Kamakura Travel Guide

  • Kenchō-ji
    Kenchō-ji
    by lotharscheer
  • Kita-Kamakura station
    Kita-Kamakura station
    by lotharscheer
  • Money Washing at Zeniarai Benten Shrine
    Money Washing at Zeniarai Benten Shrine
    by Rabbityama

Kamakura Highlights

  • Pro
    Saya-chan profile photo

    Saya-chan says…

     Good proximity from Tokyo 

  • Con
    Farman profile photo

    Farman says…

     Did I mention the big Buddha? 

  • In a nutshell
    TokyoTumbleweed profile photo

    TokyoTumbleweed says…

     Japan in a nutshell at half the price of other tours!! 

Kamakura Things to Do

  • Shopping along Komachi Street

    Kamakura's main shopping area is called Komachi Street, and is stretches nearly a half mile from Kamakura Station north to Hachimangu Shrine. The street has a variety of shops and restaurants slling everything from souvenirs to liquor. There are many restaurants on the main street, and on many of the small side alleys.While here, we had a snack at...

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  • Hiking Around Kamakura

    There are a number of hiking trails around Kamakura connecting the great Daibutsu, the temples and the shopping areas of town. The trails generally follow the hills that surround the town and make it a natural fortress. The three main trails are the Daibutsu Hiking Course to the west, the Tenen Hiking Course to the north, and the Gionyama Hiking...

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  • Hase-dera Temple

    Hase-dera Temple, officially known as Kaikōzan Jishōin Hase-dera, was founded in 736 AD. According to legend, a priest at the original Hase-dera Temple in Nara carved two giant statues of Kannon from a single tree. He placed the first statue in in the temple in Nara, and set the second adrift in the ocean in 721 AD. Fifteen years later,...

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  • The Beaches of Kamakura

    Besides the Kamakura Buddha and the numerous temples, many visitors to this town enjoy the sandy beaches. Kamakura has two main coastal areas, Yuigahama and Zaimokuza Beaches. Yuigahama Beach is said to be very lively in the summer, though the water is not the cleanest around. The beach has many temporary huts during July and August, but the area...

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  • Inside the Daibutsu

    For a dirt-cheap 20 Yen, you can venture inside the Kamakura Buddha. After paying, you walk down a narrow set of steps, under the base of the statue, then up another set of steps to the large, hollow interior of the Buddha. Inside you can clearly see how the 30 separate pieces of bronze were cleverly pieced together from the bottom up. There are...

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  • Side Trip to Yokohama

    Yokohama, Japan's second largest city with about 3.5 million residents, is located a quick 30 minutes south of central Tokyo by train. The city was just a small fishing village until American Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in 1853, then again in 1854, with a mandate to open Japan to international trade. In 1858 Yokohama was selected to be among...

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  • Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura...

    The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu) is Kamakura's most famous landmark. It stands 13.35 meters tall, making Daibutsu the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan. Cast in 1252, and constructed of some 30 separate pieces, the statue was originally inside of Kotokuin Temple. The temple was repeatedly destroyed by storms in 1334,...

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  • Kotokuin Temple

    Although the temple is Kotokuin, most just call it the Great Buddha (Daibutsu), because this is where Kamakura's famous Buddha is located! The 121 ton Buddha took ten years to finish (starting in 1252). The main building of the temple once housed the Buddha (like Todaiji in Nara) but the temple was toppled in 1369 and never rebuilt. The Buddha that...

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  • Zeniarai Benten Shrine

    Zeniarai Benten Shrine was possibly my favorite place in Kamakura. It was built during the Kamakura Period. The entrance is through a cave-like pathway through the stone hillside. Upon entry it does not appear to be so different from most other shrines but if you walk past the honden there is an area carved into the hillside. This is the unique...

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  • Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

    Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is the most important shrine in Kamakura. It was built for Emperor Ojin, Empress Jingu, and a Hime-gami (female goddess). It was moved to its current spot in 1191 by Yoritomo Minamoto who helped establish Kamakura as the capital. The shrine buildings you see today were rebuilt in 1828 by Ienari Tokugawa.To the left of...

