Kamakura: Best Things to Do

Flickr - Photo by LWYang

Kamakura is a city in Japan famous for its Great Buddha statue, Hasedera Temple, and Enoshima Island

Komachi-dori is the famous shopping street in Japan, with a wide variety of products being sold

While visiting Kamakura, fulfill your appetite by visiting Satonoudon Restaurant and Kaseiro Restaurant

Kamakura Yuigahama Beach is also famous among tourists, since it's a popular swimming and surfing spot

Get your new instagram feed material in Zuisenji Temple and Hokokuji Temple!

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SIGHTSEEING

What is visiting Kamakura without visiting its Great Buddha statue or Daibutsu? It’s one of the main attractions in Kamakura. With the height of 11.4 meters, it’s named as the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan, with the first one is Buddha statue in Nara’s Todaiji Temple.

The statue was created in 1252 and was originally kept inside a temple. However, typhoons and tsunami destroyed the temple multiple times. So, the Daibutsu is now placed in the open air.

Other place to do sightseeing in Kamakura is Enoshima, which can be reached by a train ride in a short time. Located on the west side of Kamakura, Enoshima is a small touristy island connected to the mainland by a bridge. On a clear day, you can enjoy the scenic view of Mount Fuji from Enoshima. The small island also has shrines, park, and observation tower and caves.

Great Buddha

This is most definitely worth visiting if you're in the Kamakura area.

It is truly a magnificent structure.

It is suitable for family visit, to get a good photos, and to learn about Japanese Buddhism.

Garden is located behind the statue, and there is an entrance fee.

Address : 4 Chome-2-28 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan

Enoshima

Enoshima Island is known for its Enoshima Shrine

It's home to the Enospa Hots Springs

Often visited by tourists, this island has a scenic view from its observation tower

Address : 1-chōme-9 Enoshima, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 251-0036, Japan

DOWNTOWN

Hasedera Temple or Hase Kannon Temple is an attractive temple famous for its eleven-headed statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy. The height of the statue is 9.8 meters tall, making it as one of the largest Buddhist statues in Japan. Not only the philosophy behind the building, the lovely scenery with trees and ponds around it makes Hasadera Temple is very attractive to the tourists.

Hasedera Temple

The temple is open from 08:00 AM – 17:30 OM in March to September and 08:00 AM – 17:00 PM in October to February

The admission fee to enter the temple is 400 yen for adults and 200 yen for children ages 6-11

Address : 3 Chome-11-2 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0016, Japan 〒248-0016 神奈川県鎌倉市長谷3丁目11−2

SHOPPING

If you want to shop in Kamakura, we recommend you to visit Komachi-dori. It’s a street filled with shop of trendy boutiques, restaurants, and massage parlors. You can also buy gifts and souvenirs in this street, offering many product options. There is a kimono renting place around this area if you want to experience shopping in style.

Komachi Dori

This shopping street is frequently crowded, with 18 million people visiting Komachi-dori every year

The street doesn’t allow vehicles except delivery and emergency vehicles, so you’ll still be able to move around

Address : 8, 小町 Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0006, Japan 〒248-0006 神奈川県鎌倉市小町8

FOOD & DRINK

While visiting Kamakura, try their local food! There are many local street foods and snacks you can try while shopping, such as Tempura Karari (Tempura rice bowl), Hannari Inari (Innari Sushi with a different twist), Kamakura Tenshin (bun with pork fillings), and many others.

There are not so many beverage choices in Japan, so you can drink any Japanese beverages you like, such as green tea (macha), sake, or mugicha.

CULTURE

Kamakura as a city has witnessed the great transformation of Japan. In fact, Kamakura heavily influenced political situation in Japan around 1185 until 1333. A culture of war was developed during Kamakura period, with the Shogun in Power. Zen Buddhism also have a great influence to the city as it was used as the warriors’ values of discipline and austerity.

