For the foreign travelers who are not satisfied with the bus tour in Tokyo.

Travel Diary in Tokyo


Top Page

Kamakura 1 - Highlight (June 2009)

Kamakura is very important place in Japanese history.
From the late 12th century to early 14th century, the feudal government was placed in Kamakura.
Unfortunately the government's construction is not exsisting,
but you can feel the atmosphere of old capital with historical temples and shrines.

June and July is one of the best seasons to visit to appreciate hydrangea and iris flowers.
But be careful, at the high season of hydrangea, you have to wait in line sometimes for 2 hours !
I visited Kamakura this time in early June and not so crowded.

It takes less than 1 hour from JR Tokyo station to Kamakura station without any changes.
You can also take monorail from JR Ofuna Station to Enoshima Station.
It is accessible to the sightseeing spots from these main stations by little cute Enoden Line.
It runs very narrow residential area. If you sit on the very front seat, you can enjoy the thrilling view !

EnodenEnoden 2

The famous Daibutsu or Great Buddha is 7 minutes walk from Hase Station.
It is in Kotoku-in Temple.
Daibutsu is 11.3m tall and weighs 121t !
The second biggest Buddha statue in Japan (after Todai-ji's one in Nara).

Daibutsu, Great Buddha

You can feel how big it is by seeing his shoes (waraji, old Japanese footware) or
going inside. (entrance fee is only 20 JPY)

Great Buddha's warajiInside of Great Buddha

Hase-dera Temple, it is also very near to Hase Station, only 5 minutes walk.
From Great Buddha also only about 7 minutes walk.
This temple was originally built in 736, longer history than kamakura government.
The following photo is the main hall, Kannondo.
You must see 9m tall 11 heads big golden kannon (diety of mercy) inside (photo taking is not allowed).


There are also interesting spots in this temple.
Garden is beautiful with various flowers in each season.
In June and July, you can see beautiful hydrangea flowers.
Behind the main hall, there is a hill called 'Hydrangea Path'.
(If you love hydrangea, you must also visit Myogetsu-in Temple.)

hydrangea pathhydrangea path 2

You can also appreciate iris flowers in the pond near the entrance.

iris flowers

And please do not forget to see 1000 Jizo (gardian dieties)
and Benten Cave (stone carved Goddess inside).

1000 jizoBenten cave

You can enjoy the view from Hase-dera is wonderful with the scenery of Pacific Ocean.

view from Hase-dera

Then returning to Hase Station and take Enoden to Kamakura Station.
The most famous Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is only 10 minutes walk from Kamakura Station.
But on the way, there are many shops who sell crafts such as Kamakura wood carving,
and different kinds of sweets (rice crackers, cookies shaped in pigeon or Great Buddha, etc).
Komachi-dori is narrow cheerful shopping street which lasts 600m long.

Beginning of Komachi-doriCraft shop
Kamakurabori wood carvingBeans sweet shop

There are many restaurants who serve Japanese food.
Shojinryori is the food for Buddhist monks which doesn't use any meat and fish,
because they are prohibited killing any creatures.
You can try to tast in some Temples but you can tast it casually in some restaurants in this area.


You can also take the main approach to the shrine, Wakamiyaoji street.
There are also shops on both sides of the street.
You can also walk center of the street called Dankazura passing through Torii (red gate of shrine).


Tusugaoka Hachimangu Shrine was built by Minamotono Yoritomo who is the founder of Kamakura feudal government
to enshrine the Guardian God in late 12th century.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu

The following left photo is the main hall of the shrine, Hongu.
The right photo is the dancing hall, Maiden, where the concubine of Yoshitsune (Yoritomo's brother) danced.

Hongu, main hallMaiden, dancing hall

If you are lucky, you will see the wedding ceremony in dancing hall, Maiden.

Wedding ceremony in Maiden

There are many other photo taking spots in this shrine.
Stone bridge is near the entrance.
Then if you turn right, there is a pond called Genji-ike where you can see waterlily flowers in August and September.

Stone bridgeGenji pond

You can try Omikuji. It tells you your fortune.
After reading fortune paper, you knot and leave it in the shrine.

omikuji, fortune

Today, I only showed you the highlight of Kamakura, but there are also many temples and shrines worth to visit.
Enoshima area is also interesting place to visit.
I will introduce them in another occasion.

Copyright(C) Travel Diary in Tokyo.@All Rights Reserved