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  • Jufukuji Temple

    Although you cannot enter Jufukuji Temple, there are still a few reasons to visit. First, the temple was founded by Eisei, the priest who introduced Rinzai Buddhism to Japan as well as the art of tea-drinking. It is also one of Kamakura's Gozan Temples (5 Mountain Temples), so those coming to visit should stop by. The graves of the haiku poet...

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  • Hase-dera

    Kamakura's Hase-dera was named after and is associated with the Hase-dera Temple of Sakurai in Nara Prefecture. It is said that a priest from that temple carved two statues of Kannon from the same tree and placed one in the temple in Sakurai and the other was dropped in the ocean in hopes that wherever it appeared it would bring peace to the...

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Kamakura Hotels

See all 17 Hotels in Kamakura

Kamakura Restaurants

  • Kamakura Flower - Brown Ale

    Kamakura Brewery was established in 1998, and it features a female brewer. Their three most common beers are Kamakura Moon (German-style altbier), Kamakura Star (pale ale), and Kamakura Flower (brown ale), but they brew a few others like Enoshima Beer and Yokosuka Beer. Kamakura Beer is typically available only in the immediate Kamakura area, but...

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  • Kamakura Star - Pale Ale Beer

    Kamakura Brewery was established in 1998, and it features a female brewer. Their three most common beers are Kamakura Moon (German-style altbier), Kamakura Star (pale ale), and Kamakura Flower (brown ale), but they brew a few others like Enoshima Beer and Yokosuka Beer. Kamakura Beer is typically available only in the immediate Kamakura area, but...

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  • Street food around Hase Station and...

    On the walk from Hase Station to the Daibutsu there are numerous shops and restaurants selling a variety of food and drinks to nourish and refresh tourists making the short hike. On this short walk you will find dim sum style dumplings, ice cream, crepes, beer, and much more. We stopped a huge dumpling filled with ground meat for about 400 yen, a...

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  • Cafe Biscuit - Kamakura Shopping Street

    Cafe Biscuit is a small coffee shop on the main Kamakura shopping street. We wandered in because they had both coffee and Kamakura Beer on the menu, but I quickly realized I was not only the only Westerner in a restaurant full of Japanese, but I was also the only man. The hostess quickly swept us to the back corner of the restaurant, out of sight...

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  • Shonan Enoshima Summer Beer

    Shonan Brewery's Enoshima Summer Beer is the better of the two Shonan beers I tried during my visit to Kamakura. Enoshima Summer Beer is named after Enoshima Island, a very popular summer resort spot not far from Tokyo. The summer beer is a nice, dark, coppery color, with a moderate head hat dissipates to a think line fairly quickly. The smell is...

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  • Shonan Schwarz Beer

    The Kumazawa Brewing Company makes Shonan Beer. Like so many other Japanese brewers, Kumazawa got its start by making sake, then added beer to their operations in 1996. They offer a wide range of beers, but their most popular selections are their Pilsner, Imperial Stout, Schwarz, Alt, and Barley Wine. Shonan Schwarz is a dark beer, fitting since...

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Kamakura Transportation

  • Best way to get there from Tokyo Asakusa

    In case you stay in Asakusa or somewhere near the Toei Asakusa Line take a Keikyu train (they are using the Toei Asakusa tracks, the last station would be Muirakaigan) to Yokohama, 560 Yen or less if you stay closer and change there to the JR Yokosuka Line (track 9), 330 Yen to Kamakura or 290 Yen to Kita-Kamakura (closer to some shrines).

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  • Kamakura by Train

    Kamakura is a common daytrip from Tokyo. From Shinagawa Station in Tokyo, the Yokosuka Line has direct trains to Kamakura or change trains at Ofuna Station to reach Kamakura.If you are coming from the Shinkansen from the West (or East if you are willing to spend the money), go to Shin-Yokohama. From there, go to Yokohama and change trains to the...

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  • From Kamakura to Sankeien

    Kamakura and Sankeien in Yokohama is often toured together if you are in an organized group tour. But when you travel alone you will have to use train and bus to get there. From JR Kamakura station first go toward Yokohama and change trains at OFUNA. From Ofuna take Negishi line train which usually depart from #9 or #10 platform. Then get off at...

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Kamakura Shopping

  • "senbei

    Kamakura is also noted for its "senbei", which are crisp rice cakes, grilled and sold fresh along the main shopping street. These are very popular with tourists, especially Japanese tourists.