When visiting Kamakura, you will notice that the city’s art adopted strong characters from Chinese art, such as in its sculpture, paintings, metalworks, and buildings.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

In terms of weather, the best time to visit Kamakura is from April 9th to July 1st. It’s when the weather feels comfortable, not too cold and not too hot. You can also see blooming sakura starting in April. However, the busiest month for Kamakura for tourism is in January, March, and April. The least number of people visiting Kamakura is in December, which makes everything less expensive as well.

HOTEL

After having a day tour in Kamakura, you can rest your body comfortably in a hotel and regain your energy for the next day trip. Our pick for the most comfortable hotel in Kamakura is Kamakura Prince Hotel and WeBase Hotel.

Kamakura Prince Hotel is situated right next to Shichirigahama coast on Sagami Bay. All the rooms overlooking the sea and in a clear day you can see Mount Fuji and Enoshima Island right from your room. Kamakura Prince Hotel also features French and Japanese restaurants.

Our next pick for hotel in Kamakura is WeBase Kamakura. There are various types of rooms offered for guests, such as shared room, private room, family room and Japanese futon room. This hotel is a great choice if you’re a solo traveller and would like to save your money, as well as making friends with other travellers.

Kamakura Prince Hotel

All rooms are spacious and overlooking the sea

Situated near the beach, restaurants, shopping place, and public transit

A perfect hotel for comfortable stay

Address : 1 Chome-2-18 Shichirigahamahigashi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0025, Japan 〒248-0025 神奈川県鎌倉市七里ガ浜東1丁目2−18

WeBase Hostel

The rooms has large, clean bathrooms

The hostel is located near the city center and beach with sightseeing, restauants, and bars nearby

Laundry service is available

Address : 4 Chome-10-7 由比ガ浜 Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0014, Japan 〒248-0014 神奈川県鎌倉市由比ガ浜4丁目10−7

RESTAURANT

If you’re visiting Japan, we suppose that you want to try their culinary as well. Kamakura Matsubaraan is a great restaurant to start. It’s a Japanese restaurant with traditional atmosphere and architectural style. Definitely try their soba if you’re visiting. Worried with your Japanese language skill? Don’t worry, the staffs can speak in English.

The other famous restaurant in Kamakura we recommend is Kaseiro. Instead of Japanese, Kaseiro serves Chinese foods in Kamakura for your lunch or dinner. It’s situated near the Great Buddha of Kamakura, only 0.1 miles away. The building is has a classic Chinese touch in it. Definitely try their peking duck, shark fin soup, and homemade geppei (Chinese cakes).

Kamakura Matsubaraan

Restaurant with great atmosphere of traditional Japanese building

The foods are authentic and the staffs can speak good english

Address : 4 Chome-10-3 Yuigahama, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0014, Japan 〒248-0014 神奈川県鎌倉市由比ガ浜4丁目10−3

Kaseiro Restaurant

A chinese restaurant with exclusive ambience

We recommend you to try their pork bun!

Large parking space is available

Address : Japan, 〒248-0016 Kanagawa, Kamakura, 1, 鎌倉市長谷3丁目1−14 〒248-0016 神奈川県鎌倉市1 鎌倉市長谷3丁目1−14

CAFE

Wind down and rest your feet rom strolling around the city in Café Vivement Dimanche, Kamakura. It’s a great stop to sit down for a while and sip your coffee. The owner of this café, Takeashi Horiuchi, is one of the most admired coffee masters in Japan.

The café is open every day, except Thursdays and the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. Their signature coffee processing methods include espresso and paper drip. You can also order the famous omelette rice (omurice) in this café!

The second café we recommend in Kamakura is Iwata Coffee. This café has a quaint atmosphere and been running since 1948. Their best seller bites is fluffy pancakes which is sold at JPY 800. It was said that famous writers are often visiting this café!

