Kamakura-city in Kanagawa prefecture is a good day-trip destination from Tokyo area. It's located about 30 miles southwest of central Tokyo. By JR train, it takes about one hour from Tokyo Station or about 30 minutes from Yokohama Station to Kamakura Station.
The Kamakura bakufu government was located in Kamakura for more than 100 years from the late 12th century. There are numerous temples and shrines in the area and the atmosphere of old Japan still remains.
As the area is surrounded by mountains and beaches, many hiking trails are found.
- Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
Location: 2-1-31 Yukinoshita Kamakura-city, Kanagawa
This is the most famous shrine in Kamakura. It was founded by Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura bakufu. During the New Years holidays in Japan, more than one million people visit this shrine every year. The front approach to the shrine called Wakamiya-oji Street is lined with many restaurants, local food and souvenir shops, and so on.
Access: 10 minutes walk Kamakura Station
Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Website (Japanese version)
- Kotoku-in Temple
Location: 4-2-28 Hase Kamakura-city, Kanagawa
It's home to the Great Buddha of Kamakura. The approximately 37-foot-high bronze statue is known as Japan's second largest Buddha statue. Visitors can enter the inside of the statue from the door in the back.
Access: About 10-minute walk from Enoden train Hase Station
- Hase-dera Temple
Location: 3-11-2 Hase Kamakura-city, Kanagawa
This temple houses the famous statue of 11-faces Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) known as Hase Kannon.
Access: 5-minute walk from Enoden train Hase Station
- Meigetsu-in Temple
Location: 189 Yamanouchi Kamakura-city, Kanagawa
It's known as Ajisai-dera since it's filled with ajisai (hydrangeas) in early summer.
Access: 10 minutes walk from JR Kita-Kamakura Station
- Kamakura Matsuri It's the largest festival in Kamakura which is usually held from the second Sunday through the third Sunday in April. A parade and various traditional events, such as yabusame (horseback archery) and traditional Japanese dance performances are held.