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  • Yammy cookie! Hato Sabure. Kamakura...

    May be almost japanese have eaten "Hato Sabure" shaped like a dove.Very popular sweets! 84yen per one cokkie.

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  • Kamakua-bori

    Along the main street of Tsurugaoka-Hachimangu, you will see some shops of art dishes which were made by tree.

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Kamakura Local Customs

  • Before Entering a Buddhist Temples in...

    1. Clean yourselfIn front of temples and shrines, you will often notice a pond filled with water. It is for washing your hands. Since temples and shrines are sacred places, they usually "clean" themselves before entering. There, you'll find a ladle. Draw some water with it to wash your hands, rinse your mouth and spit it. If you do not know how to...

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  • Wash your hands

    A common easily practiced custom when coming to a Shinto shrine is to wash one's hands.Do not stick your hands directly in the water. Using the cup provided. Pour water into the palm of one hand and then do the same for the other. Be sure to do so, so that the water does not go back into the main pool, but into the gutter instead.

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  • Buddhist Iconography

    Buddhism is a religion based on the iconolatry, and statues of the Lord Buddha and its pantheon serve as the objects of worship. Buddha statues in Japan are grouped into the following five categories each having many sub-categories:

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Kamakura Warnings and Dangers

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo
    Trust the signs!!

    by Pixiekatten Written Jan 27, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I was walking down the shoreline in Kamakura one late afternoon. Sand felt nice under my feet, the ocean was not to cold. I was munching away on an icecream. Then it happened. Something hit the back of my head. I ducked as a reflex. Then somebody snatched the icecream from mmy hands. Confused I looked up. There was nobody but me on the beach. What had just happened? Seaside ghosts with a taste for choc-ices? =/

    Hehe, nope.
    It was giant birds. Huge eagles with claws big enough to rip anybody's eyes from their heads. The hit on my head was its wing when it went down for my icecream.
    So just an advice. Before bringing food onto a beach look for warning signs at the entrances. I saw the sign at this beach too late and it could have costed me my eyes. However all it got away with this time was one yummy chocolate and vanilla sandwich.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Backpacking

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Kamakura Off The Beaten Path

  • Sankeien Garden: Old Tokeiji Sanctum

    Sankeien Garden is a Japanese garden in Yokohama featuring important historical properties moved from Kyoto, and Kamakura. The reason why this garden should be given a page or two for Kamakura guidebook is because of the building originally at Tokeiji temple in Kamakura moved to this place in 1907(the sanctum was originally built in 1509). Also...

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  • Windsurfers paradise

    Kamakura is an almost perfect for windsurfing offering gentle breezes, flat water, and sandy bottoms on most days, developing into advanced wave sailing sites when the winds pick up. There are 2 windsurfing schools in Kamakura:Seven seas (http://www.7seas.jp/) and Far East (http://www.fareast-school.com/). There's also a surf shop: Salty Dogs...

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  • Enoshima Aquarium

    Having seen the major sights and temples in Kamakura, I decided to explore the rest of the Kamakura vicinity on the Enoden line. The Enoden line is a really scenic railway line passing through the backyards of homes before it hugs the coastline all the way to the terminal station at Enoshima. To my very pleasant surprise, I came across an...

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Kamakura Favorites

  • What Is Kamakura Monogatari?

    When you travel Kamakura you may find something related to comics based in Kamakura, Kamakura Monogatari. It's a long-running comic series and sort of detective stories. But the twist is what started as a usual murder mystery for instance turns out to be something related to folklore monsters, mythical deities, or ghosts. It has the taste of...

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  • McDonald - Made in Japan?

    Many young Japanese children are surprised to learn that Makku Donarudo is not a Japanese invention but is a fast food franchise originating from USA.It is a cheap place to eat if you are tight on a budget travel or tired of ramen, soba and udon or raisu (rice).At 580 Yen, you can even have a different choice of teriyaki burger or fried shrimp...

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  • A bit of Japanese to a nice small hotel

    When in Hakone area, most of the hotels were fully booked and I managed to get to a nice small hotel because I could speak some Japanese then. The travel agent assured the hotel that I could speak Japanese and will not be a problem.Some of these Japanese hotels are off limits to foreigners. Mainly the staff do not speak good English and for...

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