa, Enoshima, and Kamakura for around 1600 yen, is the most affordable way to visit Kamakura.
Best Things to Do in Kamakura
1. The Great Buddha
The Great Buddha of Kamakura ((鎌倉大仏) is an Amida Buddha bronze statue that lies on the grounds of Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 11.4 meters, it has long been the second-highest Buddha statue in Japan, only being exceeded by the statue in Nara’s Todaiji Temple and other recent works. The statue was created in 1252 and was initially housed within a vast temple hall. However, typhoons and a tsunami devastated the temple structures several times in the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result, the Buddha has been lying in the open air since the late 15th century.
- Map: https://goo.gl/KFrtsY
- Hour: 8:00 to 17:30 (until 17:00 from October to March)
- Admission: 300 yen ($2.28)
2. Hasedera Temple
Hasedera (長谷寺) is a Jodo sect temple well-known for its eleven-headed Kannon, the goddess of compassion. The 9.18-meter-tall, gilded wooden figure is one of Japan’s biggest wooden sculptures and can be seen in the temple’s main edifice, Kannon-do Hall. According to folklore, it was cut from the same tree as the equally tall Kannon monument revered in Nara Prefecture’s Hasedera Temple. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in town, but the busiest season is during the rainy season in June and July, when the hydrangea flower blossoms in full glory.
- Map: https://goo.gl/nuVjA8
- Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (till 17:30 from April to June)
- Admission: 400 yen ($3.04)
3. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu (鶴岡八幡宮) is the most prominent Shinto shrine in Kamakura. The temple is accessible by a long, broad path that runs from Kamakura’s seafront all the way into the city center, with several torii gates along the route. The shrine holds a number of events throughout the year. People go to the shrine for Hatsumode (the new year’s first visit) from the 1st to the 3rd of January. The temple complex is famed for the spectacular red torii gate in front of it, as well as the main hall after ascending the stairs.
- Map: https://goo.gl/s2aoYe
- Hours: 5:00 to 21:00 (6:00 from October to March). From January 1 to 3, open 24 hours
- Admission: Free
4. Hiking Trails
Kamakura is bounded on the south by the sea and on the other sides by woody hills. Hiking routes wind through the forests and link several evocative temples around these slopes. The paths are an excellent method to get between several of Kamakura’s attractions. Many of the paths are short in length (usually 30 to 90 minutes) and provide tourists with a combination of natural and cultural views.
5. Hokokuji Temple
Hokokuji (報国寺) is a modest temple of the Rinzai Sect of Zen Buddhism situated in the hills of eastern Kamakura. Hokokuji Temple is most renowned for its lovely, modest bamboo grove located behind the temple’s main hall, which is densely forested with about 2000 dark green bamboo stalks. There’s also a tiny Japanese-style café inside the garden where you may sip fresh green tea while admiring the bamboo.
- Map: https://goo.gl/JAViU6
- Hours: 9:00 to 16:00
- Admission: 300 yen ($2.28)
6. Engakuji Temple
Engakuji (円覚寺) is one of the most important Zen temples in eastern Japan and the second largest of Kamakura’s five great Zen temples. Engakuji is constructed into the wooded hillsides of Kita-Kamakura. Engakuji is a notable place for fall colors, which often peak in early December. The entrance to the temple, which is bordered by many maple trees, is a favorite photo spot.
- Map: https://goo.gl/2imMZr
- Hours: 8:00 to 16:30 (till 16:00 from December to February)
- Admission: 300 yen ($2.28)
7. Beaches of Kamakura
Kamakura has various sand beaches that are popular with visitors looking to get away from the adjacent metropolises of Tokyo and Yokohama for some sunbathing, swimming, and surfing. Kamakura’s official beach season runs from July through August. Yuigahama and Zaimokuza, Kamakura’s two most popular beaches, are located next to each other. The two beaches stretch for nearly one kilometer down the shore, offering plenty of space for sunbathing and swimming. Beach huts are open during the season and offer tourists shade, changing, and shower facilities, as well as food and refreshments.
8. Zeniarai Benten Shrine
Zeniarai Benten Temple ((銭洗弁天) is a one-of-a-kind shrine in Kamakura that is said to make worshipers wealthy if they wash their money in the shrine’s spring water. Zeniarai Benten Shrine is a good example of a surviving combination of Buddhism and Shinto. Zeniarai Benten Shrine is placed between Kamakura and Kita Kamakura Stations, with no public transit and a 20 to 30 minute walk from either station.
- Map: https://goo.gl/9Fn1Et
- Hours: 8:00 to 16:30
- Admission: Free
9. Komachi Street
Komachi Route (Komachi Dori) is a retail street that runs from Kamakura Station to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Along the Boulevard are hundreds of stores, cafés, and restaurants. It’s one of the greatest spots to eat and shop for souvenirs. Many stores sell convenient street food that you can eat while strolling down the street.
If you have time to venture a little further from Kamakura, Enoshima Island (江の島) is highly recommended. Enoshima, a lovely tourist island off the coast that is connected to the mainland by a bridge, is only a short train trip west of Kamakura. The island has a temple, park, observation tower, and caverns, among other things. On days with adequate sight, Mount Fuji may be seen. A large aquarium (Enoshima Aquarium) is also located near the island. Enoshima is accessible by local rail from Kamakura, which takes about 20 minutes.
1. Is Kamakura worth visiting?
Kamakura is within a two-hour drive of Tokyo. A stunning, tiny village that has served as the location for scores of Japanese films, anime programs, and even music videos. It is also a destination in its own right, with enough to do in Kamakura to make it a must-see destination in Japan.
2. What are five things you could see or do in Kamakura?
You may go to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Temple, eat Kamakura street food on Komachi Dori, see Hokokuji Bamboo Garden, taste native Kamakura seafood, and even go to Yuigahama, a Kamakura beach.
3. What things is Kamakura known for?
Kamakura is famed for its temples, and there are many of them – temples with large Buddhas, temples with even larger bamboo groves, and even temples with miraculously money-multiplying streams of money.
4. How long to spend in Kamakura?
Most visitors spend only one day in Kamakura before returning to Tokyo, but spending a night or two in this old city allows them to experience so much more.
5. Can you see Mt Fuji from Kamakura?
When you visit Enoshima and the seashore of Kamakura, you get a terrific opportunity to see Mt. Fuji from the sea. This magnificent and tallest mountain in Japan may be viewed in many areas, but it is a special panorama that can be observed in a section of Shizuoka and here.
6. Is Nikko worth a visit?
Nikko is a tranquil haven and one of the most renowned destinations to visit in the North Kanto area. Nikko is well-known for its natural beauty, which includes lush woods, undulating hills, and spectacular waterfalls, as well as rushing rivers, streams, and a lovely lake.
As a seaside city with several seasonal festivals as well as old Buddhist and Shinto shrines and temples, Kamakura is a famous domestic tourism destination in Japan. We hope this post has given you some ideas for things to do in Kamakura when organizing your own vacation there.