Cafe Vivement Dimanche

Cafe Vivement Dimanche is a lovely little cafe with affordable price

They have wide coffee selections and tasty waffles as well

Address : 2 Chome-1-5 Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0006, Japan 〒248-0006 神奈川県鎌倉市小町2丁目1−5

Iwata Coffee

A nice cafe to get your breakfast

The window view is extra asethetic

Try their signature fluffy pancakes

Address : 1 Chome-5-7 Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0006, Japan 〒248-0006 神奈川県鎌倉市小町1丁目5−7

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

Day and night in Japan should be enjoyable – and to enjoy the night in Japan, to visit their bars is a great choice. Magnetico bar offers you relaxing night with a wide variety of beers. Located just 15 minutes of walking from Kamakura station, this bar could accommodate only 15 people inside. The prices include tax already, which is why it’s quite high. But worry not, their service and yummy foods will not disappoint you.

The other bar you can try is Bar Ram. Just like Magnetico, the place is quite small. Probably could only accommodate 10 people. Music is played through vinyl LPs and you can choose the album yourself. The price is affordable, only JPY 500 per drink except the premium ones. Bartenders are super friendly and attentive.

Magnetico

A relaxing place to have late night drinks

Music is playing in the background

It's a bar with funky vibe

Address : 4 Chome-1-19 Yukinoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0005, Japan 〒248-0005 神奈川県鎌倉市雪ノ下4丁目1−19

Bar Ram

Bar with great athmosphere and friendly staff

The ambience of the bar is very lively

The place is quite small, but that's what makes the bar more intimate

Address : 2 Chome-11-11 Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0006, Japan 〒248-0006 神奈川県鎌倉市小町2丁目11−11

INTERESTING PLACE

You need more places to write down in your itinerary? Put Kamakura Yuigahama Beach, then! It’s a sandy beach in Kamakura that has been people’s favourite swimming spot since Meiji era. You can also get surfing and bodyboard lessons here. The beach is wave with gentle waves. Guard is available to watch the visitors.

You can swim at this beach from 9:00 AM to 17:00 PM. Come here in summer! You will find a lot of vendors since there will be an open air market at the beach. This beach is often visited by families and surfers.

You can also put Tokeiji Temple in your itinerary as well. We picked this temple as an interesting place in Kamakura because of its history. Until the Edo Period, the temple was used as a shelter for women who were abused by their husbands and sought a divorce. The divorce itself can be attained by staying in the temple for three years.

Yuigahama Beach

A very convenient and clean beach

Great place for relaxing and walk

The waves is good for surfing

Address : Yuigahama, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0014, Japan 〒248-0014 神奈川県鎌倉市由比ガ浜

Tokeiji Temple

A beautiful temple with fascinating story behind it

The nickname of the temple is 'Divorce Temple'

Quite small but never crowded

Address : 1367 Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa 247-0062, Japan 〒247-0062 神奈川県鎌倉市山ノ内1367

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

Honestly, we dare to say that almost all corners in Japan is aesthetically pleasing and Instagram-feed worthy. However, our honourable mentions for instagrammable spots in Japan goes to Zuisenji Temple and Hokokuji Temple.

Zuisenji Temple is a Buddhist temple in the eastern part of Kamakura, surrounded with trees and woods, mostly plum. It’s pretty in all seasons, but it goes extra mesmerizing in autumn. The flowers around the temple also makes the place even more picturesque.

Hokokuji Temple itself is located in the eastern Kamakura as well. The atmosphere of the temple is very modest, with small garden in the front part of the area. It is also known for the small bamboo grove found behind the temple’s main hall, with over 2000 dark green bamboo stalks. The bamboo grove looks very peaceful and is a perfect spot for taking photos.

Zuisenji Temple

Zuisen-ji is most popular when the flowers are blooming

The place is gorgeous and nevery very busy

Address : 710 Nikaidō, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0002, Japan 〒248-0002 神奈川県鎌倉市二階堂710

Hokokuji Temple

Hokokuji Temple is a very beautiful place to visit and spend your leisure time in tranquilty

The place is kind of hidden away, so you'll have to search thoroughly

Sip your green tea in their on-site cafe

Address : 2 Chome-7-4 Jomyoji, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0003, Japan 〒248-0003 神奈川県鎌倉市浄明寺2丁目7−4